Sapphires are one of the hardest gems, and grouped with the top tier of precious stones: diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. The word sapphire comes from the Greek “sappheiros” meaning “blue stone.” While some sapphires are blue, they also appear as other colors.
In general, gemstone color has three parts: hue, saturation, and tone. Hue is the primary color of the gemstone. Saturation is the brightness of the hue. Tone refers to the range of lightness to darkness in the hue.
A blue sapphire's primary hue is, of course, blue. Secondary hues may appear as well, including violet, purple, and green. Violet and purple enhance the blue sapphire's beauty; green degrades the gem's beauty.
Sapphires can also be yellow or green and appear in shades of orange and brown. Pink sapphires can also be found; the deeper the pink hue, the more the gem's value, as long as that pink tends toward ruby red.
Another kind of sapphire is the star sapphire, named because it exhibits a luminous star-like quality when moved.
One of the rarest sapphires is the Padparadscha. The word means “a color akin to the lotus flower” and is found in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and East Africa. This sapphire appears as a light to medium toned pink or orange hue.
Sapphire, one of the most precious gems, comes in a variety of colors, each with its own grading system. Whether you like blue, green, yellow, or pink, you can find a sapphire that fits you personally. Feel free to stop in Schmidt Jewelers and, with the help of our friendly staff, find the perfect sapphire made for you.