Fancy Sapphires Introduction
The term sapphire only applies to blue sapphires: any other colours are collectively termed “fancy sapphires”. Fancy sapphires are from the same family as rubies, the corundum family, they have the same composition and are identical except for their colour. Fancy sapphires obtain their unique colours from varying amounts of iron, titanium and chrome found within the gemstone.
Generally much more affordable than blue sapphires, these beautiful gems are available in a wide range of colours from pale baby pink to deep forest green. It is this dazzling array of colours that has earned them the name “gem of the heavens” or the “celestial” gem as the colours mirror the colours of the sky at different times of the day.
Yellow sapphires are available in a wide range of varying shades from light soft yellow tones to vivid golden colours. Sri Lanka is the primary source of fine quality yellow sapphires with secondary producers being Australia, Thailand and Burma.
The combination of it’s striking colours and its relative affordability, when compared with pink and blue sapphires, has contributed to the steady rise in popularity of yellow sapphires over the past several years. Yellow sapphires are also accepted as a more affordable alternative to the increasingly popular yellow diamonds. This beautiful gem is usually very clean and bright making it desirable set into any kind of jewellery.
The Mohs’ scale measures a gems relative hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the stones “scratchability”. Diamond is the hardest at 10, sapphire and rubies measure 9, with pearl at around 3 ½ and amber at 2 ½.Yellow sapphire is a very hard gemstone measuring 9 on the Mohs’ scale.
Care and Cleaning
Sapphires are fairly easy to care for due to their hardness and require no more care than usual by the wearer. It is however recommended that sapphire jewellery should be removed when doing heavy work to protect the gemstone from damage. Sapphire jewellery can be cleaned using specialist equipment available at jewellery stores. It can also be cleaned at home using warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush to remove any dirt or dust from behind the stone.
Legend and Lore
Fancy sapphires are considered to be an ideal gift for loved ones as they enhance love and banish jealousy. Yellow sapphires play an important role in various cultures, especially for use in astrology, and are believed to have great effects on the wearer according to astrological purposes.