interesting Gem facts about White Sapphire

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Interesting Gem facts about White Sapphire.

The 5th and 45th ANNIVERSARY STONE

MOH's scale of hardness : 9 

Specific Gravity : 3.99-4.00

Refractive Index : 1.766-1.774

Double Refraction : -0.018

Sapphire and Ruby comprise more than half of all Gemstones sold worldwide. Sapphire's popularity is not based on color alone.  Its hardness of 9 places it next to Diamond (10), making it an excellent choice for jewelry worn daily.  It is frequently featured in engagement rings.  Most people relate Sapphire to the color Blue.  But this form of Corundum is readily available in an array of other colors: Pink, Golden, Green, peachy Orange, Purple and Colorless.  Fancy colors in Sapphires are described as being variations of the standard hues.  Color change Sapphires are those which have two colors which are distinct when the light source is changed from fluorescent to incandescent.  Generally, the more clear and vivid the color, the more valuable the fancy sapphire.  If the color is in the pastel range, the clarity should be good: because in lighter tones inclusions are more noticeable, the trade usually prefers the gemstones to be cleaner with fewer visible inclusions.  In a lighter colored gemstone, the cut is also more important: it should reflect light back evenly across the face of the stone, making it lively and brilliant.  With darker more intense colors, the cut isn't as critical because the color creates its own impact.
Ceylon (Sri Lanka) positively produces the finest all-round Sapphires in the world. The very name commands a premium, and Ceylon Gems have constantly increased in price.  We have always been on top of the Gem market in Ceylon and stay up with current prices and new discoveries.  It is a very difficult market due to political unrest. It IS dangerous to go there, and it's more dangerous to go outside the capital city into the countryside where the stones are hand dug from the pits.  We constantly buy fine Ceylon Sapphires when the price is "right."  To be "right" we have the connections to know who needs quick and ready cash.  Every stone is negotiated differently, thereby affecting the price per carat.  We work hard to bring these highly valued Gemstones to you at very very affordable prices.  Sapphire of lesser quality comes out of Australia, Thailand, Colombia, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Kenya, Tanzania and Montana USA, and we do not usually offer these stones.
TREATMENTS - almost all (99%) Sapphire is routinely treated with "heat" to enhance and stabilize the color.  The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.  The typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Sapphire we offer from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) normally refers to the lower temperature wood heat method, and the typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Sapphire from Burma, and other countries in that region, usually refers to the higher temperature furnace fired method that is performed at another location, both heating methods have been accepted trade practices for generations.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Sapphire in an
UltraSonic Cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend Ionic Cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean Sapphire jewelry.
We specialize in obtaining Ceylon Sapphires that are natural "untreated" gems, not heated or chemically treated in any way.  The exception is Golden Sapphire, Orange Sapphire as well as some of the darker shades of Blue Sapphire, and these Ceylon stones are typically heat enhanced to stabilize the color.
Even though it does not normally adversely affect the performance, durability, or value of the gem, in recent years demand for unheated top quality Blue Sapphire has caused the unheated gems to command a somewhat higher premium, depending on the gem.


White or "Colorless" Sapphires have a great deal of brilliance, are attractive, durable and well priced. Gem quality Colorless Sapphires are not common. In fact they are very difficult to obtain, so prices should continue to move upward in the market.  Some Colorless Sapphires have a very light tint of Blue, Yellow, or Pink but are still considered colorless.
Colorless (white) Sapphire has been used as a substitute for Diamond for years.  We often suggest Colorless (white) Sapphire as the accent stones in jewelry pieces, and the larger gems make excellent main stones in pendants and rings, but we do not recommend it if you expect it to be as brilliant as a diamond.  White Sapphire is a natural precious gem, and as such, stands on it's own merit as a beautiful precious gemstone.  Brilliant and Clean Colorless (white) Sapphires are gaining popularity as a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.
FAQ - What is the difference between White Sapphire and Diamond?
First let me start by saying natural White Sapphire is a beautiful gem on it's own, but there is only one gem that looks like a Diamond, and that is a Diamond. There are several clear colorless gems that resemble a Diamond, but close examination by a trained gemologist will easily distinguish the difference. Diamond has a very high refractive index (2.417-2.419) and strong dispersion (0.044) to give it great brilliance and fire.  The refractive index for Colorless (white) Sapphire is a bit lower (1.766-1.774) and it has less dispersion (0.018) which means it cannot perform exactly like a Diamond.  A gem quality
Colorless (white) Sapphire that is well cut is a very brilliant gemstone, but for the reasons I mentioned above it does not have the same fire as a Diamond.  By fire, I mean when you look at a Diamond, you see the colors of the rainbow in the faceting in natural daylight, you can even reflect the sunlight hitting a diamond and the colors of the rainbow will appear on the surfaces around you.  Whereas, with the White Sapphire, you see white light reflected in the faceting. The gem closest to a Diamond in brilliance and fire is the Colorless Zircon, this gem has a very high refractive index (1.777-1.987) and strong dispersion (0.039).  Gem quality Colorless Zircon is around the same price as gem quality White Sapphire.  There is a drawback with Zircon, however, that is it's hardness.  Diamond is very hard (10) and can cut or scratch most all other gems and glass. Sapphire is next on the hardness scale (9) and can scratch most other gems, except Diamond.  Zircon has about the same hardness as Tanzanite (7) and can only scratch a few other gems, but it cannot scratch Sapphire or Diamond.  Zircon therefore is not recommended for a Man's Ring since it is sensitive to knocks, and Men are usually hard on their jewelry.  Jewelers do use Zircon occasionally in a Ladies Ring but generally take extra precautions to protect the gem from knocks. This brings us back to the White Sapphire.  Looking at the fact it is a very brilliant and beautiful natural gem, as well as very hard and durable for jewelry, and it is colorless, makes the White Sapphire a very suitable choice if the budget does not allow for a Diamond and yet you still want a natural gemstone.


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