Corundum of Many Colors: Sapphire

As we turn our calendars to September, we start thinking of things like heading back to school, sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, and planning our fall fashions. For those celebrating a birthday in September, they’re thinking of their birthstone: sapphire!

Although sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gem actually occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which would then be classified as ruby.

Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper, and magnesium give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively. Sapphires in any color but blue are called “fancies.”

Pink sapphires, in particular, tow a fine line between ruby and sapphire. In the U.S., these gems must meet a minimum color saturation to be considered rubies. Pinkish orange sapphires called padparadscha (from the Sri Lankan word for “lotus flower”) can actually draw higher prices than some blue sapphires.

Due to the remarkable hardness of sapphires—which measure 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond—they aren’t just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches, and electronics.

Sapphires make stunning gifts for anyone born in September or celebrating a 5th or 45th wedding anniversary, so be sure to visit an AGS jeweler. They will help you find that perfect gift, whether you’re seeking the classic blue or another shade from the sapphire rainbow.

Need some inspiration? View this collection of designs featuring the sapphire!

Top 3 Diamond Engagement Ring Posts

On our AGS Laboratories Facebook page, we do daily posts featuring the beautiful diamond jewelry designed by our American Gem Society (AGS) members.

Quite often, some of these posts garner a lot of attention, so we would like to spotlight the top three engagement ring posts that received a lot of love during the summer months.

#3 – The Inspired Collection

The “Hudson” diamond cluster ring by The Inspired Collection, was inspired by the epaulets that sit on the shoulders of naval uniforms. The marquise cut diamond pays homage to the oval shapes of boats seen on the Hudson River from the shores of Manhattan, NY.

AGSL FB Aug 2

#2 – Martin Flyer

Martin Flyer has handcrafted engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry since 1945. Which of these diamond halo engagement rings would you say “I do!” to?

AGSL FB July 27

#1 – Underwood’s Jewelers

This jewelry-crush worthy image came from AGS jeweler member, Underwood Jewelers. It’s a diamond lover’s dream to see all these diamond cuts and styles all in one place!

AGSL FB Aug 1

When you’re ready to shop for an engagement ring or diamond jewelry, ask your jeweler to see diamonds that come with an AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Report. AGS Laboratories is a nonprofit diamond grading lab created to protect the consumer. They also grade to the highest standards, so you can feel comfortable that you understand and know the quality of the diamond you are buying.