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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sapphire Wedding Band Part One

To get the best possible sapphire wedding band it is not necessary to know all about sapphires, but obviously the more you know the better your chances of getting the best possible sapphire wedding band available.

The word Sapphire, from the Hebrew word Sapir, is the single-crystal form of aluminum oxide (Al2O3), a mineral known as corundum. It can be found naturally as gemstones or manufactured in large crystal boules for a variety of applications.

The corundum group consists of pure aluminum oxide. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron and chromium give sapphires their blue, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange or greenish color. Sapphire includes any gemstone quality varieties of the mineral corundum including the red variety, which is also known as ruby.

Blue sapphires come in a wide range of shades of blue and Titanium and iron inclusions within the aluminum oxide create the different shades of blue.

Most of all sapphires are heated to a temperature of up to around 1800°C for several hours and some stones are also heated in a nitrogen deficient atmosphere ovens for a week now. The purpose of this is to give the stone a better color.
You can find out if a stone has been heated by looking under magnification. If the needles are unbroken, then the stone was not heated. If the silk is not visible then the stone was heated adequately. If the silk is partially broken then a process known as low tube heat was used.

Low tube heat is the process where the rough stone is heated to 1300 °C for 20 to 30 minutes over charcoal. This takes out any gray or brown in the stone and improves color saturation.

You can also get fancy sapphires. These are any sapphire other than blue or red. Purple sapphires are lower in price than blue ones. These stones contain the trace element vanadium and come in a wide variety of shades. Yellow and green sapphires have traces of iron which gives them their color. Pink sapphires are have trace element of chromium and the deeper the color pink the higher the value as long as the color is going toward red of rubies. Color shift sapphires are blue in outdoor light and purple in indoor light.

Colour changes may also be pink in daylight to greenish in fluorescent light. Some stones shift color well and others only partially, in that some stones go from blue to blue purple. White sapphires usually come out of the ground as light gray or brown and are then heated to make them clear. However in very rare circumstances they will be found in a clear state.

The sapphire has long symbolized truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. Tradition holds that Moses was given the ten commandments on tablets of sapphire, making it the most sacred gemstone. Because sapphires represent divine favor, they were the gemstone of choice for kings and high priests. The British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires, the symbol of pure and wise rulers.

Since sapphire symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness, it is an excellent choice for an engagement ring. When Prince Charles chose a sapphire engagement ring for Princess Diana, couples all over the world were inspired to revive this venerable tradition.

Sapphire is also the birthstone for September, the month when the most babies are born. Ancient lists also name sapphire as a birthstone for April and the gemstone for the sign of Taurus.

"Fine blue sapphires are tremendously undervalued," says David Federman, United States author of Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones and other gem books. "Fine Kashmir and Burma sapphires are much rarer than Burma rubies and yet they are available for much less. Even fine Sri Lankan sapphires are rare to see these days. There is nothing more restful to the soul than a fine sapphire."

End of part one of Sapphire Wedding Band. Part two and three can be seen at

Blue Sapphires: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Most people think of the color blue when they hear the word Sapphire, when in fact Sapphires do come in many different colors. The only color that should be associated with the use of the word Sapphire without any other descriptor is blue, if the Sapphire is another color then that color should be used to denote the type of Sapphire you are looking at. For example, you see a pink Sapphire and the seller calls it a Sapphire and not a Pink Sapphire they are not correctly naming the gemstone. You will also hear the term fancy Sapphires, which is a reference to all Sapphires that are not blue in color.

This article will deal with Blue Sapphires and any reference in my article using the term Sapphire by itself denotes the color blue. When you are looking at Sapphires you might hear the following terms in reference to them, Kashmir, Burmese, Sri Lanka and Ceylon, Pailin, Cambodian, and Australian. All of these terms are used to describe color and quality. Be careful when someone offers you a Sapphire using any of these terms, make sure that the Sapphire actually came from that source. It not unusual for sellers to reference their gemstones as Kashmir Sapphires when they may have come from Thailand or Australia, as these do not command the same type of prices. Lets take a look at the difference of each term so you will know what questions to ask your seller.

Kashmir, This Sapphire has violetish blue to pure blue hue with a strong saturation, you will hear it described as having a velvety lustre and softness, this is caused by minute inclusions. Kashmir Sapphires are the most prized and the finest quality Sapphires available. This Sapphires color has also been called a cornflower blue, but that term has been over used to describe many different blues.

Burmese, It is close to the color of the Kashmir above with a subtle difference in the saturation and sometimes a darker tone, and could be described as a Royal Blue. It differs from the Kashmir, as it does not have that velvety lustre. Burmese make up the second most desired and finest quality of Sapphires available.

Ceylon and Sri Lanka, have a violetish blue to blue hue but are lighter in tone, this will provide the person viewing a gemstone with more sparkle and brilliance than the previous two Sapphires.

Pailin and Cambodian, are a violetish blue to greenish blue in hue, this distinctive color is very appealing to a lot of people, and you will find it in a large amount of jewelry that is being sold in jewellery stores.

Australian, you will find a lot of these Sapphires in lower cost jewellery as they have a very dark tone and look inky, you will hear the term inky blue used in reference to Australian Sapphires. With this very dark tone there is little brilliance, if any, for the eye to see and hence the value tends to be lower than the others described.

Sapphires are one of the most desired gemstones outside of diamonds, and the United States is still the largest purchaser of Sapphires and Sapphire jewelry. Which is interesting as American does have its own Sapphire mines in Montana; probably the best known is Yogo Clutch in central Montana.

When you look for you next Sapphire, make sure you know where is was mined and use the above information to help you either place a value on it, or provide you with the knowledge to pick the right color of Sapphire by knowing its origin.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Beauty and Elegance of Blue Topaz Jewelry

Topaz is the birthstone for those who were born in the month of December. I have developed a fascination for topaz after learning that it is my birthstone. Presently I have collected quite a sizable blue topaz jewelry collection. My favorite is a pair of earrings given to me by my husband on Mother’s Day. Topaz is inexpensive, although it has a dazzling shine and hue that can rival any other gemstone.

In the process of collecting blue topaz jewelry I have discovered a few delightful qualities that can be found in a topaz. This birthstone has a variety of hues ranging from clear ice blue to deep, smoky, aquamarine shades. My blue topaz jewelry collection is a perfect demonstration of these delightful hues that Topaz posses. This variety of hues can sometimes be a bit of a problem especially if you want to wear something to match them.

The earrings my husband gave me were set with magnificent, icy and clear topaz. It captures and reflects light just the same way a fine cut diamond would. However matching them with another piece of jewelry can be a tough challenge. I tried to match it with a rich necklace that has a big stone surround by two smaller ones. This blue topaz jewelry has deep and rich tones and is not very clear. It was stunning but next to the earrings it looked cheap and dirty in comparison.

Although I wanted to wear both of those items, their combination would just not wok. I had to find other pairs in my blue topaz jewelry collection. I had to match the necklace with a darker set of earrings. It was difficult since the icy earnings were my favorite.

Having a keen eye is vital if you want to match precious stones and jewelry. Although it can be challenging I still enjoy the various shades and clarity found in blue topaz jewelry. Maybe the challenge would be little easier if I expand my collection.

Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning Blue Topaz Jewelry. Visit our site for more helpful information about Blue Topaz Jewelry and other similar topics.

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