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sapphires

sapphires along with rubies have been mined for as long as 3000 years as per recorded history. burma and sri lanka sapphires have been mined since time immemorial. however the more recently found blue sapphire deposits in kashmir (india), now depleted, are considered the most exceptional blue sapphires ever mined. these are now avaliable only in resale and these still set the benchmark for blue sapphires found worldwide.

sapphires come in all spectrums of colour, except for red, which then become the more prized rubies. almost always the term 'sapphires' refers to blue sapphires. all other colour sapphires are referred to as fancy sapphires.

burma, cambodia, sri lanka, australia and africa are the world's main suppliers of blue sapphires. burma is especially also known for the top quality supply of this gemstone. as with rubies, their hardness is just below that of diamonds making sapphires one of the toughest gemstones, and with no cleavage, there is almost no breakage.

inclusions, both visible and microscopic, are a normal characteristic of sapphires. their existence provides traces to mine of origin and can also be used to separate natural from synthetic/heat treated gems. inclusions do not affect the value of the stone as long as the brilliance of the gemstone is maintained. intensity and uniformity of the blue color are the other factors used to determine the price. uniform intense deep blue colour (cornflower blue) with exceptional clarity and high lusture gems are the most sought after. however, very fine sapphires are extremely rare.

 

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