This gem comes not in one but in many shades of blue, from the deep blue of the evening sky to the shining mid-blue of a lovely summer's day which casts its spell over us. However, this magnificent gemstone also comes in many other colours: not only in the transparent greyish-blue of a distant horizon but also in the gloriously colourful play of light in a sunset – in yellow, pink, orange and purple. Sapphires really are gems of the sky, although they are found in the hard ground of our 'blue planet'.
Blue is the main colour of the sapphire. Blue is also the favourite colour of some 50 per cent of all people, men and women alike. We associate this colour, strongly linked to the sapphire as it is, with feelings of sympathy and harmony, friendship and loyalty: feelings which belong to qualities that prove their worth in the long term – feelings in which it is not so much effervescent passion that is to the fore, but rather composure, mutual understanding and indestructible trust. Thus the blue of the sapphire has become a colour which fits in with everything that is constant and reliable. That is one of the reasons why women in many countries wish for a sapphire ring on their engagement. The sapphire symbolises loyalty, but at the same time it gives expression to people's love and longing.
Its beauty, its magnificent colours, its transparency, but also its constancy and durability are qualities associated with this gemstone by gemstone lovers and specialists alike. The sapphire belongs to the corundum group, the members of which are characterised by their excellent hardness (9 on the Mohs scale). Indeed their hardness is exceeded only by that of the Diamond.
Sapphires are found in India, Burma, Ceylon, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and Africa. From the gemstone mines, the raw crystals are first taken to the cutting-centres where they are turned into sparkling gemstones by skilled hands. When cutting a sapphire, indeed, the cutter has to muster all his skill, for these gemstones are not only hard. Depending on the angle from which you look at them they also have different colours and intensities of colour. So it is the job of the cutter to orientate the raw crystals in such a way that the colour is brought out to its best advantage.
Their value depends on their size, colour and transparency. With stones of very fine quality remaining extremely rare in all the gemstone mines of the world.
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