Just What is a Purple Sapphire

Someone asked me today how a purple sapphire is made.  What was implied in the question is that purple sapphires don't occur naturally.  Actually, they do...

Two analogies:  As a robin is a bird, so a purple sapphire is a sapphire.  As a human is homo sapiens, so a sapphire is corundum.

Now put it all together.  Corundum comes is all the colors of the rainbow.  Every color of corundum is commonly known by it's color and "sapphire."  So, yellow corundum is yellow sapphire. All the different kinds of sapphires, the different "varieties", are the "family" of sapphire. 

And, the other amazing thing about sapphire is they are one of the only five families of gems that can exhibit "asterism" - a star!

There's one exception.  Red corundum is commonly known as ruby.

Now you know...

September 02, 2017 24 tags (show)