A truly great gem and a good example of why Sri Lankan Sapphires are considered superior. This gem has a well saturated cornflower blue hue, with gentle glow caused by microscopic rutile inclusions that are the key characteristics of the best Ceylon Sapphires. The presence of undisturbed rutile needles inside of this gemstone, along with appearance of other inclusions confirm what our suppliers ensured us of- this gem belongs to the rarest group of untreated, prime quality stones. Please note that our pictures are greatly magnified, thus you can glimpse a turbid look caused by the rutile. This is not the case while you see the stone in your hand as rutile fibres are not visible to an unaided eye. The stone looks clean with a slight light dispersion inside that gives it a desired velvety look. There are some very small solid inclusions at the back of the stone that are invisible from the front and one crystal inclusion with a couple of imperfections at the front. To the naked eye this front inclusion looks like a microscopic dust particle that can barely be seen. The size, shape and quality of this Sapphire make it truly unique and suitable for creating a jewel that will be worth being called a family heirloom.
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Sapphire is a gem quality corundum of all colours except for red, which is termed as ruby. Chemically it is an aluminium oxide crystallised in a trigonal system. The name sapphire is traditionally associated with blue hue but there are many other colours, generally described as fancy sapphires. Possible varieties include- colourless, yellow, greenish, pink, purple, orange, brown, black and the most expensive and famous of fancy sapphires, pink-orange stones named Padparadscha. When considering a sapphire purchase, colour is the most important factor. For blue stones it is a strength and purity of primary blue hue that is a basis for a valuation, it can be increased by a slight percentage of violet or decreased by green or grey mask. For fancy sapphires it is a general strength of colour decreased by grey or brown tones. Inclusions are of secondary consideration as they are present in most sapphires, plus they are not necessary a bad thing as they help with identification of possible treatments and origin of the stone.
Synthetic sapphires were already commercially available at the end of 19th century and are widely used in commercial level jewels today. Treatments used on sapphires include a traditional heat treatment, practiced already in Roman times. It can improve colour and clarity of the stones and is completely safe, permanent practice. There are more modern ways of improving sapphires like a beryllium treatment in which stones are heated just below the melting point to allow beryllium to penetrate its structure. This treatment changes colour dramatically and can vary in depth from shallow to a one that penetrates gem completely. Berylium treated stones are considerably cheaper than natural ones or heated ones and the treatment is usually not easy to detect. Other possible treatments include fracture filling, which nowdays is widely used for treatment of rubies.
Sapphires have hardness of 9 and are very durable in any jewellery application. They can be cleaned in ultrasonic cleaners as long as there are no liquid inclusions but steam cleaners are not recommended. The best way to clean your stones is to use soft toothbrush under running water and dry them with soft cloth.