Sapphire and ruby are both the same
mineral, corundum. Corundum occurs
in all the colors of the rainbow
- red, orange, yellow, green,
blue, and violet. Red corundum
is called "ruby," while
blue is referred to as "sapphire." All
other corundums are designated
by their color name followed
by the word "sapphire," and
are collectively called "fancy-colored" sapphires.
The gemstones as shown in the
photograph on the next
are exceptional yellow, violet,
and orange sapphires.
of what color names are applied,
some fancy-colored sapphires
can have truly beautiful colors.
Though few in number, there are
fancy-colored sapphires with
eye-opening colors such as strongly
reddish orange or bright “lemon”
yellow. One can only admire the
unique beauty of each of these
gemstones, some of which command
more than $100,000 for a 10-
to 20-carat stone.
sapphires may sometimes be called "padparadscha" sapphires,
a name derived from Sanskrit
words referring to the color
of a lotus flower.
stone in the ring pictured below
is a heated sapphire with what can
be called a beautiful padparadscha
color. Identification reports issued
by the laboratory at the Gemological
Institute of America (GIA) do not
specify the classification "padparadscha," because
the judgment of this color involves
subjective factors such as cultural
usage and personal preference. Many
of these sapphires are heated to
enhance their color.
The color of
some untreated padparadscha sapphires
will fade over time. However, an
untreated padparadscha sapphire that
has faded will return to its original
orange color if exposed to sunlight
for about an hour.
fancy-colored sapphires, it is important
to look at the stone for yourself
and select one you find truly beautiful,
concentrating on quality without
being influenced by names.