Sapphire - a True Blue Symbol of Truth

By: Nigel Makin

There are several ways in which Corundum can be treated to enhance the Gemstone, fracture filling is a common practice making use of epoxy resin, oil, wax and glass as fillers, this reduces the visibility of flaws by making the fractures non reflective.
Heating Corundum can lighten or intensify colouring and will increase clarity by melting some of the rutile needle inclusions known as "silk" which are a common occurrence in Sapphires. Diffusion treatment is another method but this only colours the surface of the stone while the centre remains colourless, this is a permanent treatment unlike irradiation which will fade and is therefore not an accepted method of enhancing the Sapphire.
Diffusion treatment can be used to produce asterism, which is a six ray star effect.

Corundum of any colouring with the exception of red which is the Ruby is known as Sapphire, the colouring agents in the most sought after blue Gemstone are due to the presence of iron and titanium, a small iron content creates yellow and green tones whilst pink is produced by the presence of chromium, and orange by iron and vanadium.
Some famous Sapphires have achieved great worldwide status, namely St Edward's and Stuart Sapphires which are both part of the British crown jewels, in the United States the heads of presidents Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower have been carved out of three large Sapphire Gemstones.

The latin word sapphirus means blue, and this Gemstone is said to heal the mind and enhance mental clarity, according to the ancient Persians the blue Gemstone was put on a unique pedestal as they believed the earth rested on a giant Sapphire with the blue sky being a reflection of the Sapphire. Many great kings throughout history are said to have worn Sapphire Jewelry to protect them from the harm of battle and in India the Gemstone is said to be an antidote against the effects of poison. In India people invest in Sapphire Jewelry because it is believed to be a symbol of truth and loyalty, to wear the Gemstone is to show devotion and faithfulness in expressing love, and legend has it that the stone was a sign of fidelity and that the Sapphire would not shine if the wearer had been unfaithful.

Like Rubies the Sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the moh scale, which makes them ideal for daily wear. Because of the stones lovely colours and hardness occasionally it will be cut into sheets and used as the face covering on expensive designer watches.
Warm soapy water is a good way to clean Sapphire and it is also perfectly safe to put the Gemstone into an ultrasonic cleaner. The colour blue plays such an important part in each and every one of our lives, we see it all the time, a lovely blue sky on a sunny day makes us all feel good and nothing looks more inviting than the deep blue of the ocean, and lastly when your mood is blue gaze into your precious gemstone and let it's magical beauty lift you.

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