Sapphire Mining in the U.S.
Of the few gemstones mined in Arizona, the sapphire isn’t one of them, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places they can be found in the U.S. The greatest source of U.S. mined sapphires come from Montana, but also come from areas in North Carolina1. Outside of the U.S. sapphires can be found in a wide variety of places including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria and even Australia, just to name a few.
Brief Sapphire Background
It has long been believed that the sapphire has protective qualities and helps keep loved one safe from envy and harm2. In other folklore the sapphire was believed to help protect chastity, “make peace with enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of the oracles”3.
The Many Colors of a Sapphire
Interestingly enough, although the sapphire is traditionally thought of as having a blue hue it can actually include all variations of the gem corundum. Often called “fancy sapphires” this gemstones actually occurs in such a wide range of colors that it could be considered the rainbow of gemstones! The only exception to color variations is red, in which case this is then considered a ruby (July’s birthstone). To add even more variety to this September birthstone there are even “parti-colored” sapphires or “color-change” sapphires, which show combinations of multiple colors within the same stone when viewed under different different light variations4. As if that wasn’t enough there is also an more rare variation that can occur called an asterism. This phenomenon is seen as a star effect (usually with six-rays) across the cut surface of the sapphire4. The sapphire is definitely a very versatile gemstone!
Color of a Sapphire: Most valued is a medium dark blue to slightly violetish blue
Variations on Color: Various shades of blue, green, pink, purple, orange and yellow
Birthstone Month: September
Wedding Anniversary Year: 5th, 45th and 85th
Whether you are looking for the tradition blue sapphire, a fancy sapphire, parti-sapphire or star sapphire Forever Diamonds can help you find the perfect sapphire you are looking for! If you have any questions or are looking to learn more about this versatile September birthstone please contact us.
1. “Sapphire". U.S. Geological Survey, 2014. Web. Retrieved August 21, 2014. <http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/gemstones/sp14-95/sapphires.html>
2. “September Birthstone". American Gem Society, 2014. Web. Retrieved August 21, 2014. <http://www.americangemsociety.org/september-birthstone>
3. “Sapphire History and Lore” Gemological Institute of America inc., 2002-2014. Web. Retrieved August, 21 2014. <http://www.gia.edu/sapphire-history-lore>
4. “Sapphire Description” Gemological Institute of America inc., 2002-2014. Web. Retrieved August 21, 2014. <http://www.gia.edu/sapphire-description>