19. May 2011 06:07
Sapphire recently got a big boost with the revelation that Prince William proposed to Kate with his mother’s blue Sapphire and Diamond engagement ring.
However, the fact is that Sapphire is not only blue, it comes in a myriad of different and striking colors – in fact virtually every color under the sun. All Sapphire is the species corundum and it is the trace minerals within it that give it its color (more on how gems get their color in our article Gemstones and Light). Blue Sapphire has iron and titanium in it which makes it blue but the same stone with no titanium in it, containing only iron would look yellow and if it contained chromium it may look pink.
A particularly popular color is Yellow. Most Yellow Sapphire, or Yellow Fancy Sapphire as they are properly called, is found in the far east. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) produces a lot of the yellows on the market today. Most of these are an orange-yellow. Kenya, by contrast produces some amazing canary yellows which do not have the orange element in them and have instead a hint of green. This gives them a very crisp and sharp color not found in most of the far eastern stones.
Additionally, a large proportion of the stones in the far east are routinely treated (heated, beryllium treated) to enhance their appearance. The yellow sapphires from the Kenyan deposit don’t need any treatment at all. They are clean, bright and their color is gorgeous. This is what sets them apart – pure, natural untreated sapphires are hard to get nowadays.
The Kenyan deposit produces very little these days owing to its proximity to the Somali border and the resultant insecurity caused by roaming bands of Somali militia called “Shifta” by the locals. Most stones mined there are found by explorers and adventurers venturing into the area for a short while and then getting out. We have close links with some of these people who bring us their production. A truly exciting gemstone!
Browse our collection of exquisite Yellow Sapphires.
Lapigems Gem Company