Ceylon was the official name of present day Sri Lanka until 1972.
Besides being known for its’ fine gems, it is also known for having Asia’s first FEMALE ruler, Queen Anula. We are certain she enjoyed the fine gems available only from Ceylon!
The blue sapphires from Sri Lanka are known as Ceylon Sapphires. Ceylon Sapphires are reportedly unique in colour, clarity and lustre compared to the blue sapphires from other countries.
Genuine sapphires, including Ceylon sapphires are part of the Corundum gem family and are second only to diamonds in hardness. This strength makes them an excellent choice of jewelry because of their durability.
And if you have forgotten, Sapphire is the birthstone of September.
The Ceylon Blue Sapphire is known for its beauty possessing the glorious cornflower blue shade as well as being one of the few sapphires in the world that can be sold as a completely natural stone without heat treatment. Ceylon sapphires also come in beautiful hues including pink, yellow, orange, green, purple, lavender. All these highly marketable qualities of Ceylon sapphire has created brand recognition world wide – a brand not created by the producers of the stone, but by the sellers and consumers.
Sapphires that show a star-like light effect are called star sapphires; the most famous star sapphire from Sri Lanka is displayed in the Museum of Natural History in New York. Star sapphires or star rubies display a star-like marking and this effect, commonly known as asterism, occurs when light falls on the cut stone, cut in the cabochon form, and three rays appear giving a six-point star. However, stones with six rays have also been known to occur.
Did You know???
There is milky corundum, a white opaque form of corundum also called geuda, which for many years was regarded as useless and discarded, often ending up lining fish tanks in some gemstone merchant’s house. This happened until dealers in Thailand learned to heat-treat geudas to change the colour of the stone from an unattractive cloudy grey-white to a bright, sparkling blue. They completed the work nature began and ended up with a blue sapphire – of much greater value than a useless pebble. The colour of heat-treated blue sapphires are stable and the chemical composition of the stone is that of a sapphire, although prices are lower than for a similar quality stone with natural colour.
Choosing a Sapphire
Most fine sapphire on the market today comes from Sri Lanka, which produces a wide range of beautiful blues from delicate sky blue colours to rich saturated hues. Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Pailin in Cambodia are renowned for deep blue, even colours.
The most valuable sapphires have a medium intense, vivid blue colour. The best sapphires hold the brightness of their colour under all different types of lighting. Any black, grey, or green overtones mixed in with the blue will reduce a stone’s value. In general, a more pastel blue would be less preferred than a vivid blue but would be priced higher than an overly dark blackish-blue colour. As with all gemstones, sapphires, which are “clean” and have few visible inclusions or tiny flaws are the most valuable.
Sapphires are most often cut in a cushion shape – a rounded rectangle – or an oval shape. You can also find smaller sapphires in round brilliant cuts or a wide variety of fancy shapes, including triangles, squares, emerald cuts, marquises, pear shapes, baguette shapes, cabochon cuts and smooth domes.