Sapphires are most well-known for their deep blue hues, but can you find purple sapphires?
Sapphires come in a wide range of colors that certainly does include purple and violet hues. You can find sapphires that have a deep, reddish-purple, or a weaker, more pink coloration, and they’re actually not all that uncommon where the traditionally blue stone is concerned.
Read on to learn more about sapphires, how they occur, and what colors they can come in.
Almost Every Color Of The Rainbow
There are few precious gemstones more versatile than the sapphire, which comes in a wide range of colors. These super-hard jewels can be found with yellow, orange, blue, pink, and yes, purple hues – almost every color except for red.
That’s because a red sapphire is called a ruby, and it’s considered to be a different gemstone entirely. Although it is of the exact same base composition, there are other elements present within the stone that give the ruby its red coloration.
Sapphires have enjoyed a prestigious place in society since they were first discovered several thousands of years ago. They’ve long been thought of as a powerful and mythical stone that can bring either incredible luck or crushing chaos into a person’s life.
In fact, we discussed this in a previous article – if you’d like to learn how a sapphire can potentially impact your life, look no further.
Throughout the last few hundred years, sapphires have cropped up in many places all around the world – they’re by no means exclusive. At least, not as exclusive as some stones, such as Tanzanite, which can only be found in one specific location on Earth.
The majority of the world’s sapphires, particularly the cornflower blue variants that everyone knows and loves, originate from Sri Lanka. In fact, most of the well-known and prolific blue sapphires have come from this region almost exclusively.
That being said, you can easily find sapphire deposits in Thailand, Australia, Nigeria, Myanmar, and even the state of Montana. The color of a sapphire doesn’t really depend on its location, as it’s merely the introduction of elements as a sapphire forms that determines what coloration it will take on.
For example, when traces of iron and titanium seep into a sapphire as it is forming, it will produce a stone with a deep, blue hue. However, if other elements are present, such as magnesium, vanadium, or copper, the end result will be a yellow, pink, or orange sapphire.
And of course, for the purposes of this explanation, the right balance of elements, similar to those present in a blue sapphire, will create a purple sapphire.
The Precious Purple Stone
It’s very easy to confuse a purple sapphire with an amethyst, which is a much less valuable and durable stone. However, one of the defining factors that set apart a cut amethyst and a polished sapphire is that the latter will have a more tangible brilliance.
When purple sapphires are mined, they’re heat-treated to enhance the coloration and the clarity of the stone. Although, it’s said that purple sapphires need less treatment than any other color variant, as they almost always have better clarity by default.
If you’re in the market for a purple sapphire, you can expect to pay less than you would for a blue stone, but you’ll be paying more than you would for a yellow or a green sapphire. They’re a mid-range sapphire variant that does quite well, regardless of size or setting.
The Natural Sapphire Company states that the most highly-priced purple sapphire it offers retails for around forty-five thousand dollars. However, the most affordable purple sapphire on their books costs as little as three hundred dollars.
Like many gemstones, sapphires occupy a broad spectrum that changes dramatically based on several factors.
At the top of this spectrum sits the super-expensive and hyper-luxurious gemstones that cost millions of dollars. For example, there’s the Blue Belle of Asia, an enormous and beautiful blue sapphire that sold for more than seventeen million dollars back in 2014.
It’s a unique and near-perfect four-hundred-carat stone that remains the most expensive sapphire ever found.
If you were to find a purple sapphire of a similar size and clarity, there’s no reason why that too couldn’t fetch an exorbitantly high price at auction. It all comes down to the clarity of the gem, the cut, and the setting of the stone itself.