Color Change Sapphires present gem lovers with an opportunity to own the rare and stunning color change effect in a gem. While the colors tend to vary depending on locale, in general they change from blue to purple. You can observe color change in this gem by viewing it interchangeably in natural and incandescent light.
About Color Change Sapphire - History and Introduction
Color change sapphire is an exceptionally rare, fancy variety of corundum which exhibits the unique ability to change color when viewed under different light sources. Although blue is the most common color, color change sapphire can occur in a range of other colors, including greenish, yellowish, pinkish and violet-purple, depending on the coloring agents within the specific stone. Typically, most color change sapphire shifts from blue under natural daylight to a violet-purple under incandescent light.
In order to truly appreciate color change sapphire, specimens should be observed under different lighting conditions, including early morning daylight, late afternoon daylight, fluorescent light and incandescent light. Fluorescent light is rich in blue, whereas incandescent is rich in red. Natural daylight is well-balanced, which is why color change sapphire is best viewed under natural daylight.
Color Change Sapphire Gemstones
Since color change sapphire is corundum, it is the second hardest mineral on earth next to diamond. Owing to its superior hardness, color change sapphire is almost unmistakable despite there being many gems that can appear similar in color and luster. As with all sapphire, fancy color change sapphire has a specific gravity of 4.00, a refractive index ranging from 1.76 to 1.78 and a birefringence of 0.008. Color change sapphire belongs to the trigonal crystal system, structured with three planes of symmetry and four axes. The exact crystal form depends on the variety and origin. Color change sapphire has no real cleavage, but it may have a conchoidal or uneven fracture.
Color Change Sapphire Origin and Gemstone Sources
Sapphire from the Kashmir region of India, the Pailin region of Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is considered the most valuable.
Color Change Sapphire Clarity and Luster
Unlike ruby, color change sapphire typically occurs with excellent transparency and with very few inclusions, so it is often eye-clean. Most color change sapphire gemstones are quite small, but larger stones can be found with excellent clarity. Like all sapphire, color change sapphire has an attractive vitreous (glass-like) luster once cut and polished.
Color Change Sapphire Cut and Shape
Color change sapphire is typically faceted to maximize its color shift ability. Color change sapphire is available in a variety of different cuts and shapes, however, ovals, rounds and cushions are most popular since they correspond with the typical shape of sapphire rough. Color change sapphire is not often cut en cabochon since faceting maximizes color change effects.
Color Change Sapphire Treatment
Most sapphire is enhanced by heating. Typically, before it is cut, it is heated to between 1700 and 1800 degrees Celsius (3100-3300 degrees F). Although it is not common for color change sapphire, some stones may be diffused or fracture-filled. Unheated and untreated color change sapphire is very rare.
Color Change Sapphire Gemological Properties:
Chemical Formula: Al2O3 - Aluminum oxide
Crystal Structure: Trigonal, doubly pointy, barrel, hexagonal pyramid and tabloid shape
Color: Various blue tones, colorless, pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, black
Hardness: 9 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.762 to 1.788
Density: 3.95 to 4.03
Transparency: Transparent, translucent, opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence: -0.008
Fluorescence: Blue sapphire: None; colorless sapphire: Orange-yellow, violet
Color Change Sapphire Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Healing Powers
Sapphire is known as a stone of wisdom and serenity. Fancy color change sapphire can be used to release mental tension and relieve depression. It can also help enhance meditation by calming the mind. For centuries, all sapphire has represented the heavens, innocence and truth. Color change sapphire can benefit many chakras, as a result of its various colors. Depending on the color, sapphire can be the zodiac stone of Taurus, Virgo, Libra, Sagittarius or Gemini. It is especially connected with the element of water and is also the planetary stone of Saturn.
Color Change Sapphire Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas
Color change sapphire is perfectly suitable for any type of jewelry application. It is especially ideal for everyday rings, due to its extreme hardness and durable nature. Sapphire jewelry looks best under natural daylight or fluorescent lighting, rather than incandescent light. Lighter color change sapphire is best for exhibiting brilliance, whereas darker stones are more valued for their deep color. Color change sapphire is typically used for high-end jewelry, rather than mainstream or commercial jewelry, particularly owing to its extreme rarity and high price per carat.
Sapphire is one of the 'precious four' gems, which also includes red ruby, green emerald and fine diamond. Sapphire is one of the few varieties of colored gemstones that is easily available and often found in local retail jewelry stores. Next to diamond, sapphire is one of the most popular gems of today and can be found in just about every design from exquisite brooches, pins, pendants, rings and necklaces to classic and simple designs such as sapphire studs or earrings.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamond by weight in comparison.
Color Change Sapphire Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning
How to clean your gemstonesFancy color change sapphire can be cleaned using a soft cloth or brush and plain warm soapy water. After wiping, be sure to rinse your fancy sapphire well to remove all soapy residue. Sapphire can change color under extreme heat, so avoid extreme temperature fluctuations. Also avoid the use of any harsh household chemicals and cleaners, including bleach or hydrofluoric acid, as chemicals can cause corrosion.
Like all sapphire, color change sapphire is quite durable, but it is still recommended that any jewelry be removed before engaging in vigorous physical activities, especially when exercising or playing sports. When removing jewelry, do not pull from the stone as this can weaken prongs, eventually leading to a lost stone. When storing color change sapphire gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.