Most often we think of sapphires as beautiful gemstones that sparkle in intoxicating shades of blue. Beautiful colors like cornflower blue, Kashmir blue and pastel blue come to mind.
But sapphires are not just for the blues! Sapphires can be found in an exciting symphony of colors ranging from daffodil yellows and teal greens to hot pinks and royal purples. In fact nearly every color in the rainbow can be found in a sapphire.
The many colorful varieties of sapphire are referred to as “fancy colored sapphires.” The word “sapphire” by itself is reserved for blue sapphires. Below is a brief tour of the colorful sapphire symphony.
Exceptional pink sapphires often challenge the preeminence of their costlier cousins, pink diamonds. When designing jewelry, we like to set pink sapphires in cool white gold and platinum, perhaps with colorless diamond accents.
Yellow sapphires are found in a broad palette of shades ranging from light yellow chiffon to bright effervescent lemons to deep golden yellow that almost glow with a hint of orange. We like to set the lighter, cooler shades of yellow in white gold and platinum, while the warmer hues, like the deep golden yellows and orangey-yellows, come to life when set in 18kt and 22kt yellow gold.
Green is one of the less commonly seen shades of sapphire. Some of the finest green sapphires come from Sri Lanka, although these stones are extremely rare. Striking examples are also found in rich blue-greens and shades of teal. Yellower stones shading towards olive green and chartreuse are more common.
When you consider fancy color sapphires, do not forget the colorless or white variety. Well-cut colorless sapphires have an appearance like cool, clear water. Although colorless sapphires have often been used as substitutes for diamonds, these gemstones have a charm all their own.