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CARDINAL GEMSTONES

Cardinal Gemstones  

Precious Gemstones 1

Precious Gemstones 2

SAPPHIRE

Source: Australia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, USA

Birthstone: September (Alternate: Lapis)

The name "sapphire" (Saphir French or German, Zafir Spanish, Zaffiro Italian) was originally derived from Greek "Sappheiros," as well as the Sanskrit Kuruvinda "Sanipruja" meaning "hard stone," and the Hebrew word "Sappir" meaning "gem.

 

Sapphire colours range from canary yellow to blue, brown, gray, green, orange, pink, purple, and colourless.

 

Most sapphires contain inclusions which are visible to the naked eye or under low magnification. These inclusions may appear as clouds, feathers, veils, silk fibres or rutile needles and may resemble an internal fingerprint impression in clearer stones.

 

The most desirable blue sapphire colour is an intense, pure and primary blue with a slight hint of violet and very little of the grey or green colour components.

Specific colour grades of blue sapphire are commonly refers to as:

Ceylon Blue, Cornflower Blue, Electric Blue, Kashmir Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Velvet Blue and Violet Blue.

 

Skilled gem-cutters will insure that the faceted stone has some colour in the culet to enhance the colour when viewed through the table and crown. From the side however, these stones will have little colour.

 

The finest sapphire in the world had originated from Kashmir. The Kashmir region was famous for its blue sapphires which exhibited an intense, vivid blue hue that came to be known as "Kashmir Blue”.

The region was fully depleted by the early 1900's. This fact adds significant value to any stone that is positively identified as a true Kashmir sapphire.

 

Second only to Kashmir in quality and mystique, some of the world's most valuable sapphire has been found in Mogok Valley in Myanmar (Burma). There is also a very rare orange-pink or red-orange Sri Lankan variety called "padparadscha sapphire" which can be as valuable as diamond. Ceylon yellow sapphires display a pure canary-yellow, brownish-yellow compared to other varieties of yellow sapphire which can have greenish overtones.

Australia have also produced some of the finer specimens of greenish-yellow, golden, green, orange, and blue sapphire, as well as the unusual multi-coloured sapphires which are marbled with hues of blue, green and yellow. The Tundouro mine in Tanzania also produces a yellow sapphire with a distinctive greenish-yellow colour.

RUBY

Source: Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand

Birthstone: July

The name "Ruby" (Rubis French, Rubin German, Rubino Spanish or Italian) is Latin for red. The fiery red colour of ruby was thought to be an inextinguishable flame lit from within. Rubies were celebrated in the Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings as the most precious of all gemstones. Ruby is also known as the "stone of Kings".

Some of the finest rubies in the world are mined in Myanmar and Thailand. Other significant sources for rubies include Kenya, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

 

Rubies can be transparent to totally opaque, and have a vitreous to dull greasy lustre.

 

The Toughness of Ruby is Excellent. Rubies are commonly subjected to artificial enhancements such as heat-treating, fracture-filling, flux-healing to improve colour and repair fractures and inclusions.

EMERALD

Source: Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada (Regal Ridge), Columbia, Madagascar, Pakistan, Zambia

Birthstone: May

The name "Emerald" (Émeraude French, Smaragd German, Esmeralda Spanish) comes from the Greek word smaragdos, a name that was given to several gemstone minerals having little in common chemically, but sharing a similar bluish-green colour.

 

Many varieties of emerald have a leaf-green to yellowish-green hue, but Columbian emeralds have a particularly intense greenish hue with bluish-green overtones, which makes their colour very difficult to capture in photographic images. Indian emeralds come with their distinct bluish hue.

 

The extreme rarity of transparent, inclusion-free emeralds can make them more valuable than diamonds.

 

Emerald is one of the most difficult gemstones to cut.

Clarity enhancement and surface treatment of emeralds using oil impregnation is practiced universally. The only way to confirm that an emerald hasn't been oil treated is if the cut stone has no fractures at the surface for oil to enter into the stone.

Cardinal Gemstones  

Precious Gemstones 1

Precious Gemstones 2

Diamond

Emerald

Ruby

Sapphire

Alexandrite

Amethyst

Aquamarine

Citrine

Opal

Peridot

Tanzanite

Topaz

Tourmaline

Zircon


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