AZGem Gems
September, 2006

gem stone and jewelry newslettergem stone and jewelry newsletter

The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the website who subscribe.


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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


September Birthstone Is Sapphire


september birthstone is sapphire


The September birthstone is sapphire.

This month we continue our series on birthstones that will provide answers to questions like...

"What is my birthstone?"

"What if I don't like the color of my birthstone?"

"What if I can't afford my birthstone?"september birthstone is sapphire

Sapphire is named for the blue variety of the mineral corundum. But... we now use the name sapphire for all colors of gem corundum except red. (As you know, red corundum is known as ruby.)

Because the September birthstone is sapphire, September babies have a huge choice in the color of the birthstone they choose.

Sapphire occurs in just about every color, and colorless (Called white sapphire).

Many September babies make it a point to own their birthstone in several colors. 

Click on the box... and have Google start putting money in your bank account!

Color can be a big deal among those in the gemstone trade. The dividing line between ruby and sapphire is unclear when it comes to pink sapphire, or purple sapphire, or even padparadscha (pink-orange) sapphire.

Up until about a hundred years ago pink sapphires were known as female rubies, while the deeper red stones were called male rubies.september birthstone is sapphire

Personally, I prefer to live with the ambiguity between what's a red ruby and what's a pink - or purple - or orange sapphire.

Sapphire is arguably the most popular gemstone of all. Every year sapphire is among the top three selling gems, and most years it seems to be at the very top of that list.

september birthstoneOptical phenomena sapphires also are popular. Star sapphires and color change sapphires are more in demand each year. 

The popularity of sapphire has led to the development of enhancement treatments. Some treatments such as heating can improve the appearance of a stone's color and clarity.

Heating can deepen color and drive out many readily visible inclusions. Many of the sapphire gems sold today have been treated in some way.

Diffusion is a more recently developed treatment (1970's) where a natural coloring agent such as iron or beryllium is driven into the top layer of a gem by heat and pressure. Diffusion treated sapphires must be identified as such at every stage of supply: 

    from cooker (treater)
    to gem dealer
    to jewelry manufacturer
    to jeweler
    to retail customer


The marquise shaped blue sapphire shown at the beginning of this article is diffusion treated.

Sapphire synthetics are also being manufactured. This is done in a manufacturing laboratory setting by using the same chemical elements (aluminum and oxygen) and a tiny amount of coloring element such as iron, beryllium or another element, depending on the color desired.

In one lab method, this chemical soup is subjected to precise pressures and (high) temperatures for precise amounts of time. The result is a laboratory grown sapphire crystal.

Synthetic sapphire must be disclosed the same as diffusion treated natural sapphire, and is readily identifiable by gemologists.

Sapphire is available in a wide price range, from aroundseptember birthstone $100 per carat to many thousands per carat. A natural, but diffusion treated blue sapphire sells for significantly less and can be a good option. 

Synthetic sapphires sell for much less and carry the stigma of not being "real," because they are manmade.

Natural sapphire comes from many countries. Important sources include Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, Tanzania, and Madagascar.

Sapphire is very hard, dense, and durable. These qualities plus the beauty and color varieties available make sapphire a fantastic jewelry stone.

September babies are fortunate to have sapphire for their birthstone.

I have several nice sapphire gems and rings in stock at the moment. Send me an email to get details on several that are ready to ship.

A Google search for the keyword phrase sapphire jewelry  returns a number of listings and ads for vendors specializing in production run jewelry pieces.





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Gem Industry News...


The Star of India


The American Museum of Natural History comments on one of its gem treasures...

The Star of India, at 563 carats, is the largest and most famous star sapphire in the world. 

Formed some 2 billion years ago, it was discovered, allegedly more than 300 years ago, in Sri Lanka, where excellent sapphires are still to be found in deposits of sand and gravel left by ancient rivers. 

Industrialist and financier J. P. Morgan, a founding patron of this institution, presented the sapphire to the Museum in 1900. Today, the Star of India is one of the most renowned objects in all of the Museum's collections.

The presence of the mineral rutile in the Star of India gives the stone its milky quality


jewelry newsletter


Jewelry Dealers

birthstoneAre you rewarding your customers with discounts or freebies when they send you a new customer?

These simple gestures will keep the old customers sending you new ones.


The price of gold is still around $635 per ounce, so if you weren't able to hedge by buying up gold mountings and findings a couple of years ago, you probably should be buying what you need now. It just keeps going up.


Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?sapphire

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.


Carolyn Doyle

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