Sapphires and rubies


The sapphires and rubies both belong to a large family: that of the Corindons. They have the property and the richness of declining under a rainbow of colors. We commonly associate blue with sapphire and red with ruby. This is without counting the various light clothes of these appreciated gems!

Besides blue, Sapphire Can be colorless, yellow, orange, pink, purple, green, black ... When it is red, it is generally called ruby. Thanks to impurities, oxides or other elements infiltrated during their formation, these Corinders offer us a multitude of colors to contemplate. The imperfection of nature then becomes an asset that sublime them. The diversity of these gems extends further: some sapphires and rubies can be star or even change color depending on the lighting. So many treasures to discover through the beauty of theselegendary gems

 The family features of sapphires and rubies

Common properties of sapphires and rubies

These two varieties of Corindons have the same hardness:9 On the Mohs scale(hardness scale ranging from 1 to 10, 1 for dry soap and 10 for diamond). They are therefore very striped and can be worn on a daily basis, in any form of jewelry.

These are aluminum oxides (they are therefore composed of aluminum and oxygen). Their crystals can be in the shape of hexagonal pyramids, barrels ...

The characteristics ofsapphires and ruby are among others: strips of colors that are parting such silk threads and give the gem a velvety aspect; color concentration zones; small crystals; Liquid inclusions similar to fingerprints.

Some of these imperfections can play in favor of color, or against it. This is why the work of the lapidary is decisive because depending on the size carried out, the radiance will be different and the gem more or less sparkling. The goal is also to keep maximum weight while highlighting the assets of the gem, which often involves transforming these defects into advantages.

Both are born in a mother rock such as marble, gneiss or basalt and are extracted both at altitude and near a river.

The sources of these gems are distributed around the world, with a clear concentration in Asia and Africa.

The heating of our dear Corindons

Of course nature sometimes does so well the things that no treatment is necessary: ​​it itself creates gems full of life. When this is not the case, man continues the work that nature has started. Many treatments exist to make sapphires and rubies more pleasant to contemplate. Among them, the heating. This process is an embellishment treatment to reveal and strengthen the true color of the stones. Most of sapphires and ruby Marketed today are the subject of this practice, which has existed since antiquity in Sri Lanka and does not devalue gem in any case. Some Corindons are too pale, not sparkling enough, or on the contrary too dark ... Artificially heat them does not alter the fact that they are natural stones, only their brilliance is highlighted. Just as nature allows their color during training, man takes over and applies the same conditions in order to reveal their beauty. The heating is clearly distinguished from other more recent treatments which prove to be very intrusive and which can distort the gem (example: ruby ​​whose cracks are filled with colored glass to give them better appearance). In this case, a foreign body is introduced into stone: it is therefore no longer considered completely natural.

A reputation that is no longer to be done ...

Sapphire and ruby ​​are among the four gems considered to be the most precious (the other two being the diamond and the emerald). Which is no coincidence, because these are hard stones that resist shocks well.

For millennia, these Corindons have been associated with the most prestigious adornments and crowns and evoke strong symbols:Passion, beauty, wisdom for ruby ​​and nobility, belief, sincerity for sapphire.

And of course ... their most obvious common point concerns the attraction they operate on lovers of sparkling and beautiful pebbles ... and this since their discovery.

These gems are essential, unbeatable: how to get tired of such a diversity of colors and radiance whose nature has graciously endowed them?

Sapphire: the hidden side of a Corindon that we always believed blue ...

In its purest form, this aluminum oxide is colorless. These are the impurities and other elements that will determine its color. When using the term sapphire, you imply blue sapphire. In Greek "sappheiros" means "blue stone". It is the combination of impurities such as iron and titanium which gives it this color so deemed and coveted. The more the sapphire contains iron, the more its blue is pronounced.

Its provenance: Just like for ruby, Asia is the cradle of sapphire. The three sources that have most marked its story are cashmere, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Blue sapphires from these locations are considered to be of better quality than nowhere else. Sri Lanka represents one of the richest lands in gems in the world. Most of the sapphires considered to be of superior quality and whose weight exceeds 100 carats come from Sri Lanka. Depending on its provenance, different terms and characteristics are attributed to sapphire, sometimes otherwise. And it is not easy to assert the origin of a stone by simply based on its brilliance, its inclusions, the intensity of its color ... For example, we call "Sapphire cashmere" sapphire whose color S 'Apparent to that of the blueberry by its dominant viole-blue color with pure velvety blue and its depth, typical criteria of sapphires from cashmere. This kind of sapphire is very rare. Other important Asian sources are Thailand, Vietnam, China and Cambodia. More generally, there are also sapphires in Africa (Niger, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania) and Madagascar, where many sapphires have been extracted for decades. They are often sold elsewhere under the name of sapphire of Sri Lanka or Ceylon. There are also other sources such as Australia and the United States (in the state of Montana). Most sapphires are cut in Asia.

-A rainbow of sapphires: The sapphire has a hidden side ... It can take a multitude of appearances, thus filling the most demanding of its admirers ... One of the most coveted colors is orange-rose, pink orange: it is the famous padparadscha , which means "lotus flower" in Cingalese. This sublime color comparable to the flesh of a mature guava raises this sapphire to the row of the noblest and most estimated. It owes its color to elements such as iron and chrome. Its color is unique. Like the Padparadscha, the sapphires of an intense sparkling pink are very popular because they are not very common and of unparalleled beauty. Their color is largely due to chrome. A combination of iron, chrome and titanium generally contributes to giving its purple color to sapphire. There are pourpres-red sapphires whose color is not due to chrome but to the Beryllium presence. Green sapphires hold their color of several elements including iron and titanium. It is not always easy to find green sapphires of strong intensity and vibrant shine. Other stones such as tsavorites, tourmalines generally have a brighter green. The iron also occurs in the yellow-orange color of a sapphire.

Some traces of chrome sometimes infiltrate to give this color. Colorful sapphire or called "leukosaphir" (leuco signifier white, colorless in Greek) is the purest of sapphires since it is not colored by impurity. It has often been used as a diamond substitute and is now more affordable. Just as is the black sapphire, which has nevertheless experienced a good period with the success of black diamonds. Philippe Tournaire likes to paint with the color palette offered by sapphire, gem full of surprises. By associating them, the jewelry craftsman creates its own harmony: sparkling colors spring from the painting to give it life. This is the magic of the rainbow of sapphires!

Ruby is the red Corindon par excellence

In Sanskrit language, the ruby ​​is called "ratnaraj", which means "the king of precious stones". Considered the most popular variety of Corindons, ruby ​​owes its chrome color. The more this element is, the more intense the red. This gem arouses many controversies as to its name: indeed, the barrier is sometimes tiny between an intense pink sapphire and a lively rose-row rubbish, sparkling red.

Its provenance: A term often comes back when it comes to describing the best ruby ​​color: "pigeon blood". It is very rare to see pigeon blood really! This image indicates a red slightly tinged with purple, it is a very specific type of ruby. The creators of Bijou Philippe Tournaire does not stop at this description: he chooses his rubies for their vibrant, intense, sparkling and life color. In parallel, this appellation refers to the Rubis of Myanmar and in particular to Mogok,

which constitutes the most notable Rubis source historically. Despite established value criteria, it goes without saying that the beauty of a ruby ​​depends on everyone's appreciation and is therefore subjective. There are rubies mainly in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Africa is also an abundant source of ruby: in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and also in Madagascar. This unique gem by its intense red and so adulated around the world, is distinguished from others and is anchored in history forever. Coveted from its discovery, it is one of the first color gems to have been imitated thousands of years ago, by simple ends of colored glass. But its impurities which characterize it as sapphire, its unparalleled color do not deceive. The charm of nature imperfections also lies in the fact that they are heralding the natural character of a sublime gem such as ruby.

Corindons chameleon and starry: "puzzles"

Sapphire, "rainbow" sapphires and ruby ​​are the major players in the Corindons family. However, this family is large and among its members of sapphires and rubies of another type, just as extraordinary and colorful! Do you know that gems sometimes show wonderful stars? Once again, the stones transport us to an imaginary world that allows us to dream ... There are indeed starry sapphires and rubies. This physical phenomenon called "Asterism" reveals a six -time star most of the time (sometimes 4, sometimes 12 branches, but this remains very rare). This occurs when the light reflects small inclusions similar to sparkling pins, which interact in several directions. These gems are cut in cabochon, which allows you to be at the forefront in front of the unusual spectacle given by a star in an enigmatic stone. A very good quality sapphire or starred ruby ​​must show a fine, distinct star, centered on the top of the stone and which remains of the same shape when looking at it from different angles of view. Anyway, the more the contrast between the color of the stone and the star is pronounced, the more it earns it to be estimated. Overall, we find these star Corindons in the same regions as sapphires and rubies not showing this type of phenomenon. Philippe Tournaire likes to sublimate his jewelry creations By including ruby ​​and star sapphires in strange and finely chosen colors, which sometimes transcend the ring. The unusual charm of these gems is then highlighted. Another atypical case of Corindon, the sapphire "chameleon": it changes color according to the light to which it is exposed. Thus, this intriguing gem of blue-purple appearance with daylight covers a purple dress tinged with red with artificial light. The trigger for this phenomenon is vanadium. This impurity is rarely present during the formation of sapphires, which makes these gems"Chameleons"even more unique due to their rarity. They are often compared to a gem called Alexandrite, which reveals the same peculiarity.

The Corindons family So does not come down to blue sapphire and red ruby. It encompasses the colors of the rainbow, the stars ... This diversity is its strength. The same gem, with different inclusions, transforms, is transformed. So many colors to contemplate, so many trips through these beauties that nature offers us ... The kingdom of sapphires and rubies is constantly rediscovered, with a pleasure each time renewed. Philippe Tournaire loves this gem with a thousand faces, which constitutes a key element in the creations of his jewelry.

We organiseGemmologies workshops During which you can get to know the sapphires and rubies of any type better. Enter the large colorful family of Corindons!

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