Oval Blue Sapphire

The various sources of fine sapphire produce different colors of blue. Each location's gemstones look a little different because the trace chemicals in the rocks where they grew vary by locale. Also, the saturation of the stones varies a lot, even within the same locale. Great gemstones can come from any location, but for blue sapphire, the quality generally decreases as you go down the following locale list.

Titanium oxide makes a sapphire blue, and it simply follows that a light blue stone has a little bit of it and a dark blue stone has a lot. This is known as saturation. Other trace elements produce other colors that modify the blue, or in the absence of blue, produce their own color. You can see what I mean by looking at the blue sapphires shown throughout this site, although no computer monitor can truly do them justice.

Blue Sapphire Quality by Locale

Decreasing order of quality in blue sapphire:

Kashmir: Wow. Check out our control stone we keep for comparison.Kashmir Sapphire

Burma: We've seen Burmese that looks as nice as top Kashmir - until you hold it next to a Kashmir.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon): The most important sapphire locale. Producing the highest volume of gem (or near-gem, depending on your elitism) quality sapphire mined in the last century.

Madagascar: Isolated until recently, this island is now producing many types of gemstones at "gem" quality. The geology explains why.

Pailin (a river in Cambodia): Tend to be too dark.

Thailand: Some Thai are alright; the Kanchanburi find is an okay blue-grey. Everthing else is too dark and greenish.

Austrailian: Black/green sapphires with a little blue. Commercially important for low-end retail. They look okay when displayed six inches from a 5000k spotlight at the mall. We have truly never seen a nice one. This is no form of xenophobia; Australia's black opals are the best in the world, and Fosters is a great beer. But their sapphires?

The Davenport Organisation
Towle Office Park #18 • One Merrill Industrial Drive • Hampton NH 03842
800.258.0852 • 603.926.9266 •
davenport.web@earthlink.net