Corundum – More than Blue or Red, It’s Fancy!

Blue sapphires and rubies are some of the world’s most precious gemstones. Their dreamy blues and fiery reds come to mind immediately, however, both of these stones are members of the corundum family, which has much more to offer than just red and blue. The mineral corundum can be found in a rainbow of colors known as fancy sapphires.

One of the major factors that make fancy colored sapphires so special is that they come in so many different colors and hues. Not only do they come in an array of colors, but also pastel and intense hues in each color; truly nature’s artwork at its finest! They are also known for being very durable, a 9 on the Mohs Hardness scale, adding to their popularity as a gemstone for everyday wear. Fancy sapphires are particularly great for engagement rings and anniversary jewelry due to their durability and individuality. Their durability allows for everyday wear that you don’t have to be afraid of! Some of our favorites at the moment are the breathtaking padparadscha sapphire, the mesmerizing orchid sapphire and the unique star sapphire!

When referring to a sapphire that is a color other than predominantly blue, these gemstones garner the distinction of ‘fancy’ sapphires. Fancy sapphires come in an array of colors such as pink, purple, yellow, green and the elusive shade of padparadscha sapphire – a color that translates roughly to its namesake in Sinhalese, the lotus blossom. It’s easy to tell how rare a padparadscha sapphire is the moment you lay eyes on one. The uniquely soft orange-pink tone they emit is like no other gemstone you’ve seen. This striking gemstone as seen in the ring above, is a special member of the corundum family featuring a delicate, pastel color, which is best defined as a blend between pink and orange. The island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) situated off the southernmost coast of India, in the Indian Ocean was the first major source of these remarkable gems. Other sources may also include Vietnam, Tanzania, Burma and Madagascar. 

Star sapphires as seen in the purple star sapphire ring below, have long been a prestigious and mystical gemstone that any collector would love to have in their collection. One of the most amazing and differentiating factors a star sapphire exhibits is a feature called asterism. Asterism, in mineralogy, creates a star-like figure exhibited in light reflected or transmitted by some crystals. The stars shown in star sapphires are due to minute oriented crystals (often rutile) included within the mineral; several sets of inclusions are present, and each set produces its own ray. Just like transparent sapphires, star sapphires can be found in a wide variety of colors and hues! We currently have a stunning purple star sapphire with a halo of purple spinel hand-crafted in yellow gold in our very own collection. 

Purple Star Sapphire & Purple Spinel Ring

Colored gemstones and fancy colored sapphires have always been important to the Omi Privé brand because of a deep rooted family and gemstone history for over seven generations. Due to generations of knowledge and expertise, Omi Privé is a leading supplier of fine sapphires in the United States with sources throughout the world. Current and past designs have featured sapphires of all shapes and colors, from delicate cornflower blue radiant cuts to opalescent star sapphires, and brilliant pink cushions to mystical bi-colored emerald cuts; and, of course, rich royal blues. The range of sapphires is inspiring and explains why this gemstone has captured gem lover’s hearts for centuries!