Ruby and sapphire are both color variants of the mineral corundum. While red corundum is known as ruby, all other colors of corundum are called sapphire. Traces of elements such as vanadium, iron, chromium and titanium are responsible for the wide color palette that characterizes sapphire.
Sapphire is derived from the Greek word "sappheiros" meaning "blue stone" and comes in the colors blue and pink. The most expensive and most sought after colors are royal blue, padparadscha (light pink/orange) and cornflower blue. Sapphire should not be too light on the one hand, but also not too dark on the other. Blue sapphires look best in daylight, but almost always show the pure blue in different types of artificial light.
In certain cases, small inclusions can give some blue sapphires a velvety appearance, further enhancing the beauty and value of these stones. For example, the deposits discovered in Kashmir around 1880 produced beautiful rare blue sapphires. Around 1930 these mines were largely exhausted. The padparadscha sapphire is as popular and rare as the Kashmir sapphire. This sapphire color should simultaneously combine 40 to 60 percent pink and 40 to 60 percent orange tones. Such untreated natural sapphires reach record prices with collectors.
Unfortunately, they are often confused with inferior padparadscha sapphires that have obtained this color through heating and chemical additions.
There are also green, yellow, orange and bright neon pink or purple colored sapphires, which are also more expensive. Current mining areas are in Sri Lanka, Australia, Cambodia, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam.
In summary, it can be said that sapphires are among the best known, most sought after and most expensive colored gemstones in the world. A timeless gemstone with a high potential for appreciation.