History and General Information of Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
All sapphires are expected to be blue, or in other shades, like red, yellow, or orange and so people consider the stone called the white sapphire to be a pretender to the original. This is not so, and natural white sapphires are genuine sapphires with the same hardness and features as other members of this corundum family. White sapphire is a pure form of sapphire that is not very commonly found.
Good quality and larger size of white sapphires are rare to find. The white sapphire is used in jewelry to accent other stones and to bring out the brilliance of the central piece in the jewelry. It is often used as a substitute for diamonds. Although this gemstone doesn’t glitter as brilliantly as a diamond it is an excellent option for those unable to afford the expensive gemstone.
The value of a white sapphire depends upon the region from which it has been sourced, and the best ones are said to be stones which have been sourced from Kashmir, second those coming from Burma and after that, white sapphires that have originated from Sri Lanka.
Chemical composition Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
White sapphires are crystals of aluminum oxide (alumina) Al2o3.
Physical properties Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
The White Sapphire has a hardness of 9 and a refractive index of 1.766 - 1.774. It has a dispersion of 0.018, all qualities which are just a little lower than that of diamonds. It is a gemstone variety belonging to the ‘corundum’ species.
They are colorless, but some sapphires have a very pale tinge of blue, pink or yellow, and are not exactly colorless, however they are often passed off as white sapphires.
All light-colored gemstones require expert cutting in order to bring out the play of light and this is true of white sapphires too. In this stone the white light is seen to be reflected in the faceting. Natural white sapphires are usually cut in emerald cut, round brilliant cut, or oval. If polished properly it gives the sparkle which can quite good.
The best natural white sapphires come in smaller sizes, between 1.5- 2.5 mm. This is because in bigger stones has slight blue, yellow or green color tint which is unavoidable. The bigger sized stones come from Sri Lanka and they are referred in the trade as “Ceylon white sapphires.”
Being a colorless stone, it is very important to select a piece free of inclusions and with good clarity. It has a translucent beauty which makes it the ‘focal point’ of many stylish intricate jewelry designs.
Price of Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
It is an expensive stone, and pieces which show good cut clarity and colorlessness can be bought for no less than $200-250 per carat with the price increasing for bigger sized stones.
The main producer of the larger variety of white Sapphires is Sri Lanka. The gems available here are called “Ceylon White sapphires”. Other countries where white sapphires are found are Madagascar, Tanzania, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, Australia and the Indian subcontinent.
Simulants of Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
Natural white Sapphire can be confused with colorless topaz, colorless tourmaline, while spinel, synthetic spinel, goshenite and other colorless stones including diamond.
Interesting Trivia and Important Facts of Natural White Sapphire Gemstone
It is believed that natural white sapphire gemstone has strong power to ward of evil, and is sometimes used as a talisman. It is an Oriental belief that just gazing at white sapphire brings good luck.
White sapphires are valued for their ability to unlock the creative and artistic capabilities of a person. It is also said to make a person more attractive and charismatic because it represents the planet Venus which is by itself representative of love, beauty and artistic qualities.
History says that the sapphire has been acknowledged as a ‘regal gem’. Royal households around the world has not only used it as a gem but as a talisman too, to keep out ‘harmful effects’ at bay. In days of yore, White sapphire was believed to be endowed ‘with the power to influence spirits’ and act as an antidote to poison. According to vedic astrology white sapphires represent the positive power and energy of the planet Venus, along with diamond.
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