Like flowers of the same species, corundum comes in all the colors of the rainbow. It is called ruby when red and simply sapphire when blue. So the term “fancy” refers to all the other colors and mineral varieties of corundum.
For centuries, Sri Lanka, also known as “the Island of gems”, has been the premier source of fancy sapphires and the home of the famous orangy pink Padparadsha sapphire, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese.
However new sources discovered in the last 30 years in East Africa and Madagascar have allowed contemporary designers in search for beautiful yellows, oranges, pinks, greens and purples to design collections around fancy colored sapphires.
Fancy sapphires’ countless different colours and shades are caused by various amounts and combinations of the following chemical elements: titanium, iron and chromium.
Fancy sapphres are generally heated to intensify colours and remove impurities, but when the are unheated and rich in color, they command stong prices. No heat pink sapphires today are virtually unobtainable.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the zodiac gemstone for Taurus. They are also recommended for couples celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. And in their different colors, not only make any piece of jewerly stand out, as an engagement ring they makes an affordable and attractive alternative to diamonds.