Purple Sapphire Gemstone
Velvety shades envelop purple sapphire, pleasing the eye with cool, luxurious tones of color.
Sapphires are among the most exciting gems for collecting. Though known for its traditional blue hues, this variety of corundum offers an incredible spectrum of options. Purple sapphire is one such enticing choice. This rare jewel provides collectors the chance to own a seductive plum colored gemstone.
What Color is Purple Sapphire?
Five potential shades occur in purple sapphire. From soft lilac tones, the saturation deepens to a more vibrant violet. A rare color to find in sapphire, the intoxicating options provides a choice for every occasion. Some traders refer to purples sapphires as amethystine for their similarity to amethyst in color. Other sellers might also describe them as plum sapphire.
Other Purple Sapphire Quality Factors
Purple sapphires are reliable for daily wear. Corundum is known for its excellent toughness, meaning it's robust enough to stand up to daily knocks and bangs. Also, with a rank of nine on the Mohs scale of hardness, the gemstone is highly resistant to scratching and abrasion.
Sapphires are known for their good clarity. However, as with nearly any genuine gemstone, inclusions are possible. When discussing sapphires, crisscross rutile inclusions are very common and often called “silk” by experts. They often lend a luxurious, velvety look to the gemstone. Color zoning may also be present in these gems. Polished purple sapphire has a glassy, or vitreous, finish.
Are Purple Sapphires Treated?
These gemstones under two forms of treatment, both of which are common for fancy sapphires. Lattice diffusion puts the stone under a high temperature in the presence of a coloring agent, helping create the beautiful purple shades. Standard heat treatment evens out the color of the stone and deepens color where it might be faint. Heating can also contribute to improve the stone’s clarity.
These treatments are very stable and last with proper care. As with any gemstone, it’s suggested to keep them out of direct light for extended periods of time and avoid harsh chemicals like household cleaners.
Who Should Wear Purple Sapphire?
A purple sapphire finds fans with those who already have a healthy appreciation of purple stones. Anyone who enjoys the royal purple of amethyst, the delicious grape of purple garnet, or the vibrancy of purple fluorite will find delight with purple sapphire.
What is the Delhi Purple Sapphire?
• In gem lore, one of the best known and most famous purple sapphires is the Delhi Purple Sapphire. Housed in a setting of sterling silver mysterious magical runes have been etched into the metal. Though technically an amethyst, the stone became popular in lore thanks to the short story, “The Purple Sapphire,” by Edward Heron-Allen.
• The legend of the Delhi Purple Sapphire explains that a British cavalry officer, Colonel W. Ferris, looted this stone from a temple dedicated to the Indian god Indra during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Indra’s sphere of influence oversees both weather and war.
• Upon his return to England, Ferris, and later his son, both ran into a string of bad investments and passed away due to complications with their health. A family friend’s suicide was also blamed on the baleful influence of the purple sapphire.
• Heron-Allen received the stone in 1890 after a string of previous owners sought to rid themselves of the apparently cursed gem. Heron-Allen himself, a man of learning and science, came to resent the sapphire, trying to rid himself of it several times, even casting it into the sea. Each time, the Delhi Purple Sapphire made its way back to him.
• After the birth of his daughter, Heron-Allen had the stone locked away by his banker. His instructions were clear. The stone was to remain under lock and key until his death. Heron-Allen passed away in 1943, leaving the stone to the Natural History Museum of London in his will.
• The story of the purple sapphire doesn’t end here, however. It resurfaced in the mid-1970’s while a member of the staff was cleaning a storage cabinet. Along with the discovery of the stone was a typewritten note from Heron-Allen sharing its woeful history.
• In 2004, John Whittaker, a member of the museum, had two shocking experiences with the Delhi Purple Sapphire. While bringing the gem to an event, he and his wife encountered horrible storms, which he recounted as one of the most terrible events of this life. Later that year, while the stone was in his possession again, Whittaker experienced severe pain in his abdomen.
• Since then, the stone’s influence has been strangely silent.
Is Purple Sapphire a Birthstone?
• Sapphires are the modern September birthstone. Purple sapphire is an exciting new addition to the growing selection of birthstones for September. Since the early 20th century, sapphires have represented this month.
• Before the invention of the modern birthstone list, sapphires were seen as an April birthstone. Their use as a birthstone can be traced back to at least the 15th century, in Medieval Europe.
• In the tropical zodiac, sapphires represent the star sign Taurus. Taureans are those born between April 20th and May 21st.
• Besides use as the modern September birthstone, purple sapphire can also be given as a gift for the 23rd wedding anniversary.
You can find sapphires all over the world. Besides blue, there is a bevy of colored sapphire gemstones on the market today. Called fancy sapphires these gems represent nearly every color of the rainbow, except for ruby red. Red corundum is ruby.
Where is Purple Sapphire Found?
Madagascar provides an ample supply of some of the most popular gemstones. The island nation produces an amount of colorless corundum used in producing magnificent purple sapphire. This supply is in such a high demand the government has strictly regulated the mining process. As a result, only a limited stock of rough leaves the country for processing and treatment.
How is Purple Sapphire Mined?
Madagascar hosts a rocky landscape that’s inhospitable to modern mining. For this reason, artisanal techniques dominate in extracting purple sapphire. For every single carat of sapphire found, workers move approximately 50 tons of earth. Traditional tools and methods predominate, meaning shovels, pickaxes, and backbreaking labor carries the day during mining.
• Ranks nine on the Mohs scale of hardness.
• Purple sapphire is a rare color that has five potential shades of color.
• Originates from Madagascar.
• Purple sapphire undergoes heating and diffusion to enhance and create color.
• In the gem trade, it may be referred to as amethystine or plum sapphire.