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The Definition of a Ceylon Sapphire

Updated April 17, 2017

There is no sapphire as highly respected for its quality and enduring value as the Ceylon Sapphire. For the past 2000 years ,the island nation of Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) has given the world the best sapphires in size and colour quality. Lesser quality sapphires are mined in such places as Australia, Thailand, Columbia, Cambodia, Africa and even the United States. Heat treatments to all sapphires, no matter their origin, adds clarity and intensity to the colour.

Other Places Mine Sapphires But Not Like the Ceylon Sapphire

Though you can purchase sapphires mined in Australia, Thailand, Colombia, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Kenya, Tanzania and Montana USA, you will find none with the variety of size and blue colour as the sapphires of Sri Lanka. Australia and Thailand are known for the poorer quality, often overly dark and inky-coloured sapphires.

Heat Treatment is Applied to 99% of Sapphires

Your Ceylon Sapphire, though known for its size and colour that beat out all others mined around the world, may be one of the 99 per cent of sapphires that has been treated with heat applications to enhance and stabilise the colour. The process does not lessen the value or function of your Ceylon Sapphire. This ancient and accepted practice when applied to the Ceylon Sapphire usually refers to the wood fire low-heat application. Similar gemstones from surrounding lands such as Burma use the hotter-fire method.

The Cut of the Sapphire Affects Quality and Price

Even your Ceylon Sapphire's quality and price is affected by the cut of the gemstone. The cornflower blue Ceylon Sapphire is cut to reflect light to enhance the pale blue colour by reflecting the light evenly across the smooth face of the gemstone. The darker the blue the less important the cut because the stone generates its own dynamic. The clearer the stone the higher the price of Ceylon Sapphires.

Ceylon Sapphires Has Another Desirable Quality

Your Ceylon Sapphire is not only desirable for its superior colour and size that add to its value but next to the diamond it is the second hardest gemstone. It measures 9 on the hardness scale which is only one less than the diamond at 10. This makes the sapphire a jeweller delight because of the practicality of using it in jewellery that can be worn on a daily basis.

Politics Plays a Hand in the Cost of the Ceylon Sapphire

Your Ceylon Sapphire ring bought five years ago has a smaller stone and cost more than the new one you just purchased this year. Cost of this valuable gemstone varies because of availability due to the continuing political unrest in Sri Lanka.

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About the Author

Catalina Bixler's journalism career began in 1970. After five years as a publishing teacher, Bixler then published/edited NATO's U.S. 5th Army and 17th AF "Wiesbaden Post" newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in bilingual-journalism/community development from Redlands University, and a Master of Arts in adult education/training from the University of Phoenix.