Sapphire Color


Though most people associate sapphire with the color blue, sapphires come in wide spectrum of colors. Sapphires come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues, and these colors are sometimes known as “fancy” sapphires.  

A selection of natural sapphire colors from Richlands Capricorn Sapphire Mine.

Sapphires vary in color depending mainly on the iron, chromium and titanium impurities present during crystal formation.  Therefore, depending on the specific mix of these elements, sapphires can show a variety of different colors, shades, and patterns.

Richland specializes in green, yellow, and blue-green sapphires; some of the most exciting and rare colors that mother nature can provide.

As with any colored gem, paler hues or overly dark sapphires are more affordable. Bright, vividly-colored sapphires are the most highly valued. Duller sapphires showing browns and grey are not as highly sought after.


Richland’s yellow sapphires range from light lemon yellow, through intense yellow, to strong gold or yellow orange. “Citrus” yellows – or yellow sapphires with a secondary shade of green – are also common.  Low iron content in Corundum is responsible for yellow sapphire’s color.  Yellow sapphires are also thought to attract wealth and bring prosperity to those who wear it.


green sapphireGREEN SAPPHIRES

Our green sapphires range in hue from pale to deep rich green, sometimes a yellow-green or blue-green. The color is sometimes the result of both yellow and blue bands which through skillful cutting, make the gem appear to be green to the eye. Green sapphires owe their color to the presence of iron during formation.


parti sapphire ovalMulti Colored “Parti” Sapphires

Richland mines a tiny percentage of  unusual “parti-colored” sapphires –  stones that each contain two or three differently colored areas. The color patterns in these rare sapphires make each stone unique, as no two are ever created the same. Parti-colored sapphires will usually change color when tilted and viewed from different angles as the colors mix and blend together.  Some stones are clearly patterned blue and yellow – however others , depending on the cut of the stone and angle they’re viewed can appear shades of green –  a deliberate resulting from the cutter mixing the blue and yellow reflections within the stone.

Multicolored or parti sapphires are produced by color zoning within the gemstone as it forms. As the crystal grows, layers are formed somewhat similar to growth rings on trees and at times different trace elements are present which then produces the different color compared to the rest of the gem. Therefore parti Sapphires are brilliant for people that like rare individualized stones with character and uniqueness.

These rare sapphires are favored by collectors and not readily available commercially.  These gemstones are purchased by those who love their individuality, personality, and rarity.  The percentage of sapphires we mine which are parti-colored make up approximately 5% of Richland’s sapphire production.