Education about Australian Sapphires

An amazing Australian wonder, our native sapphires come in a wide array of colour and brilliance.

The legacy of Australian Sapphires

Sapphires are some of the world’s oldest gemstones, each dating back billions of years. Embodying the Australian wilderness, these noble gems were unearthed from the ancient landscapes of the New England Fields in Northern New South Wales and gently undulating low hills in Central Queensland.

From ocean blue, forest green, wattle yellow or the multi-coloured parti, their colour range is second to none. Unveiling the array of bold sapphire hues, Sapphire Dreams collections boast a remarkable variety of designs. As a spiritual and health bonus, Sapphires are also known for their healing properties: they are the stones of protection and peace, wisdom and loyalty.

The legacy of Australian Sapphires

Sapphires are some of the world’s oldest gemstones, each dating back billions of years. Embodying the Australian wilderness, these noble gems were unearthed from the ancient landscapes of the New England Fields in Northern New South Wales and gently undulating low hills in Central Queensland.

From ocean blue, forest green, wattle yellow or the multi-coloured parti, their colour range is second to none. Unveiling the array of bold sapphire hues, Sapphire Dreams collections boast a remarkable variety of designs. As a spiritual and health bonus, Sapphires are also known for their healing properties: they are the stones of protection and peace, wisdom and loyalty.

Quick Facts about the Australian Sapphire

Hardness

At a Mohs' hardness scale of 9, Australian sapphires are second only to diamond in gemstones. This means that these precious gems are more resistant to abrasion compared to other stones and take a beautiful high polish. They are also strong and not so easily broken or chipped. Australian sapphires are also quite tough and resistant to sudden changes in temperature.

Classified as Corundum

All sapphires, including Australian sapphires are crystalline aluminium oxide, the mineral name for which is corundum. Corundum is composed of Crystalline Aluminium oxide (Al₂O₃), and have a specific gravity of 3.9 to 4.

Born from Volcanic Environments

Australian sapphires are of volcanic origins, which means that these gems are formed from the mineral rich lavas produced by volcanic eruptions. This is different to the other sapphires around the world (Sri Lankan, Burmese) which are formed in metamorphic environments (rocks subjected to high pressure).

The location of Australian Sapphire deposits

On the Eastern side of the Australian continent there are Tertiary volcanic deposits, ranging in age from less than 1 million to 40 or more million years old.

Gem quality sapphire is often found in the vicinity of these volcanic deposits however only in a few places has they been found to be available in quantities sufficient to allow large scale commercial mining.

 

Two locations are especially significant:

NSW: New England district of Northern NSW around the townships of Inverell and Glenn Innes.

QLD: The Anakie Gemfields around the villages of Sapphire and Rubyvale to the west of Emerald.

The location of Australian Sapphire deposits

On the Eastern side of the Australian continent there are Tertiary volcanic deposits, ranging in age from less than 1 million to 40 or more million years old.

Gem quality sapphire is often found in the vicinity of these volcanic deposits however only in a few places has they been found to be available in quantities sufficient to allow large scale commercial mining.

 

Two locations are especially significant:

NSW: New England district of Northern NSW around the townships of Inverell and Glenn Innes.

QLD: The Anakie Gemfields around the villages of Sapphire and Rubyvale to the west of Emerald.

The Beauty of Colour Banding (Zoning)
in Australian Sapphires

A very important feature displayed by many Australian sapphires is well developed colour banding. Often a sapphire will be coloured by bands of blue and yellow, blue and green or green and yellow. Distinct, well separated colour bands may allow the stone to be cut as a distinctive bi-colour stone.

Sapphires with a distinct separation of colour produce the highly sought after Parti Sapphire. Other colours like Teal are a more intimate admixture of green and blue.

Due to the numerous combinations of colours resulting from a trigonal crystalline structure, Australian sapphires are one of the most interesting gemstones available.

The Beauty of Colour Banding (Zoning)
in Australian Sapphires

A very important feature displayed by many Australian sapphires is well developed colour banding. Often a sapphire will be coloured by bands of blue and yellow, blue and green or green and yellow. Distinct, well separated colour bands may allow the stone to be cut as a distinctive bi-colour stone.

Sapphires with a distinct separation of colour produce the highly sought after Parti Sapphire. Other colours like Teal are a more intimate admixture of green and blue.

Due to the numerous combinations of colours resulting from a trigonal crystalline structure, Australian sapphires are one of the most interesting gemstones available.

The main colours of the Australian Sapphire

Roughly 80% of Australian sapphires occur in shades of blue, 10% are parti and 5% are shades of the rare yellow or green.

Blue

Blue is the most widely known and familiar colour of the Sapphire. There is a variety of subset colours that can be denominated for the Blue Sapphire such as Cornflower, Royal, Midnight, Steel or Indigo. The purity of the colour is dependent on the element Fe (Iron).

Yellow

Brilliant, Bright and Stunning, the Yellow Sapphire draws its colour from the Ion pairs of Fe3+ (iron absorption spectrum). Increasing Fe3+ may create a more Golden colour, while adding Mg creates the glistening orange.

Green

The green sapphire pulls its main colour due to a mixture of Yellow and Blue, it is also highly dependent on the concentration of Fe (Iron). Darker Green Sapphires are valued much more favourably and are ultimately rarer in nature.

The Australian Parti Sapphire

These stunning sapphires come in variations of Blue, Green and Straw (Yellow). The majority of Parti Sapphires will exhibit a distinct bi-partisan between two of the aforementioned colours. The rarest Parti sapphires exhibit all three. Due to this unique colour partisan, no two Australian Parti Sapphires are the same. Australia produces the majority of Parti Sapphires globally, and as the precious gemstone gains popularity, so does its value.

The Australian Parti Sapphire

These stunning sapphires come in variations of Blue, Green and Straw (Yellow). The majority of Parti Sapphires will exhibit a distinct bi-partisan between two of the aforementioned colours. The rarest Parti sapphires exhibit all three. Due to this unique colour partisan, no two Australian Parti Sapphires are the same.

Australia produces the majority of Parti Sapphires globally, and as the precious gemstone gains popularity, so does its value.

The Australian Teal Sapphire

The Teal sapphire has gained renown due to its interesting colour mixtures. An imperfect combination of Blue and Green, each teal sapphire flashes noticeable pockets of colour in different forms of lighting. Australia produces the majority of the world's teal sapphires, and are the ones setting the trend for their exceptional beauty and unique colour.

The Australian Teal Sapphire

The Teal sapphire has gained renown due to its interesting colour mixtures. An imperfect combination of Blue and Green, each teal sapphire flashes noticeable pockets of colour in different forms of lighting. Australia produces the majority of the world's teal sapphires, and are the ones setting the trend for their exceptional beauty and unique colour.

Boutique mining and ethics

Since mining operations have dwindled considerably compared to the 1960s - 1980s, Australian mines are more small scale in comparison. There is only a handful of mines in operations which are mainly underground. Due to different methodologies in mining due to the resources at hand (water), this leads to optimisations in sustainability and ethics.

The Spiritual and Healing Properties of Sapphire

The sapphire promises spiritual growth and healing, a soothing balm for the soul and strengthening your connection to the universe. For those feeling lost or uncertain about who they are or what their future holds, sapphires are powerful gemstones to have by their side. Sapphires also represent other desirable qualities such as justice and wisdom.

Blue sapphires encourage the ability to express thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. For those struggling to express their authentic selves, the blue sapphire symbolises freedom.

Green sapphires radiate a calming aura for the wearer and will help you capture your dreams long after you wake up. Green sapphire gems will strengthen both physical and spiritual eyes, lending valuable insight and clarity.

Yellow sapphires will help you manifest financial abundance and success, both material and spiritual. With yellow sapphires, you’ll be able to sit in the driver’s seat and navigate your path in life.

The Spiritual and Healing Properties of Sapphire

The sapphire promises spiritual growth and healing, a soothing balm for the soul and strengthening your connection to the universe. For those feeling lost or uncertain about who they are or what their future holds, sapphires are powerful gemstones to have by their side. Sapphires also represent other desirable qualities such as justice and wisdom.

Blue sapphires encourage the ability to express thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. For those struggling to express their authentic selves, the blue sapphire symbolises freedom.

Green sapphires radiate a calming aura for the wearer and will help you capture your dreams long after you wake up. Green sapphire gems will strengthen both physical and spiritual eyes, lending valuable insight and clarity.

Yellow sapphires will help you manifest financial abundance and success, both material and spiritual. With yellow sapphires, you’ll be able to sit in the driver’s seat and navigate your path in life.

The Australian Sapphire Dream

Sapphire Dreams celebrates the unique colours of our Australian Sapphires, ethically and sustainably sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia. Our collections are inspired by and boast an array of bold sapphire hues, presenting a remarkable variety of designs to choose from. Our jewellery is crafted in either 9ct or 18ct, with each sapphire over 0.75ct certified and laser inscribed to ensure their Australian Origin.

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