Sapphire is a member of the corundum family, sharing this designation with ruby. Where rubies comprise the red end of corundum, sapphire is represented by a very wide range of colors. The best known and most commonly seen of the colors in which sapphires occur is blue, which may range from light blue to a very intense blue. Other colors may range from yellow, orange, cinnamon, purple, pink, white, green, and possibly some additional colors I'm not currently recalling. There is, additionally, a famous variety of this gem called Padparadscha sapphire, which has what I refer to as more or less a salmon color. It's unusual and difficult to locate, but I've provided above several pictures showing some of the sapphires I've fairly recently located for customers.
Many customers have come to me indicating that they had been told in retail jewelry stores that the best sapphires are supposed to be a very dark...actually an inky blue color. Despite what jewelry sales people tell you, sapphire can and should indeed be bright and vibrant...NOT a dark, inky black color that produces a relatively lifeless stone. Sapphire can definitely have a most lively and pleasing appearance. If you'd be interested in exploring the possibility of locating a wonderful sapphire, please contact me and let me know what general size and color range you have in mind. I have some great sources who can provide amazing sapphires in a range of colors.
As with any gem, a person should look to select a sapphire with a relatively few internal inclusions, as this will give the stone a brighter appearance and cause the stone to be more valuable.
Based on the Moh's scale the hardness of sapphire is rated 9, only one step down from the hardness of diamond. As with rubies, sapphires are very durable gems that are very well suited to be incorporated into jewelry.
Just a few examples of jewelry in which sapphies have been set: