|DiamondonNet dictionary of common loose diamonds and diamond jewelry terms in the industry and their meanings. |
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|Sapphire refers to gem varieties of the mineral corundum, an aluminum oxide (Al2O3), when it is a color other than red. It can be found naturally or manufactured in large crystal boules for varied applications, including infrared optical components, watch faces, high-durability windows, and wafers for the deposition of semiconductors such as GaN nanorods.
The mineral corundum consists of pure aluminum oxide. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium and chromium give corundum their blue, yellow, pink, purple, orange or greenish color. Sapphire includes any gemstone quality varieties of the mineral corundum except the fully saturated red variety, which is instead known as ruby, and the pinkish-orange variety known as padparadscha.
Although blue is considered the normal color for sapphires, they can be found across a full range of spectral colors as well as brown, colorless, grey and black. Those other than blue in color are considered fancy color sapphires. Some natural sapphires can be found as completely transparent, or "white." White sapphires usually come out of the ground as light grey or brown and are then heated to make them clear. However, in very rare circumstances they will be found in a clear state.