Sapphire (Pukhraj)

Sapphire (Pukhraj)Yellow Sapphire (Pukhraj) - Represents Jupiter
Blue Sapphire (Neelam) - Represents Saturn

The sapphire is the serene, more subtly beautiful sister stone of the ruby. Both gems belong to the corundum mineral family and are essentially crystallized aluminum oxide. Red corundum-which consists of aluminum oxide and traces of chromium-is called ruby, while blue corundum-colored by traces of titanium and iron-is known as sapphire. Like rubies, sapphires are second in hrness only to diamonds.)

Corundum containing ~her trace elents appears in a spectrum of colors, including yellow, violet, pink, green and orange. Any corundum gemsto~s which are not red or,blue are called "fancy sapphire."Sapphires come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have a vitreous lustre, and the most valuable (costing tens of thousands of dollars) have a clear, deep blue colour. White sap­
phire is bought as a substitu.!f for the more brilliant diamond and is popular in engagement ring Blue is the far the most popular of the sapphire colors. The name derives from the Greek sapphirus, for blue. Since early times, the sapphire has been associated with celestial" forces. In ancient Sanskrit it is referred to as sauriratna, "sacred to Saturn." Buddhists consider the sap­phire a symbol for peace and faithfulness in love, making it a popular choice for an engagement ring gem.)

Sapphire is normally faceted as mixed-cut ms, with colourless vaneties mostly cut in the brilliant style. Star sapphires and other non-transparent varieties are generally cut as cabochons. If a stone is partly blue and also colourless, a lapidary will put the clear part at the front so the blue at the back makes the entire stone seem blue. Due to the hardness of gem-quality sapphires, carved and engraved sapphires are extremely rare, most examples date back to ancient times when lapidaries had royal patrons. This attribute of hardness makes sapphire a fine choice for jewellelJithat must stand up to everyday wear, such as rings and bracelets,...!

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