Fancy Sapphires: A Rainbow of Colors

September 19, 2019

Fancy Sapphires - Photo Courtesy of GIA

Photo Courtesy of G.I.A.


Aside from blue colored sapphires, there are many other important colors that are equally as brilliant and beautiful: orange, pink, yellow, green, and purple. There is no such thing as a red sapphire as those are simply classified as rubies.



One of the most rare and truly amazing colors is the “Padparadscha” sapphire. This color is described as orange-pink. Most collectors speak of sunsets or lotus blossoms when they are talking about this color. They are commonly found in Sri Lanka but may also be found in Madagascar and Tanzania.

Padparadscha Sapphire

Padparadscha Sapphire - Photo from



In the late 1990’s, pink sapphires became more available to the world due to their discovery in Madagascar. Previously, pink sapphires were quite scarce since they had only been found in a few localities: Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Eastern Africa. Most pink sapphires will undergo mild heat treatment to improve the color and clarity.

1.17 Carats Pink Sapphire

1.17 Carats Pink Sapphire - Photo courtesy of Wiener Edelstein Zentrum



Another color that is highly intriguing to many gem lovers is the golden or yellow sapphire. These stones may undergo various treatments, such as beryllium or diffusion lattice, so it is recommended to get a gemstone report anytime you purchase one. Although some treatments do not penetrate into the stone very far, it is still important to know the stone’s history so that you can determine the true value of your stone. Yellow sapphire can be found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Myanmar.

Yellow Sapphire

Yellow Sapphire - Photo courtesy of Wikipedia



Green sapphires are extremely unusual but not as rare as the other colors for sapphire. This gemstone tends to have a low saturation of color and may have hints of yellow or blue elements present. Most green sapphires are under two carats in weight. They can be found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, and the United States, specifically Montana.

Green Sapphires

Green Sapphires - Photo Courtesy of The Natural Sapphire Company



One of the rarest sapphire colors is purple. Purple sapphires typically have high color saturation and thus rarely require heat treatment. Their color can seem to change when viewed under different types of lighting. Some purple sapphires may lean towards a blue-purple coloring while others take after pink-purple. These gemstones can be found in Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

Purple Sapphire

Purple Sapphire - Photo Courtesy of Wiener Edelstein Zentrum

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