The Different Sapphire Colors And What They Each Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The Different Sapphire Colors And What They Each Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


When you gaze into a sapphire, it’s like looking at a piece of the sky in your hand, or perhaps a drop of the ocean, or maybe even a slice of the sunset. Often, when people ask, “What color is sapphire?” they’re surprised to learn it’s not just blue.

Are you one of them? If you are, then this article will be interesting for you! Sapphire color can dance across the whole rainbow, making each stone a unique treasure. Sometimes, they can even change shades and sparkle in mesmerizing ways.

No matter what color they are, sapphires have a way of charming anyone who sees them. They’re a testament to the Earth’s beauty and the wonders it can create.

Join us as we get to know the beautiful sapphire colors and the incredible journey they’ve been on to shine so brilliantly for you!

The Most Common Sapphire Color

A diamond-cut blue sapphire set as center stone of a diamond-studded platinum ring
Blue sapphire ring photo provided by Omi Privé

Picture a sapphire and you probably have a gorgeous deep blue gem in mind. But have you ever wondered how these stunning gems get their color and sparkle?

Sapphires are made of corundum, which is usually just plain and colorless. What makes them turn into that beautiful blue are tiny amounts of iron and titanium.

Imagine the deepest part of the ocean or the way the sky looks just after the sun sets. That’s sapphire blue! It can be light and bright or so dark it’s almost black.

When light hits it, it comes alive with a sparkle that seems to light up the room.

The value of sapphire isn’t just in its beauty. Sure, it makes stunning jewelry that can make anyone’s eyes light up. But it’s also super hard and durable, second only to diamonds. That means it can take a lot of wear and tear.

Because of their beauty and durability, they have been cherished for thousands of years. They’re symbols of loyalty and trust, which is why they’re often used in engagement rings.

Kings and queens have also worn them, and they’ve even been said to protect those who wear them from harm.

With their captivating color and sparkle, sapphire surely belongs to the most stunning blue gemstones out there. Whether set in a ring, dangling from a necklace, or simply admired in their raw form, they continue to be true treasures.

The Different Colors of Sapphire

As we said, sapphire does not only come in blue but in a myriad of other beautiful colors.

By getting familiar with them, you’ll also be one step closer to learning how to tell the difference between real and fake sapphire, especially when they are in their unusual colors.

Yellow Sapphire

A golden ring with ten-claw setting of diamond and a big yellow sapphire as center stone
Yellow sapphire ring photo provided by Wharfedale Antiques

A yellow sapphire looks like a piece of sunshine. It’s bright, cheerful, and can light up any room with its warm glow. Some yellow sapphires are soft and pale, like the morning light, while others are bold and bright, like a lemon.

Just like other sapphires, they’re made from corundum, but when tiny amounts of iron mix in, something amazing happens. The iron interacts with the corundum, and over time, it turns the gem a beautiful yellow.

As the light dances across a yellow sapphire’s surface, it seems to come alive, shimmering and shining in a mesmerizing way. It’s like each stone has captured a piece of sunlight and is holding onto it just for you.

Their toughness and durability also make them perfect for jewelry that you can wear every day. They’re also often seen as symbols of wisdom, prosperity, and joy. Truly, they’re among the most dazzling yellow gemstones you can find.

Where you can find yellow sapphire

Wondering where to find sapphires? Yellow sapphires, in particular, are tucked away in some pretty interesting places around the world. One of the most famous spots for these sunny gems is Sri Lanka.

Other places where you might find yellow sapphires are in Madagascar, Thailand, and Australia. In each of these places, they are formed deep in the ground, and it takes a lot of work and a bit of luck to find them.

Pink Sapphire

A beautiful, loose deep pink sapphire polished to perfection
Polished pink sapphire photo provided by and available for purchase at PreciousGemsInc

Pink sapphire is as if the best parts of a sunrise and a blooming rose came together to create something truly magical. They range from the softest, most delicate blush to a bold and vibrant hot pink.

But how do these stones get their lovely color? Well, pink sapphires are actually part of the same family as rubies. They’re made from corundum, and the pink comes from traces of elements like chromium mixing in with the corundum.

The more chromium there is, the deeper the pink. They might even be one of the most remarkable pink gemstones out there.

Some people believe pink sapphires bring good fortune and intense love. They’re often given as gifts to show deep affection and are popular in engagement rings.

Another interesting fact is that the color of a pink sapphire can sometimes change depending on the light. In different lighting, the same gem can look like several different shades of pink. It’s like having several gems in one!

Where you can find pink sapphire

If you want to find pink sapphires, Sri Lanka is famous for having it. They also naturally occur in Madagascar, Myanma (formerly Burma), and Tanzania.

Of course, if you prefer not to go far, you can also find them in the USA! Get to know the best rockhounding locations by checking out our article.

Purple Sapphire

A shiny purple sapphire set as a center stone to a beautiful golden ring
Purple sapphire ring photo provided by Anthony Lent

Purple sapphire is like a piece of the evening sky that you can hold in your hand. It’s one of the most brilliant purple gemstones that comes in shades of lavender, lilac, and deep royal purple.

It starts off as corundum mixed in with tiny bits of iron and chromium. Over time, they give the sapphire its lovely purple hue. The exact shade depends on the amount of these elements in the stone.

One cool thing about purple sapphires is that they’re pretty tough. They’re good at resisting scratches and other damage, which makes them perfect for all kinds of jewelry.

And did you know that some people believe purple sapphires can help calm the mind and open the heart? They’re seen as stones of wisdom and spiritual awakening.

Where you can find purple sapphire

You can find purple sapphires in some really special spots around the world. Sri Lanka is one of the best places for these colorful stones. Then there’s Madagascar, Tanzania, and the USA.

If you need specific guidance, refer to our guide to find crystals near you.

Orange Sapphire

A beautiful, pear-cut deep orange red sapphire
Pear-cut orange sapphire photo provided by and available for purchase at PreciousSapphireGems

Orange sapphire is like a slice of sunshine that’s been magically turned into a gem. It shines in warm shades of orange, from a soft, peachy color all the way to a vibrant, fiery sunset.

Like the other colored sapphires, it starts with corundum. Then, tiny amounts of iron and chromium get mixed in. These elements give the sapphire its sunny orange hue. It’s as eye-catching as the most incredible orange gemstones around.

And because they’re highly resistant to scratching, they can last through a lot of bumps and scrapes. This makes them great for jewelry you want to wear every day.

Some people even believe that orange sapphires can bring good luck and happiness. Whether you believe that or not, there’s no denying that these gems’ beauty can make anyone feel a little brighter and more cheerful.

Where you can find orange sapphire

Think about the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, known for its colorful sapphires, including the sunny orange ones. Then there’s Madagascar, a big island near Africa, and Tanzania, with its wide-open spaces.

Green Sapphire

A beautifully-cut green sapphire set on a gold ring
Green sapphire ring photo provided by Rhys Turner

Green sapphire is like a piece of the forest that’s been turned into a beautiful gem. It sparkles in shades of green, from a soft, leafy hue to a deep, rich olive. It’s like looking into a pool of cool, clear water in a shady grove.

One interesting thing about green sapphires is that they’re not as well-known as other sapphire colors, like blue or pink. This makes them pretty unique and special, even among the most beautiful green gemstones.

People who have green sapphires often love them because they’re different and not everyone has one. Some people even think that they can bring wisdom and loyalty.

Green sapphires are also super tough. They’re really good at resisting scratches and other damage, which makes them great for all kinds of jewelry.

Imagine having a ring or a necklace with a green sapphire; it would add a touch of nature and mystery to anything you wear.

Where you can find green sapphire

Sri Lanka is one spot where green sapphires hide. There’s also Madagascar and Australia.

You can also find green sapphires in the USA. Montana, in particular, is known for its sapphire mines, which produce a variety of sapphire colors including green. For more information on gem mining near you, check out our guide.

Color Change Sapphire

The same color change sapphire exhibiting different colors under different lights
Color change sapphire in different colors photo provided by Derek Katzenbach

Color change sapphire can transform right before your eyes. It changes color depending on the light. In sunlight, it might be a beautiful blue, but then, when you step inside under a lamp, it shifts to a lovely purple.

How does this sapphire change its color? It’s all about the light and the special way these gems are made. Color change sapphires are made of corundum, just like all sapphires.

But what makes them different is that they have traces of other elements like chromium and vanadium. These elements interact with the light in a special way, making the gem change colors when the light around it changes.

A unique thing about color change sapphires is that each one has its unique combination of colors and its own way of shifting from one to the other. Some might go from blue to purple, while others might change from green to red.

Where you can find color-change sapphire

Color change sapphires come from some amazing places. Sri Lanka is one of the best spots for finding these magical stones. There’s also Tanzania, another location where you can find it.

White Sapphire

A bunch of loose, natural white sapphire crystals
Raw white sapphire photo provided by and available for purchase at GenuineGemsStone

White sapphire is a stunning gem that sparkles with pure, clean light. Imagine holding a drop of clear water that’s been frozen into a beautiful stone— that’s what a white sapphire looks like. It’s as pristine as white gemstones can get.

Sapphires, in general, are usually made of corundum. White sapphires don’t have the bits of other elements that give other sapphires their color. They’re pure corundum, without the extra ingredients that make colors.

This lack of color is what makes it so special and gives it that crystal-clear appearance.

An interesting thing about white sapphires is that they’re often used as an alternative to diamonds. They’re almost as hard and durable, which means they can last a really long time and stand up to lots of wear and tear.

Where you can find white sapphire

Sri Lanka is one of the top spots for finding white sapphire. It’s also been found in Madagascar, a big island off the coast of Africa. You can find white sapphires in the USA, too.

Padparadscha Sapphire

A big, beautiful pinkish-orange Padparadscha sapphire set on the middle of a brooch
Padparadscha sapphire brooch photo provided by GIA

Padparadscha sapphire is as unique as its name. Imagine the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen, with pink and orange colors swirling together. It’s not just orange or just pink, but a special mix of both that glows like a warm, tropical sunset.

The name “Padparadscha” comes from a Sinhalese word for a lotus flower. Just like the flower, this sapphire’s color is delicate, beautiful, and rare.

What makes Padparadscha sapphires different from other colored sapphires is the perfect combination of iron, chromium, and titanium mixing in. These elements come together just right, giving the gem its unique pinkish-orange hue.

Padparadscha sapphires are one of the rarest gems in the world. Because their color is so special and hard to find, they’re often more valuable than other sapphires.

Where you can find Padparadscha sapphire

Padparadscha sapphires are super rare and special, and they come from some pretty cool places, like Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

Star Sapphire

An amazing star sapphire set as center stone on a ring
Star sapphire ring photo provided by Oscar Heyman

Star sapphire looks like it has a star trapped inside. When you look into it, you’ll see a shimmering star shining back at you. This isn’t just any star; it’s a special effect called asterism.

Curious how it got its star? It’s all thanks to tiny bits of another mineral called rutile. These bits line up in just the right way inside the sapphire. When light hits the stone, it bounces off these tiny lines and forms a star shape.

Star sapphires come in all sorts of colors. While blue is the most common, you can find them in pink, orange, green, and even black. The star can be seen best in a darker sapphire, where it stands out like a bright light in the night.

People have treasured star sapphires for thousands of years. They’ve been seen as powerful and protective stones. Some even believed they could ward off evil spirits.

Where you can find star sapphire

Star sapphires are like hidden stars in the ground, and they’re found in some really neat places. Sri Lanka is famous for its beautiful star sapphires. Then there’s Myanmar, a country with lots of history and amazing gems, including star sapphires.

And guess what? You can find star sapphires in the USA, too. Montana is known for its colorful sapphires, and sometimes people find star sapphires there.

Black Sapphire

A round black sapphire installed as center stone in a diamond-studded ring
Black sapphire ring photo provided by WINDFALL JEWELLERY

Black sapphire looks like a piece of the night sky has been captured and turned into a stone. It’s so dark and deep that it seems to swallow up all the light around it, but then, with a little bit of light, it shines with a subtle and beautiful glow.

Like all sapphires, it’s made of a mineral called corundum. Usually, corundum is clear, but when it has lots of iron and titanium mixed in, it turns a deep, dark black. Its dark beauty is one of the best among black gemstones.

Black sapphires are often thought to be protective and powerful. In the past, people believed that they could keep you safe from harm and bring you strength and courage.

Black sapphires aren’t just for looking at; they’re also really tough and durable. This means they’re great for making jewelry that you can wear all the time.

Where you can find black sapphire

Australia is known for having lots of beautiful black sapphires. Thailand is another spot where they hide. And if you’re wondering whether you can find them in the USA, yes you can.

In particular, Montana is a place where some people have been lucky enough to discover black sapphires.

Brown Sapphire

A lustrous, raw brown sapphire specimen
Raw brown sapphire photo provided by Weinrich Minerals

If you can hold a piece of the earth’s warmth, it would probably be like holding a brown sapphire. It shines with shades of chocolate, coffee, and sometimes even golden honey.

It’s not as flashy as some other gems, but it has a subtle, comforting beauty. This makes it a special brown gemstone.

Brown sapphires are sometimes called “chocolate sapphires” because of their rich, deep color. People love them for their unique look and the way they seem to capture the cozy, warm feeling of a cup of hot cocoa or the earth’s natural tones.

Some people also believe brown sapphires can bring calmness and focus. While not everyone believes in the power of gems, wearing a stone that looks like it’s filled with the earth’s warmth can make you feel a little more grounded and peaceful.

Where you can find brown sapphire

If you’re wondering where you can find brown sapphire, Australia is known for having these earthy-colored stones. Sri Lanka is another spot where you might find them.

In the USA, people have discovered brown sapphires in Montana.

Gray Sapphire

A beautiful, greenish-gray sapphire mounted on a ring
Gray sapphire ring photo provided by Plante Jewelers

Gray sapphire looks like a piece of the misty morning sky that has been turned into a stone. It shines with shades of soft, smoky gray, sometimes with a hint of blue or purple.

When you look at a gray sapphire, it’s like gazing into a cloud that’s holding a secret light inside. It’s not as bright as some other gems, but it has a quiet, sophisticated beauty. It’s among the most fantastic gray gemstones you’ll find.

Gray sapphires are sometimes called “smoke sapphires” because of their foggy, smoky look.

People love them for their unique color and the way they seem to capture the calm, cool feeling of a foggy day or the gentle color of a dove.

Where you can find gray sapphire

Gray sapphires come from interesting places like Australia and Sri Lanka. People have also reported finding them in Montana, USA.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

Leave a Comment