The Different Types Of Sapphire And What They All Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The Different Types Of Sapphire And What They All Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Sapphires are super cool rocks that come in many colors and forms, known as the different types of sapphire. Blue sapphire, padparadscha sapphire, and Montana sapphire are just a few examples showing how awesome they can be.

Each type of sapphire has its own special color and story. They are used in jewelry and loved by many for their stunning beauty and hardness, making them perfect for wearing every day.

These colorful stones are not just pretty; they are also really tough, second only to diamonds! Learning about them can be fun and exciting, especially when you see all the different colors they can be.

The 17 Different Types Of Sapphire And What They Look Like

Sapphires are some of the most fascinating and diverse gemstones found in nature. Each type of sapphire has its own unique color and characteristics, making them a fascinating subject for exploration.

Their appearance ranges from deep, oceanic blues to vibrant pinks, sunny yellows, and even striking greens. This rainbow of colors showcases the incredible variety and beauty that these gemstones offer.

Blue Sapphire

rich blue oval cut sapphire
Blue sapphire provided by SapphirePal

Blue sapphires can range from a pale, delicate blue to a deep, rich navy. This range of blue shades in the sapphire makes it visually appealing and versatile.

The intensity of the blue in a sapphire can vary, with some stones displaying a more vibrant and brighter blue, while others have a subtler, darker tone. The color can appear different under various lighting conditions, adding to its allure.

When compared to other kinds of sapphires, like pink or yellow, blue sapphire stands out with its classic and often more recognizeable hue.

Where you can find blue sapphires

Blue sapphires are found in several places across the globe, with famous spots in countries like Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia. These gems are also uncovered in the United States, especially in Montana.

Check out our gem mining guide if you’re interested in finding gems near you. It’s full of tips on how to start your own adventure in hunting for these beautiful stones.

Padparadscha Sapphire

peach-pink cushion cut padparadscha sapphire
Padparadscha sapphire provided by JupiterGemLA

Padparadscha sapphires are a rare and special kind of sapphire with a unique pink-orange color. The name comes from a Sinhalese word for a tropical lotus flower, which shares the same vibrant color as the gem.

These sapphires are especially loved for their striking sunset hues that blend orange and pink together in one stone. No two padparadscha sapphires are exactly alike, each flaunting its own blend of warm tones.

Unlike the classic deep blue of traditional sapphires, padparadscha sapphires stand out with their delicate mix of pink and orange.

They offer a softer, more romantic color palette compared to the bold blues and other vivid colors found in the sapphire family.

Where you can find padparadscha sapphires

Padparadscha sapphires are mainly found in Sri Lanka, which is famous for producing these rare gems. They are also discovered in parts of Madagascar and Tanzania.

Yellow Sapphire

oval cut yellow sapphire
Yellow sapphire provided by ThaiGemsCo

Yellow sapphires are eye-catching gemstones with a color that ranges from pale lemon to rich golden hues. The brightness and warmth of their color make them a visually captivating stone.

The intensity of the yellow in these sapphires can vary greatly, providing a wide spectrum of yellow shades. Under different lighting, the yellow can appear more vivid, enhancing the stone’s natural beauty.

These sapphires are known for their clarity, which allows them to sparkle and shine brilliantly. The combination of their clear quality and striking yellow color makes yellow sapphire a particularly attractive gemstone.

Where you can find yellow sapphires

Yellow sapphires are primarily found in Sri Lanka, known for their high-quality gems with vibrant hues. They can also be discovered in parts of Australia, Thailand, and Madagascar, making them a gem sought after worldwide.

Pink Sapphire

bright pink cushion cut sapphire
Pink sapphire provided by JupiterGemLA

Pink sapphires sparkle with shades of pink. It’s part of the sapphire family but stands out with its range from pale blush to deep hot pink.

This gem gets its lovely color from traces of elements like chromium mixed into the corundum. Each pink sapphire shows off a different shade, offering a variety of choices for those who love pink.

While other sapphires might be blue or yellow, pink sapphires have a special charm with their warm and inviting color. They bring a splash of fun and brightness, making them a favorite for those who want to add a pop of color to their collection.

Where you can find pink sapphires

Pink sapphires are mainly found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Myanmar, where they are carefully collected.

White Sapphire

faceted white sapphire
White sapphire provided by EmbellishedFineGems

White sapphires are known for their clear, pure beauty. It is the same mineral as the colorful sapphires but without the color-causing trace elements, giving it a transparent, diamond-like appearance.

This type of sapphire is admired for its clarity and brilliance. When cut and polished, white sapphires catch light beautifully, sparkling with every movement.

Though it’s often compared to diamonds due to its clear look, white sapphire is a unique gemstone in its own right. It offers an affordable alternative for those who love the look of a clear, sparkling gem but are looking for something different.

In the gemstone market, what sapphire is worth can vary widely based on its color, clarity, size, and cut. Generally, the more vivid and clear a sapphire is, the more it’s valued, with some rare colors and sizes fetching very high prices.

Where you can find white sapphires

White sapphires are found in several parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Myanmar.

Green Sapphire

round cut green sapphire
Green sapphire provided by WilsonBrothers

The colors of green sapphires range from light minty hues to deep forest greens, each with its own charm and appeal.

This gem is part of the different types of sapphire family, getting its color from iron or titanium traces within the mineral corundum. Unlike the more common blue sapphire, green sapphires offer a unique twist with their earthy and natural tones.

The green sapphire’s color is soothing and vibrant, reflecting the colors of nature. It stands out for its lush and rich appearance, making it a special find for anyone who loves the beauty of sapphires.

Where you can find green sapphire

Green sapphires are primarily found in Sri Lanka, known for its wide variety of sapphire colors. They are also discovered in parts of Africa and Asia, where the unique conditions allow these green gems to form.

Purple Sapphire

cushion cut deep purple sapphire
Purple sapphire provided by CecileRaleyDesigns

Purple sapphires have a range of hues, from lavender to deep violet. The color of these sapphires is rich and can vary in intensity.

In different lights, the purple can shift in tone, sometimes appearing more bluish or reddish. This quality adds a dynamic and intriguing aspect to their appearance.

These sapphires are also known for their clarity, which enhances their color and sparkle. The clearness of the stone, combined with the depth of the purple color, makes purple sapphire a captivating and beautiful gemstone.

Where you can find purple sapphire

Purple sapphires are mainly found in Sri Lanka, a place celebrated for its diverse and colorful sapphires. They are also found in Madagascar and Tanzania, where the right combination of elements brings these rare gems to life.

Orange Sapphire

oval cut orange sapphire
Orange sapphire provided by DavidJThomasJewelry

Orange sapphire is a striking variety of sapphire known for its warm and vibrant color. This type of sapphire can range from a light, sunny orange to a deeper, more intense hue.

The intensity of the orange color in these sapphires can vary, creating a spectrum of shades that are all equally stunning. In certain light, the orange can appear brighter, making the sapphire even more eye-catching.

A fascinating feature of orange sapphires is their clarity, which is often very high, making the stone sparkle brilliantly. This clarity, combined with their unique color, makes orange sapphires stand out among other gemstones.

Where you can find orange sapphire

Orange sapphires are mainly found in Sri Lanka, which is famous for producing a wide range of sapphire colors, including the vibrant orange variety.

They can also be found in parts of East Africa and Southeast Asia, where the unique earth conditions help form these rare and colorful gems.

Montana Sapphire

pear cut pink Montana sapphire
Montana sapphire provided by RigbyLeighJewelry

Montana sapphires are a unique and beautiful type of sapphire known for their range of colors. These sapphires can display hues from pale blues and greens to deep, rich shades, making them quite distinct.

One of the cool things about Montana sapphires is their color-change ability. Some of these sapphires can look different colors in various types of light, like shifting from green in daylight to purple under indoor lighting.

In the world of sapphires, Montana sapphires stand out for their diverse and natural color spectrum. They are a favorite for their ability to show multiple colors, adding a special and unexpected touch to their appearance.

Where you can find Montana sapphire

Montana sapphires are found in the state of Montana, primarily in the areas around the Missouri River and Rock Creek. These places are well known for their quality and variety of sapphires, attracting gem enthusiasts and rockhounds.

Check out our guide on where to go rockhounding if you want to discover rocks and minerals yourself. It’s full of tips and locations to help you start your own adventure in finding beautiful stones like Montana sapphire.

Star Sapphire

blue star sapphire cabochon
Star sapphire provided by ConnectGem

Star sapphires are a special type of sapphire that shows a star-like pattern called asterism. This star effect is created by tiny needle-like inclusions within the stone that reflect light in a star shape.

The star usually has six rays, and it can be seen floating on the surface of the sapphire when it’s moved in the light. The base color of star sapphires can be blue, pink, black, or even orange, but they all share the unique star feature.

While other sapphires are known for their color, star sapphires are famous for this neat star effect. They catch the eye with their magical appearance, making them a fascinating part of the sapphire family.

Where you can find star sapphire

Star sapphires are found in several countries, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India, known for their quality gemstones.

Kashmir Sapphire

deep blue oval cut Kashmir sapphire
Kashmir sapphire provided by Gemoreals

Kashmir sapphire is renowned for its rich, deep blue color that is often described as velvety. This blue can have subtle undertones of purple, adding to its unique and mesmerizing appearance.

The color of a Kashmir sapphire remains consistent and vibrant in various lighting conditions. This makes them stand out, even in low light, where their blue hues continue to captivate.

Kashmir sapphires are also known for their exceptional clarity, making them sparkle beautifully. This clarity, combined with their distinctive color, gives them a special allure among gemstones.

Where you can find Kashmir sapphire

Kashmir sapphires are historically sourced from the Kashmir region located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

Teal Sapphire

octagonal teal sapphire
Teal sapphire provided by GemsVerge

Teal sapphires blend blue and green hues. The color ranges from a lighter, sea-green to a deeper, more intense teal, capturing the beauty of both the sky and the ocean.

Under different lighting, teal sapphires can show variations in their color, sometimes leaning more towards green or blue. This chameleon-like quality adds an element of surprise and delight to their appearance.

These sapphires are known for their good clarity, which enhances their overall appeal. The clarity allows light to pass through and showcase the stone’s unique teal color, making it sparkle and shine.

Where you can find teal sapphire

Teal sapphires are primarily found in Madagascar, a country known for its diverse and high-quality gemstones. They can also be uncovered in parts of Sri Lanka.

Color Change Sapphire

deep blue oval cut color change sapphire
Color change sapphire provided by aimpluss

Color change sapphires show different colors depending on the lighting. In daylight, they might appear as a beautiful blue, but under indoor lighting, they can shift to a lovely purple.

This ability to change color makes these sapphires very special and fascinating. When looking at what sapphire looks like in various lights, it’s like seeing two different stones in one.

They often have good clarity, which makes their color change more pronounced and striking. The blend of colors in one stone makes color change sapphire a delight to observe and appreciate.

Where you can find color change sapphire

Color change sapphires are most commonly found in Sri Lanka, a place well-known for its variety of beautiful sapphires. They can also be found in Tanzania.

Bi-color Sapphire

round brilliant cut blue and green bi-color sapphire
Bi-color sapphire provided by nooreilahigems

Bi-color sapphires display two distinct colors in one crystal. These colors are often seen in layers or zones, creating a fascinating visual effect.

The combination of colors in bi-color sapphires can vary, with some common pairings being blue and yellow, or pink and green. This blend of hues makes each stone look vibrant and lively.

Despite the presence of two colors, bi-color sapphires maintain a high level of clarity. This clarity enhances the visibility of the color zones, making the contrast between the colors even more striking.

Where you can find bi-color sapphires

Parti sapphires are often found in Australia, particularly known for their beautiful and unique multi-colored gems. These special stones can also be sourced from regions in Africa.

Ceylon Sapphire

bright blue oval cut Ceylon sapphire
Ceylon sapphire provided by NaturalSapphireShop

Ceylon sapphire is known for its striking blue color, often described as a vivid, bright blue. This blue can range from light to deep, making each stone a visual delight.

The color of Ceylon sapphire is typically even and consistent throughout the stone. This uniformity in color adds to its overall beauty and appeal.

In addition to its captivating blue, Ceylon sapphire often possesses a high degree of clarity. This clarity allows light to pass through easily, enhancing the stone’s natural sparkle and brilliance.

Where you can find Ceylon sapphires

Ceylon sapphires are traditionally sourced from Sri Lanka, historically known as Ceylon, which is renowned for its quality blue sapphires. These gems are sought after worldwide for their exceptional clarity and vibrant color.

Burmese Sapphire

blue cushion cut Burmese sapphire
Burmese sapphire provided by Gemseporium

Burmese sapphires are admired for they’re deep and rich blue color, often with a slight purplish tint. This unique shade of blue sets them apart from sapphires of other origins.

The color in Burmese sapphire is usually intense and well-saturated, providing a striking visual experience. Its depth of color can vary from stone to stone, offering a range of blue shades.

These sapphires are also known for their impressive clarity, which enhances their natural beauty. The combination of vivid color and clarity in Burmese sapphire makes it a captivating gemstone to behold.

Where you can find Burmese sapphires

Burmese sapphire is primarily found in Myanmar, especially in the Mogok Valley region. This area is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest quality sapphires, rich in color and clarity.

Madagascar Sapphire

pink cushion cut Madagascar padparadscha sapphire
Madagascar sapphire provided by GemsByStarRuby

Madagascar sapphire is known for its diverse range of colors, which includes blue, pink, yellow, and even some rare green tones.

The blue Madagascar sapphires can range from a light, almost airy blue to a deeper, more royal shade. Each hue captures a different mood and aesthetic.

In terms of clarity, Madagascar sapphires often have a high degree of transparency. This clarity allows their colors to shine brightly, making them particularly eye-catching.

Where you can find Madagascar sapphires

Madagascar sapphire is predominantly found in the northern part of the island, especially in the region near the city of Ilakaka. This area has become a major source of these gemstones since its discovery in the late 1990s.

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.

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