Gem School
Australian Parti Sapphire

Mineral: Corundum
Colour: Blue, green and yellow
Moh's Hardness: 9
Birthstone: September
Anniversary: 5th, 45th and 65th

The Australian parti sapphire is a special gem, perfect for those looking for something highly individual. What makes this stone unique is the way two to three colours can be present in one stone - blue, green and yellow. This quality also makes it impossible to manufacture artificially, so when you see a parti sapphire you know it is 100% natural.

History

Like other sapphires it is only second in hardness to a diamond, giving the wearer confidence in selecting this stone for everyday wear. Parti sapphires are graded like other sapphires in terms of carat, cut and clarity, but it is the colour that sets them apart. When inspecting a parti sapphire, be sure to move the stone and view it via different angles, this way you can assess its colour. The best gem cutters will work very carefully to maximise the raw crystal and colour zoning to highlight these colours.

Australia has been a major sapphire producer for over a hundred years, and at one point produced around 70% of the world's supply. The industry peaked in the early 1980s and is now limited to mainly hand fossicking, with only a handful of mechanised mining operations. I feel strongly about supporting the Australian gem industry and travel direct to sapphire mining districts to spend time with the miners, dealers and gem cutters I have established relationships with. Looking for an ethically sourced and mined stone? Australian gems are for you.

Care

Sapphires are very hard gems that are suitable for all kinds of jewellery, including rings. Second in hardness only to a diamond, they are an excellent choice for longevity but be aware that any stone can break if it is hit hard enough. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials and harsh chemicals.

To clean, soak your sapphire piece in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. You can also use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on sapphires. Professional jewellers use an ultrasonic machine to clean your sapphires; bring them in for an annual clean and check.

Australian Parti Sapphire Pieces