Pink Sapphires

Pink sapphires are the most highly regarded and valuable fancy coloured sapphires aside from the extremely rare pinkish-orange variety of sapphire known as padparadscha.  In some Asian markets, pink sapphires are sold as pale rubies, however in western markets pink sapphires are treated as their own individual sub category of sapphire with their own set of merits.  It is debatable whether some deep pinkish-red sapphires should be called pink sapphires or ruby.  There is no clear dividing line to this matter although if a stone is decidedly red with strong pink overtones, this stone would be classified as a ruby. 

Some pink sapphires have secondary tones of violet and depending on the intensity of the secondary shade maybe called lavender or violet sapphire.  As the shade of violet becomes more pronounced into increasing shades of purple, this type of sapphire is called purple sapphire.  Some intensly purple sapphires can possess the colour-change phenomenon similar to that seen in alexandrite.  Traditionally the main source of pink to lavender/purple sapphire was Sri Lanka (Ceylon).  Although this variety of sapphire is still mined there, larger quantities are now being mined in Madagascar and some coastal East African countries.

Mohs’ Hardness: 9
Specific Gravity: 3.99-4.01
Refractive Index: 1.760-1.774
Birefringence: 0.008-0.009
Optic Sign & Character: Uniaxial Negative
ICA Code: N or E
Treatments: Heating
Incidence: Relatively common
Purpose: To improve colour and clarity
Durability: Very good
Special Care: None
Synthetics: Flame fusion, hydrothermal, flux melt
Possible Imitations: Glass, CZ,