word “sapphire” was once used to describe a variety of blue  gemstones

including what is now known as Lapis-Lazuli.  However, it is now

commonly agreed that sapphire is a gem variety of corundum.  Sapphire

occurs naturally in a rainbow of colors aside from red.  The red gem

variety of corundum is referred to as “ruby.”  The most significant

deposits of sapphire are found in Australia, Burma, Sri Lanka, and

Thailand.  There are also sizable deposits found in Brazil, Cambodia,

China, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania,

Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Sapphire is one of the most durable

gemstone varieties, measuring 9 on the Mohs hardness scale.  This fact

makes sapphire a very practical choice for jewelry which is worn on a

daily basis.  For this reason, sapphire is the most common colored

gemstone found in bridal jewelry, specifically engagement rings.

Sapphires are commonly paired with diamonds, and are often set in

white metals such as platinum and white gold.  White metals tend to

compliment the natural beauty of this gorgeous gemstone.  As with all

jewelry, it is best to have your sapphire jewelry examined and cleaned

by a good jeweler on a semi-regular basis.  The exact frequency will

depend on a variety of factors such as your jewelry wearing habits, and

your personal body chemistry.  However, we suggest that you have your

jewelry checked and cleaned once every few of years.  You can easily

clean your sapphire jewelry at home with a soft tooth brush and sudsy

ammonia diluted in water.  This is an effective way to combat dirt

buildup on your sapphire stones.  However, a good jeweler will have

access to tools such as a steam machine and/or ultra-sonic cleaning

equipment which will be more effective at removing dirt and grime in

hard to access areas of your jewelry.