Natural sapphires never go out of fashion. Sapphire can occur in a variety of colors and is prized for its excellent hardness and durability. At 9 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, it is the second hardest natural material on earth. Sapphire belongs to the 'precious four', along with ruby, emerald and diamond. Blue is the traditional sapphire color, while all other colors are referred to as 'fancy' color sapphire (except red). Sapphire is gem-quality corundum, the same material which makes up that of fine red ruby. Sapphire is famed for its brilliance and luster; and owed to its versatility and durability, it is indeed one of the most valuable and wearable of all colored gemstones. The name 'corundum' originates from 'kuruvindam', an ancient Sanskrit word; while the name 'sapphire' comes from the Persian word 'safir'.
Sapphire gems can be found in a variety of shapes and cuts, including faceted gems, carvings and cabochons. Square sapphires are usually faceted, but occasionally are offered as cabochons. One of the more popular cuts for square-shaped sapphire is the 'princess-cut'. This type of cut maximizes brilliance and is often given to small melee sapphires for use as accent or side-stones. Natural sapphires are quite rare, especially untreated fine quality sapphire. Most sapphire is enhanced through routine heat-treatment to improve color and clarity, though many sapphires can be found completely untreated. Unlike oval sapphires and round sapphires, square sapphires are not usually found in larger sizes. In fact, most will find it difficult to source any square-shaped sapphire over 1 carat in weight. Sapphires are seen as the guardians of love. When given as a gift, sapphires are believed to enhance love and harmonize the souls.
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