What Are The Treatments and Properties Of Blue Sapphire (Neelam)?

blue sapphire

Royal. Elegant and oh so stunning! Blue Sapphires are the royalties every princess go swoon after! 

But before you empty your wallet on the first sparkly thing you see, let's get schooled on the properties, benefits and the whole "treated vs. untreated" sapphire situation…

Properties of Blue Sapphire: 

Mineral: Corundum

Chemistry: Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) with trace amounts of titanium and iron, which cause the blue coloration.

Crystal Structure:  Trigonal

Color: Blue, ranging from a light, almost denim blue to a deep, velvety royal blue. The most prized sapphires boast a rich, saturated blue with a hint of violet.

Refractive index: 1.757 - 1.776

Birefringence: 0.009

Specific gravity: 3.9-4.1

Mohs Hardness: 9 (second hardest mineral after diamond) making it highly durable and resistant to scratches.

Treatment Methods: Heat treatment & diffusion treatment 

Places mined : Sri Lanka, Kashmir (India), Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Madagascar, United States, Cambodia. Sri Lankan sapphires are particularly renowned for their exceptional cornflower blue color.

Zodiac Sign: Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius

Planet: Saturn

Element: Air

Birthstone: September 

Symbolism: Discipline, mental clarity, emotional balance, and creativity.

Popular shapes: Round, Oval, Cushion, Princess, Emerald cut.

Benefits of Wearing Blue Sapphire Jewellery 

The sapphire. A gemstone synonymous with royalty, elegance, and captivating beauty. But beyond its mesmerising blue depths lies a world of hidden benefits, both for the body and soul. These blue sapphire properties are sure to leave you awe: 

  • A stone for clarity and focus

  • In ancient cultures, the blue sapphire was revered as a stone of wisdom and focus. Its cool, serene blue hue was believed to calm the mind, promoting clear thinking and clear communication.

  • Acts as a shield for emotional balance

  • The sapphire's (or Neelam) association with the planet Saturn lends it an air of stability and emotional control.  Planet Saturn is known for its influence on discipline, focus, and structure and it thus bolsters inner strength and resilience, helping you get through life's challenges with greater calmness and composure.  

  • Fuels your artistic spirit

  • The healing properties of blue sapphire isn't limited to calmness – it's also said to spark creativity and ignite inspiration. Artists and writers have long sought the sapphire's muse, believing it stimulates the imagination and unlocks new avenues for self-expression. Whether you're a budding painter or a writer with writer's block, the Neelam might just be the creative spark you need.

  • Aids spiritual growth

  • The sapphire's connection to the throat and the third eye chakra, the center of intuition, communication and self-expression, facilitates a deeper connection with your inner self.  It promotes spiritual growth and self-awareness, guiding you on a path of personal understanding.  

    Blue Sapphire Treatment Methods

    Treatments Make the Blue Pop!

    The most common treatment method is the Heat treatment used to enhance the color of sapphires, particularly in paler stones. This process involves exposing the sapphire to extremely high temperatures, which alters its molecular structure and produces more saturated hues. Although heat treatment is pretty common and doesn't necessarily affect the sapphire's durability or value,it can change the way the stone looks, impacting the price.

    But Heat Isn't the Only Player:

    Heat treatment isn't the only trick up a jeweler's sleeve. There are other treatments out there, like diffusion, where a special solution adds a deeper layer of blue. Again, it can make the sapphire look a little less natural and also cause the stone to lose its natural character.

    So, How Do You Spot a Real Sapphire?

    Real blue sapphires are known for their rich, royal blue color. They're rarer and showcase the stone's natural beauty, with all its quirks and inclusions in their unedited version— absolutely stunning in their raw form.

    Treated sapphires, on the other hand, have had a little makeover to enhance their color or clarity. Heat treatment is pretty common and doesn't necessarily affect the sapphire's durability or value. But it's good to know what you're getting, and sometimes the treatment can impact how much the stone is worth. 

    Here's a quick run-through:

    • Authentic blue sapphires have a naturally saturated, deep blue hue.
    • Inclusions are Welcome: Unlike diamonds, inclusions in sapphires are actually a good sign! They add character and tell you the stone is natural.

    • Real blue sapphires come from all over the world from Australia, Sri Lanka to Kenya. Knowing the origin can be a clue to authenticity.

    • Beware the Uniformity: A sapphire with a perfectly even, almost artificial-looking blue color might have been heat-treated. Look for some natural variations in the color.

    Fake It 'Til You Make It?  Not So Fast!

    When shopping for a sapphire, do your research!  Look for signs of treatment, like a super uniform blue or a dark blue outline around the edge.  Remember, genuine sapphire jewellery is all about natural beauty.

    So, there you have it!  The next time you see a stunning blue sapphire, you'll be armed with the knowledge to appreciate its beauty and understand the treatments that might have brought out its sparkle. Remember, whether natural or treated, blue sapphires are mesmerising gems with a rich history. 

    And don't forget to explore our site for some stunning gem-tastic jewellery collection!


    1. Are all blue sapphires treated?
    Nope! Some sapphires come out of the ground looking like a million bucks already. 

    2. Can blue sapphires change colour over time?
    Not usually! Their colour is pretty stable.

    3. What factors determine the value of a blue sapphire?
    Several factors affect a blue sapphire's value, including its colour intensity, clarity, size, and cut.  A natural, untreated sapphire with a vibrant blue color and minimal inclusions will be the most valuable.


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