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Sapphirine was so named because of its resemblance in color to blue sapphire, even though the two minerals have completely different chemical, optical and physical properties. Sapphirine is very rare, with small gems only faceted for collectors. This gem is know for blue color, but occasionally forms in a red-orange variety.

Sapphirine Polished
Sapphirine Classification
Common Name Sapphirine
Species Sapphirine
Sapphirine Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Translucent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.019
Refractive Index 1.701-1.734
Birefringence 0.004-0.007
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive or Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
Pleochroism Trichroic, strong, varying shades of body color
Sapphirine Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 7.5
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.400-3.580
Toughness Fair
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Conchoidal
Cleavage None
Sapphirine Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name magnesium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula (Al,Mg)8(Al,Si)6O20
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Sapphirine Colors

  • Blue Sapphirine Blue
  • Pink Sapphirine Pink
  • Black Sapphirine Black
  • Green Sapphirine Green
  • White Sapphirine White
  • Gray Sapphirine Gray
  • Red Sapphirine Red
  • Yellow Sapphirine Yellow

Sapphirine Spectra

Sapphirine Spectra

Color due to iron This strongly pleochroic rare mineral is typically too dark to transmit sufficient light to observe the spectrum. It is in the polarized dark ray that the main feature is seen due to the high ferric iron content present as a strong line at 445nm. The weaker absorption at 550nm. is possibly due to ferrous iron. The yellow is absorbed followed by weak transmission then total absorption from about 620nm.

Jewelry Television acknowledges the significant scientific contributions of John S Harris, FGA to the study of gemstone spectra and with deep appreciation to him, acknowledges the use of his images and related notes about gemstones and their spectra in the educational materials on this website.

Countries of Origin

Canada; United States of America (the); Norway; Sri Lanka; Italy; Madagascar; France; Greenland


Normal care

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Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.