Australian Parti Sapphire
The Australian parti sapphire is a special gem, perfect for those looking for something highly individual. What makes this stone unique is the way two or three colours can be present in one stone - blue, green and yellow. This quality also makes it impossible to manufacture artificially, so when you see a parti sapphire you know it is 100% natural. Like other sapphires, it is a hard wearing gem; only second in hardness to diamond, which makes it perfect for rings and other pieces of jewellery and gives the wearer confidence in selecting this stone for everyday wear.
- Colour/Blue, Green & Yellow
- Moh's Hardness/9
- Anniversary/5th, 45th & 65th
Parti sapphires are graded like other sapphires in terms of carat, cut and clarity, but it is the colour that sets them apart. As the crystal is forming, different colours appear depending on the trace elements present, creating different zoning of blues, greens and yellows. Sometimes only two of these colours appear, whereas other stones display all three. For this reason they can also be known as bi-coloured or polychrome sapphire.
When inspecting a parti sapphire, be sure to move the stone and view it via different angles, this way you can best assess its colour. The best gem cutters will work very carefully to maximise the raw crystal and colour zoning to highlight these colours.
Australia has been a major sapphire producer for over a hundred years, and at one point produced around 70% of the world's supply. The industry peaked in the early 1980s and is now limited to mainly hand fossicking, with only a handful of mechanized mining operations. The parti sapphire was always mined along with the more popular blues and yellows but it is currently going through a period of renewed interest. A new generation of jewellers, including many whom we represent, are working with this beautiful gem and shining a light on its stunningly unique properties. As a result, the value of parti sapphires is on the rise, especially for larger stones displaying excellent colour.
Sapphires are very hard gems that are suitable for all kinds of jewellery, including rings. Second in hardness only to a diamond, they are an excellent choice for longevity but be aware that any stone can break if it is hit hard enough. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials, harsh chemicals and extreme changes in heat.
To clean, soak your sapphire piece in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. You can also use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on sapphires. Professional jewellers like Pieces of Eight use an ultrasonic machine to clean your sapphires; bring them in for an annual clean and check.