All sapphires, including Montana sapphires, and rubies are gem varieties of the mineral corundum. All colors are called sapphires, yellow, orange, violet, blue and green, except for red, which is called ruby. All have a hardness of nine on the Mohs Scale, which ranges one to ten. Sapphires and rubies are tough gemstones, and their durability combined with their rarity and beauty make sapphires and rubies very desirable gemstones. Sapphires and rubies are mined in various countries around the world, each location producing gemstones with unique characteristics. The elements available at the time of the crystal formation in each deposit determine the ultimate color of the sapphires and rubies.
Montana sapphires were discovered in the late 1800s when prospectors were panning for gold. The Sapphire Gallery proudly showcases a wide range of colored sapphires from all four deposits of Montana. The Yogo Gulch deposit near Lewistown produces 90% blue sapphires and 10% purple to violet sapphires, whereas the other deposits in Rock Creek, Dry Cottonwood Creek, and the Missouri River represent one of the widest color ranges in the world, everything from gold, green, orange, and yellow sapphires to violet, purple, pink, and blue sapphires. The Rock Creek deposit is a full spectrum of color, including many bi-colors and, in rare instances, rubies.
The Sapphire Gallery fashions sapphire jewelry from gemstones produced in several locations around the world depending upon availability of quality gems. We try to keep sapphires and rubies from many worldwide deposits in stock.
Africa has numerous deposits and is a source of new discoveries. Tanzania, Madagascar, and Kenya contribute sapphires that range the full spectrum of color. Madagascar produces fine rubies as well.
Asia sources include the ancient locations of Myanmar, formerly Burma, with its legendary rubies and sapphires. Blue sapphires and yellow sapphires, sometimes as large as five carats or more, are usually of Sri Lankan origin. India produces star rubies, and Thailand produces black star sapphires. Cambodia produces deep blue sapphires, and Vietnam produces, in addition to blue sapphires, intensely pink sapphires and rubies.
Australia has several deposits that contribute greatly to the sapphire jewelry market with sapphires ranging from very dark blue sapphires to yellow sapphires.
Each sapphire deposit or location has typical sizes and colors, but occasionally produces the remarkable, atypical specimen. Here at the Sapphire Gallery we have sapphires and rubies from most of the world's deposits, along with our extensive selection of blue sapphires and fancy colored Montana sapphires. Come on in and check them out!