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Sapphire is the most precious of blue gemstones. It is a most desirable gem due to its colour, hardness, durability, and lustre. The most valuable colour of sapphire is cornflower blue, known as Kashmir sapphire or Cornflower blue sapphire.
Colours – Blue sapphire, yellow sapphire, green sapphire, white sapphire , pink sapphire, orange sapphire, brown sapphire and purple sapphire.
Hardness – 9. After diamond, sapphire is the second hardest mineral known to man.
Inclusions of tiny, slender, parallel Rutile needles cause polished sapphire gems to exhibit asterism. Sapphire gems displaying asterism are known as "star sapphires", and if transparent are especially prized. Star sapphires are usually in six ray stars, but twelve ray stars are also known. Very rarely, sapphire also exhibits cat's eye effect.
Colour zoning, which forms from growth layers that build up during the formation of the stone, is present in certain sapphires. However, uniformity of colour is an important factor in a sapphire's value.