Sapphires

Yellow Gemstones

I am not sure I would be able to tell the difference between a yellow diamond and a yellow sapphire.  Sapphire comes from the Greek word “blue stone.”  Diamonds are the hardest of stones produced by carbon under pressure, while sapphires come from the mineral corundum.  Diamonds occur naturally in various colors as do sapphires.  Sapphires can be colorless and come in a variety of colors including black.  However, there are no red sapphires.  Red rubies also come from corundum, but have the mineral chromium within the stone, thus being classified as different from a sapphire.

 

            Historically sapphires have been found in India, parts of Africa, and Australia.  Since the 1870’s a significant portion of mined sapphires have come from Australia.  There is actually a town called Sapphire, as well as another called Rubyvale, both  in Central Queensland, Australia.  A yellow sapphire was discovered  in that area in 1979 that weighed over 2000 carats.  It is believed to be the largest gem size sapphire for faceting ever found.  The story goes that a lad was walking home from school and paused to kick at a stone in a heap of mullock that had been left over from someone else’s digging.   Mullock is defined as waste matter, or waste rock generated while mining or digging in the process of searching for gold or minerals.  Mullock is created while digging a shaft.  The yellow stone within the mullock was a yellow sapphire weighing 2020 carats.  The father of the boy eventually sold it to a New York jeweler.  In 2010 the gem sold for over 1 million dollars.  Not all discoveries have as good an ending. 

 

Tomahawk Tiger Yellow sapphire found in 1979 weighed 2020 carats

 In 1993 a yellow sapphire was found near Rubyvale in Australia weighing 103 carats.  The gem was cut down to a pretty 30 carat  and was named the Autumn Glory.  It was sent to a supposedly reputable dealer in the United States but neither the dealer nor the pricey stone have been seen in over 15 years.  

            I included a number of treasures of various diamonds and gems on the game board of Treasure Trove such as Red Ruby, South African Diamonds, Blue Sapphire, Black Diamond, Jewels of the Congo and so forth throughout the world.  I believe the variety of colors of the various stones captures our imagination.  I choose to place Yellow Sapphire in Australia very close to where the actual city really is.