All About Sapphire Colors

Stud earrings including blue sapphires, pink sapphires and rubies.

In This Blog

When you think of the gemstone sapphire, a very specific shade comes to mind. But blue is just the beginning for this gem. 

Sapphires come in a wide range of additional colors including pink, yellow, white, green and purple. These different sapphire colors are the result of trace elements such as iron, titanium, magnesium and chromium in the gem’s base mineral corundum. Different elements result in unique sapphire stone colors, each bringing their own beauty and meanings. 

With so many different shades of this popular gemstone, sapphire jewelry makes the perfect addition to any jewelry collection. Discover more about different sapphire colors, their meanings and how to find the perfect shade for your jewelry. 

The Different Sapphire Colors

Wedding bands including ones with blue sapphires and pink sapphires. 

Gemstone color is evaluated by hue, tone and saturation. Typically, the more saturated a sapphire’s color, the higher the gemstone’s value. This September birthstone is most popular in blue, but it comes in many different shades.

When it comes to gemstone colors, sapphires are available in popular shades such as blue, pink, yellow, white, green and purple. Learn more about each of the different sapphire colors, their origins and any special meanings these colors have. 

Blue Sapphires

Sapphires and diamond tennis bracelets with blue sapphires.

Blue is the quintessential sapphire color, with shades from deep velvet to lighter icy blues. Blue sapphires with richer colors in blue in medium-dark tones are the most valuable of the azure sapphire shades. When buying blue sapphires, look for gems with even color saturation and velvet shades. 

Blue Sapphire Fast Facts

Trace amounts of iron and titanium in the mineral corundum.

Honesty, calmness, loyalty and truth.

The most common of the sapphire colors.

Pink Sapphires

Padparadscha pink sapphire ring.

Pink sapphires get their color from trace amounts of chromium, creating the signature hue of these gems. Typically, pink sapphires have secondary colors like purple or even orange. In darker colors, they can be closer to rubies. Lighter pink sapphires are popular for romantic jewelry and heartfelt gifts, bringing sweet shades. You can learn more about pink sapphires to discover the shades this gem offers. 

Pink Sapphire Fast Facts

Trace amounts of chromium in the mineral corundum.

Peace, passion and truth.

Varies depending on the exact pink color combination. The orange pink Padparadscha sapphire is incredibly rare.

Yellow Sapphires

Yellow sapphire.

After blue, yellow is one of the most popular sapphire colors. Its saturation can resemble yellow diamonds, bringing a coveted canary shade for jewelry. The color intensity of yellow sapphires can range from light sunny tones to more intense yellows and even orange hues. Yellow sapphires are popular in fashion rings and engagement rings alike. 

Yellow Sapphire Fast Facts

Trace amounts of iron in the mineral corundum.

Power, grace and clarity.

One of the rarer sapphire shades, especially in larger gem sizes. 

White Sapphires

Earrings with white sapphires.

When the mineral corundum has no inclusions or added materials, it produces white sapphires. These colorless sapphires bring the same durability as colorful versions of the gem, but in an appearance that more closely resembles diamonds. While different from diamonds, white sapphires are popular for halo engagement rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets

White Sapphire Fast Facts

Lack of any trace elements in the mineral corundum.

Purity, partnership and love.

Rare as natural gems, though lab made white sapphires are more plentiful.

Green Sapphires

Pear shaped green sapphire. 

Bringing similar hues to emeralds, green sapphires are rare gems. Green sapphires usually have added tones of blue or yellow, which are the shades that create the green color you see when looking at these gems. They are increasingly popular for women’s and men’s jewelry

Green Sapphire Fast Facts

Trace amounts of iron in the mineral corundum.

Growth and tranquility.

Purer green sapphires are extremely rare. 

Purple Sapphires

Oval shaped purple sapphire. 

Corundum with chromium inclusions in the violet or lavender range are called purple sapphires. These gems can come in a variety of saturation levels, but purple will always be the dominant color. Purple sapphires can come in dark reddish purple to lighter violet shades. 

Purple Sapphire Fast Facts

Trace amounts of chromium in the mineral corundum.

Success, good fortune and insight.

Rare in larger sizes or purer coloration.

Star Sapphires

Star of India star sapphire

Some sapphires and rubies are cut in a rounded cabochon style to highlight a unique phenomenon called asterism that’s present in some rare gems. In gemstones, asterism is known as the star effect. This occurs when tiny needle-like inclusions are present in specific orientations in a gemstone, creating a star-like reflection in the finished gemstone. Curved cabochon settings highlight this star effect, creating a unique and eye-catching sapphire. 

Star Sapphire Fast Facts

Needle-like inclusions in unique patterns in a sapphire. The color of the sapphire can be caused by different chemical inclusions.

Hope, wisdom and dreams.

Natural star sapphires are incredibly rare. 

The Difference Between Sapphire and Ruby

Pear ruby pendant next to a heart-shaped pendant with pink sapphires.

You may have noticed that red sapphires aren’t one of the color options for this gemstone. That’s because red sapphires are actually rubies. Ruby and sapphire are both the same kind of gemstone from the mineral corundum. The only difference is that rubies are red while the rest of the corundum gemstone colors are all sapphires, regardless of color. 

Any red sapphires are actually rubies. Ruby jewelry features this durable gemstone with a variety of crimson shades, and lighter reds may be pink sapphires instead. 

Questions and Answers About Different Sapphire Colors

Sapphires come in a wide range of colors including blue, pink, purple, yellow, orange and green. Any red sapphire is a ruby. 

Unique sapphire stone colors happen when the base mineral corundum has trace inclusions of elements such as iron, titanium, magnesium and chromium. Different inclusions result in different sapphire colors. 

Red sapphires are rubies.

Yes, there are many different sapphire colors and meanings. Each color has its own special symbolism. 

The orange pink Padparadscha sapphire is one of the rarest colors. 

Blue sapphires are the most common color for this gemstone. 

Finding Different Sapphire Stone Colors

Tennis bracelets with different sapphire colors including blue, yellow and pink sapphires.

You can add sapphire’s colorful shades to your jewelry collection with our stylish sapphire jewelry. We offer sapphire earrings, sapphire bracelets, sapphire necklaces and sapphire rings in a variety of colors. This gemstone is incredibly durable, making it a popular choice for wedding rings and sapphire engagement rings as well. 

Related Reading

About the Author