Color: Light lemon to golden and honey tones
Gem Family: Yellow sapphire is a member of the corundum family, which includes both ruby and sapphire.
Source: Most yellow sapphire is mined in Sri Lanka. Ancients knew Sri Lanka as the gem-rich island Serendip, where the people found gems in the fields, washed down from the mountains after a rain. This is the source of the word serendipity, or "happy surprise." Also mined in Madagascar and Australia.
Clarity: Ranges from no visible inclusions to moderately included.
Size Range: Small accent stones to spectacular 3-carat gems.
Shapes Available: Yellow Sapphire is most commonly seen in oval and cushion shapes. In small sizes trillions, rounds, and other shapes are also available.
Enhancement: Yellow sapphire is often enhanced by heat to intensify its color. Heat enhancement is stable, routine, and does not require special care.
Lore & History: The ancients called yellow sapphire hyacinth. It was said to divert lightning and confer peace and wisdom on its owner. Before gemology, many yellow sapphires were called oriental topaz and were thought to be a more durable and brilliant form of topaz.
Toughness & Hardness: Sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale and it is quite tough.
Care & Cleaning: Sapphire is among the most durable gemstones. In its common form, corundum is even used as an abrasive! Clean your sapphire with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. Yellow Sapphire can be put in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.
Price Range: $100 to $300 per carat for stones from a half-carat to 3 carats. Smaller sizes can be less; rare gems above three carats can be much more.
Special Characteristics: The Smithsonian Institution has a 92.6-carat yellow sapphire. Yellow sapphires can sometimes reach sizes of more than 100 carats.