Sapphires of Montana™
Color: Every color of the rainbow
Gem Family: Montana sapphires are members of the corundum family, which includes both ruby and sapphire.
Source: This incredibly rare sapphire is mined in three distinct locations in Montana and known by different names. Yogo sapphire was discovered along Yogo Creek in the Little Belt Mountains of Montana. Missouri River sapphires were found in the gravels of the Missouri River in Lewis and Clark County. Sapphires of Montana™ are known as Rock Creek Montana Sapphires and are found near Rock Creek in Granite County. Most sapphires found in these areas ranges from the size from a grain of sand to a pea. Rarely, larger sized gems are found.
Clarity: Ranges from no visible inclusions to moderately included.
Size Range: Small accent stones to spectacular 2-carat gems.
Shapes Available: Sapphires of Montana™ is exceptionally well cut for Montanas, as many producers sacrifice brilliance for weight due to its value. Sapphires of Montana™ is available primarily in calibrated brilliant rounds, but other shapes are available in limited quantities.
Enhancement: Sapphires of Montana™ are enhanced by heat to remove silk and improve color. Heat enhancement is stable, routine, and does not require special care.
Lore & History: Rock Creek Montana Sapphires true beauty was recognized when they were included in a line of fine jewelry created by Tiffany & Co. that was shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition. No longer considered to be of lesser value than the blues, the fancy colored sapphires from Rock Creek took the world by storm, and caused even Tiffany & Co. gemologist George F. Kunz to wax poetic about their beauty in a 1901 publication:
"At no known locality, however, has there ever been found so great a variety of rich colors in corundum gems as here[Rock Creek]. At the Paris Exposition of 1900, there was shown a brooch of over 200 of these stones, ranging from 1 to 3 carats each, every one of a different tint or shade. Although the deep-red ruby and the "velvet blue" or "cornflower" sapphire were lacking, yet the richness and variety of the other kinds were unequaled; pale rubies, pink, salmon passing into yellow, pure yellow, yellow brown, and deep brown, pale blues and greens, blue green, etc. Often a single stone would show two or three distinct shades of one color. Many of the colors have never been observed at any other locality. All were of unusual brilliancy, and improve greatly in artificial light. The butterflies and other rich jewels made from these stones possess almost the beauty of natural insects."
Toughness & Hardness: Sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale and it is quite tough, making it perfect for engagement rings.
Care & Cleaning: Sapphire is among the most durable of gemstones. In its common form, corundum is even used as an abrasive! Clean your sapphire with warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. Sapphires of Montana™ can be put in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.
Special Characteristics: Today, rare, beautiful sapphires from Montana are readily available in a rainbow of hues that would cause Mr. Kunz to positively swoon. Colors include rich blues to fancy pinks and everything in between. Not to be missed are the Kaleidoscope™ sapphires; unique to this region, they display two and sometimes three distinct colors in a single gem.