When it comes to rare shades of blue that start with the letter S, one color definitely stands out – sapphire. Sapphire is a deep, rich shade of blue that has an almost velvety appearance. It’s quite different from regular blues like sky blue or navy blue. So what exactly is sapphire, and what makes it so unique and rare?
What is Sapphire Blue?
Sapphire is a saturated, mid-to-dark blue color that has a hint of purple or violet to it. It’s named after the precious gemstone sapphire which comes in a variety of blue shades. Sapphire gemstones have been prized for centuries for their intense blue hue. The first recorded use of “sapphire” as a color name in English was in 1200 AD.
There are a few different ways to describe the shade of sapphire blue:
- Rich, deep, and saturated – Sapphire blue is much more saturated than light blues. It has a deep, jewel-toned appearance.
- Blue with a hint of purple – What sets sapphire blue apart is its slightly purple or violet undertone. This gives it extra depth.
- Similar to indigo – Sapphire blue is quite close to the color indigo. In fact, many use the terms interchangeably.
- Darker than royal blue – Royal blue is moderately dark while sapphire leans closer to a midnight blue.
When it comes to technical specifications, sapphire blue is generally defined as:
- Hex code: #082567
- RGB: 8, 37, 103
- CMYK: 100, 88, 41, 0
However, there are many variations of sapphire blue ranging from pale to extremely dark. The exact shade depends on how much violet is mixed in with the blue.
Where Does the Color Come From?
The sapphire blue color is derived from the mineral corundum, more commonly known as sapphire. Sapphire is a gemstone that forms in a variety of colors, but the most prized and valuable shade is blue. These blue sapphire stones showcase an intense, saturated blue hue.
The blue color in sapphires comes from the presence of trace amounts of iron and titanium within the mineral. Different levels of these trace elements result in the wide range of blue shades from pale sky blue to dark inky blue.
The most coveted sapphire stones from Kashmir and Myanmar have a rich, velvety blue color that leans slightly violet. This distinctive blue-violet shade was named sapphire blue after the gem that showcases it so well.
Sapphire Blue Gemstones
Sapphire gemstones have been cherished since antiquity. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans wore sapphire jewelry and believed the gem held mystical powers. Sapphires symbolized wisdom, virtue, and holiness.
Throughout history, sapphires have been associated with royalty. Kings and queens had sapphire jewelry commissions to show power and status. The british crown jewels contain several noteworthy sapphires.
Today, sapphire remains one of the most popular colored gemstones, second only to ruby. Blue is the most desired sapphire color, with shades from pale sky blue to vivid navy.
The most valuable and sought-after sapphires are:
- Cornflower blue – This medium blue is lively but elegant.
- Royal blue – Regal, rich blue.
- Padparadscha – Rare orange-pink sapphire.
- Star sapphire – Sapphire exhibiting a star-like light effect.
Sapphires over 5 carats are quite rare. A high quality sapphire over 10 carats is exceptionally valuable and can cost over $100k per carat!
Some of the most famous sapphires in the world include:
- Logan Sapphire – At 423 carats, this is one of the largest faceted blue sapphires in existence.
- Star of India – This 563 carat star sapphire is one of the largest star sapphires ever found.
- Stuart Sapphire – A historic 104 carat blue sapphire that once belonged to Princess Diana.
Uses of Sapphire Blue
Thanks to its regal, upscale vibe, sapphire blue is a popular color in many contexts despite its rarity. Here are some of the top uses of sapphire blue:
Sapphire blue adds a touch of luxury to clothing and accessories. It’s a great color for expensive fabrics like silk or cashmere. Sapphire blue shoes, bags, jewelry and hair accessories are eye-catching against black outfits.
This vivid blue works for nail polish, eye makeup, and lipstick. It’s commonly seen in mascaras and eyeliners. Sapphire blue is especially striking on darker skin tones.
In home decor, sapphire blue evokes a jewel-toned elegance. It’s the perfect accent color for cushions, rugs, candles and other decor pieces. The color also looks great on walls, doors and furniture.
Sapphire blue is a dramatic color choice for luxury vehicles. Brands like BMW and Audi have offered limited edition sapphire blue sports cars.
|Industry||Uses of Sapphire Blue|
|Fashion||Clothing, shoes, bags, accessories|
|Cosmetics||Nail polish, eye makeup, lipstick|
|Home Decor||Accent pieces, wall color, furniture|
|Automotive||Luxury and sports cars|
Sapphire Blue in Culture
Throughout history and culture, sapphire blue has symbolized many concepts:
Sapphires have long been associated with royal families, as these rare gems were only accessible to nobility. Sapphire blue therefore came to represent aristocracy, opulence, and majesty.
The ancient Persians believed the earth rested on a giant sapphire whose reflection colored the sky. Sapphire blue was seen as the color of the heavens.
Truth and Sincerity
Ancient Greeks wore sapphire for guidance and to represent truth. The gem was believed to reveal lies and instill sincerity.
In Christianity, sapphire symbolizes purity and the Virgin Mary. She is often depicted wearing sapphire blue robes.
More recently, sapphire blue has represented rarity, mystery, and spirituality in tarot readings and new age beliefs.
Rarity of Sapphire Blue
So what makes sapphire blue so rare compared to other shades of blue?
Sapphire blue only appears naturally in the mineral corundum. It does not occur widely in nature like sky blue or navy blue.
The color comes specifically from precious sapphire gemstones. Sapphires are much rarer than common blue gems like turquoise or lapis lazuli.
The most coveted sapphire blue shades come from a handful of remote, difficult-to-access mines in places like Kashmir and Myanmar.
The exact blend of trace iron and titanium that produces sapphire blue only occurs in a small percentage of corundum stones.
Size of Deposits
Sapphire deposits are relatively small and isolated compared to minerals that produce other blue pigments.
These factors combine to make sapphire blue far rarer than other blue shades. Supplies are very limited and production is small. It truly stands out as a one-of-a-kind blue.
Closest Colors to Sapphire Blue
Since sapphire blue is so rare and unique, there are no exact color matches. But here are a few shades that come close to this regal blue:
This very dark blue has a similar richness, but lacks sapphire’s violet tone.
Indigo has a comparable depth and hint of purple. But sapphire is more saturated and jewel-toned.
This ancient Chinese pigment is a deep blue with purple undertones. However, it is slightly lighter than sapphire.
The darker purple shades of iris can seem similar to sapphire. But iris has more red-violet compared to blue.
There are many lovely blues – but only sapphire has that perfect storm of depth, richness, and intrigue. It truly stands in a league of its own.
In the world of rare colors, sapphire blue is a stand-out. Its regal vibe comes from the precious sapphire gemstone, which has symbolized royalty and sanctity for ages. This saturated, midnight blue with subtle purple undertones is mysterious, elegant and sophisticated. Its rarity comes from the geology of the corundum mineral, as well as the remote locations of the most coveted sapphire mines. Sapphire blue is a one-of-a-kind shade that can’t be replicated. This striking, velvety blue is fit for kings and queens.