Strict guidelines for mining in the states means that Montana sapphires have much less of an impact on the Earth than stones from nearly anywhere else. Mostly found in the western half of the state, these gorgeous gems are famous for their rich and unusual colors.
What is special about Montana Sapphire?
A durable stone with excellent toughness, it also ranks nine on the Mohs scale of hardness. Montana sapphire is not likely to scratch or chip, making it a great choice for daily wear. High heat could damage the stone’s color or clarity.
What makes Montana sapphires different?
One of the most striking differences between Montana Sapphires and Sapphires from other areas of the world is their color. Sapphires from Montana are unique in that they naturally occur in light pastels, unique blue-greens, and smoky grays. So, a Montana Sapphire could be a calming bathwater green or a sky blue-grey.
Are Montana sapphires valuable?
To be specific, the majority is under 1/2ct and a very limited supply of the sapphires are over 1ct, which makes the stone substantially more expensive per carat. Typical Montana sapphire can cost anywhere from $250-$1500 per carat for under 1/2ct to upwards of $7000 per carat for larger than 5 carats.
Is Montana known for sapphires?
Montana is known as the Treasure State because it is rich in many mineral and gemstone sources, including two types of sapphires: the Yogo Sapphire from the central area of the state, and Fancy Montana Sapphires found mostly in the western half of the state.
What color sapphire is the most expensive?
In terms of color, pure blue sapphires are the most highly prized, and therefore tend to be the most expensive. This is one of the qualities of the Kashmir sapphire, said to be like “blue velvet” in their appearance.
Where can I dig for Montana sapphires?
Montana’s many colored sapphires are mined in the famous placer gravels in the Sapphire Mountains near Philipsburg about 200 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the sapphires are found in the famed Rock Creek deposit, nicknamed “Gem Mountain.” Gold miners discovered sapphires there in the 1890’s.
How much are Yogo sapphires worth?
Because of their fine quality, the price differential between Yogo and other fancy Montana sapphires can be significant. Baide said that other Montana sapphires can average about $1,000 per carat, compared with somewhere around $10,000 per carat for a Yogo sapphire.
Are Montana sapphires natural?
All of the stones are natural and untreated in any way. The last Montana deposit of sapphires worth noting is on Dry Cottonwood Creek, northwest of Butte. These are also alluvial sapphires and were mined in combination with placer gold in the first decade of the 1900’s.
How rare are Montana sapphires?
Considering that a rough nugget will yield a cut stone only about 1/3 of the original size means that large, fine quality faceted Montana sapphires are very rare. It is uncommon to see a fine quality faceted Montana sapphire weighing over 2 carats, gems over 3 carats are extremely rare.
How do you clean Montana sapphires?
Sapphires can be cleaned at home with warm water and a splash of any type of dish or cleaning detergent that has degreasing ability. Avoid using anything that has moisturizers, abrasives or anti-static agents, as they will leave a residue and scratch the metal. Scrub gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse well.
Can you heat treat sapphires at home?
The easiest way to improve clarity and color of low-grade sapphires is to mimic the natural process and apply heat via an oven or furnace. Heating a sapphire at high temperatures specifically dissolves inclusions known as “silk” and other impurities, making the gemstone more valuable.
What kind of rock are Yogo sapphires found in?
They are found in a system of igneous intrusions called dikes. There are six main dikes that form the centre of the Yogo sapphire deposit. All are composed of a type of igneous rock called a lamprophyre.
Are all Montana sapphires heat treated?
The majority of my Montana sapphires are unheated, as I strongly prefer to cut and sell a completely natural gemstone. That said, I do have some stones heated. The work required to mine each sapphire is significant, and they are rare gems, even when they require heat to reach their full potential.
How can you tell a Yogo sapphire?
Often, they appear blue in daylight and violet to purple in incandescent light. Pale colors shift from sky blue to lavender. Yogo sapphires have a beautiful deep cornflower blue color without any treatment. However, these stones tend to be small, with few above 0.5-ct.
Are Yogo sapphires only found in Montana?
Yogo Sapphires are the most precious sapphires found in North America. They are considered to be among the finest sapphires in the world. These unique gems come from only limited area, named Yogo Gulch, located in the Little Belt Mountains of Montana.