The sapphire is one of the three gem-varieties of corundum, the other two being ruby – defined as corundum in a shade of red—and padparadscha—a pinkish orange variety. Although blue is their most well-known color, sapphires may also be colorless and they are found in many colors including shades of gray and black.
The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality – as well as their geographic origin. Significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China (Shandong), Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America in a few locations, mostly in Montana. Sapphire and rubies are often found in the same geographic environment, but one of the gems is usually more abundant in any of the sites.