Montana Sapphires Amaze, But Are They Truly Rare?
Montana has every right to be proud of the sapphires that can be found here. Why are these sapphires so special and are they actually rare? Yes, and we learned all the 'dirt' about these incredibly popular gemstones.
Montana is the ONLY source of sapphires that are mined in the United States, according to The Natural Sapphire Company. There are four primary mining areas in Montana: "Yogo Gulch, Rock Creek, Dry Cottonwood Creek, and the gravel bars along the Missouri River northeast of Helena." The only real drawback to Montana sapphires is their size - cut yogo sapphires are rarely larger than one carat.
They've been called the "Skittles of the gemstone world" because sapphires can be found in a vast array of colors. Given their name, most sapphires are some shade of blue but they can be found in almost any color including yellow and red.
Montana sapphires are famous for their clarity and strength. We've also got most of that color spectrum covered, although red sapphires are incredibly rare. As stated above, our sapphire just aren't very big.
In addition to being the birthstone for September, sapphires are included in the "big three" of gemstones - rubies and emeralds are the other two. Some of the most valuable sapphires are the deep blue, and Montana Yogo Sapphires can fall into that category. According to the GIA:
In general, the more intense and uniform the color is, the more valuable the stone.
Sapphires that are not blue are known as fancy sapphires, and may be any color—except red (which is a ruby).
The fancy sapphire colors are: pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, and violet. The most valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium-dark tones. Sapphires with these qualities command the highest prices per carat.