Sapphire’s color can range from violet to blue to a very strong greenish blue. The most valuable sapphires are medium to medium dark blue to violetish blue. Sapphire gets its blue color from iron and titanium impurities in its chemical makeup. The more iron a sapphire contains, the darker the sapphire. Unlike ruby and pink sapphire, the color range of blue sapphire is fairly broad. A blue sapphire can be very pale blue, nearly colorless, or so dark it’s almost black or anywhere in between. Dark “commercial quality” sapphires are typically found in basalt deposits which have a high iron content. While a sapphire must contain iron to be blue sapphire, the abundance of iron in these basalt deposits causes the sapphires to be darker and less desirable and therefore less valuable. Many of these darker blue sapphires are cut so shallow that you can see straight through them. This is an attempt to make a dark sapphire appear to be lighter; however, this “window” can make a sapphire less valuable especially in higher quality sapphires. The color of blue sapphire is often concentrated in bands. This effect is referred to as color zoning. While it is most desirable for a sapphire to have even color throughout the stone, if a color zoned sapphire is cut properly the color of the sapphire can appear uniform when viewed from the top. Often times if only a small portion of the bottom point, or “culet”, of the sapphire is blue that color will be reflected in every facet of the sapphire making the entire sapphire appear blue.