This is the name given to the pink variety of corundum, red corundum generally being known in English-speaking countries as ruby, blue corundum as sapphire, and any other shades as sapphire combined with the appropriate color: pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, green sapphire, etc. Pink sapphire and ruby are regarded as two different varieties, despite the fact that the only difference is their depth of color. The same does not apply to tourmaline, both the pink and red forms of which are known as rubellite, or to sapphire and emerald, which keep their names even for paler specimens.
Appearance Pink sapphire may range from a very delicate, pleasing, lively pink, without any overtones, to pink with a slight violet tinge; but all gradations of color are possible, from those tending toward ruby to those tending to)ard violet sapphire. Like all forms of corundum, it has very good luster. It is normally given a mixed, oval cut and sometimes has fine inclusions and liquid veils in lacelike formations, characteristic of the corundum of Sri Lanka, from where most pink sapphire comes. Stones of several carats are normal, but specimens of 10 carats or more are rare.
Distinctive features Pink sapphire's most striking characteristic is its luster, common to all corundum and most noticeable in light-colored specimens. It is usually, though not always, a livelier, more attractive color than tourmaline; and as is often the case with paler stones, the physical characteristics generally have to be measured to tell them apart. ln the case of pink stones, measurement of the density by ineans of heavy liquids may be sufficient.
Occurrence Pink sapphire comes almost exclusively from Sri Lanka; much more rarely from Burma.
Value Although the "minor" varieties of corundum are always a lot less valuable than rubies and sapphires, pink sapphire is more highly prized than the yellow, green, and violet varieties, as it is so attractive. It is one of the most valuable secondarygems.
Simulants and synthetics Pink sapphire has not really been imitated, but it has been produced synthetically by the Verneuil flame fusion method. The synthetic form, like that of yellow sapphire, is extremely well disguised and it is very hard to distinguish it from the natural varieties.