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The colors purple and violet are often confused, but are actually distinct hues. Purple is a blended hue: red with a mixture of blue. Violet, on the other hand, is a blend of blue with purple. These colors may be considered more obscure due to the availability of other purple and violet gemstones. However, sapphires are far more durable and brilliant than other stones of the same color. Experienced jewelers and gemologists can distinguish sapphire from amethyst by luster alone. The color of violet and purple sapphire is much more stable under normal conditions. An amethyst’s color is sensitive to heat and light.

Many purple and violet sapphires show subtle shifts in color under different kinds of lighting. They will appear violet under daylight or fluorescent lighting, and distinctly purple under incandescent lights. These “color-shift” (as opposed to “color-change” – see below) sapphires are popular with gem connoisseurs, who will pay premiums for stones with strong to vivid saturation and a conspicuous color-shift.

Purple and violet sapphires come from Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar.
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