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Most people get a bit confused by the difference between rubies and pink sapphire. Although they are the same material (AlO2 or corundum), the stone is only considered a ruby if its color is pure red. In most of the Orient, in fact, there is no word for “pink”; pink is viewed simply a weaker gradation of red. Therefore, in other parts of the world, these stones are still considered rubies.

Ceylon pink sapphire tend to have a tinge of blue making them slightly more purplish. Large sizes are rare, and fine examples truly mark the borderline between pink sapphire and ruby. Often they are priced as rubies. There are also African varieties which run the gamut of color but large sizes are rare. Many new pinks are coming from Madagascar, these are relatively new material and the full range is still to be explored.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) produces many pretty shades of pink, tending towards the lighter side and some with tinges of violet and purple. A few different varieties of pink sapphire often come from Burma, the home of many fabled rubies. Other notable sources are Vietnam, and the Tunduru region of Tanzania