Montana Sapphires are a precious gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum, and are extracted from the state of Montana. They commonly occur in light pastels, deep blues and greens, and smoky greys. Having only been actively mined for a little over 100 years, Montana Sapphires are a relatively new addition to the gem world when compared to their counterparts. Montana is a true treasure as it is the only location in the United States where sapphires can be found. Feast your eyes on this grey beauty as we prepare to venture back and learn about their rich history and why we love Montana Sapphires:
HISTORY OF MONTANA SAPPHIRES
Montana Sapphires were first unintentionally discovered in the 1860s as crowds of people migrated west in search of gold. Initially, the stones were unrecognized as sapphires because their colors were predominately shades of yellows and whites. Once identified, they were (mistakenly) thought to have little value.
Nearly two decades later in the 1880s, a deposit of bright cornflower blue sapphires were discovered in Yogo Gulch. While still thought to be a low-value stone, Jake Hoover, a local Montana gold miner sent a box of “little blue pebbles” to Tiffany & Co. in New York. There, an appraiser reported them to be some of the finest and most uniquely colored precious gemstones ever discovered in the United States. After this turning point, Montana—the Treasure State—would be home to the rarest and most beautiful sapphires naturally available in North America. In 1969, sapphires were declared the state gemstone of Montana.
WHERE MONTANA SAPPHIRES ARE LOCATED
The majority of Montana Sapphires are located in the southwest part of the state. There are four primary locations where sapphires are mined; each location is marked on the map below:
The Missouri River is home to many sapphire deposits in Montana. They can be found at various gravel bars along the river including Spokane Bar, Dana Bar, American Bar, French Bar, Metropolitan Bar, and El Dorado Bar.
Located in the center of the state, the Yogo Gulch, or the Yogo sapphires mines, produce a bounty of beautiful blue sapphires. Many of the stones range from a naturally vibrant blue to violet color and typically do not require heat treatments.
Known as Gem Mountain, Rock Creek, is home to a rainbow of sapphires. This mountain range located in Western Montana produces the largest array of colored sapphires found in a single location.
DRY COTTONWOOD CREEK
While this site has been mined off and on for many years, a fair amount of high-clarity fancy sapphires have been excavated at Dry Cottonwood Creek. Of special note, these sapphires span a range of colors and contain very few, if any, inclusions or cavities. This results in even coloring and uniform clarity.
WHY ANUEVA LOVES MONTANA SAPPHIRES
Montana Sapphires hold a very dear place in our hearts here at Anueva. We love sourcing stones close to home and as the only natural sapphires in the United States, we can't get much closer than our (almost) neighbor state!
Montana sapphires are known for their unique colors. From dreamy watercolor pastels to vivid blues, teals, and smoky greys, their diverse color palette is straight from nature. These earthly treasures are the perfect stone to star in an antique or nature-inspired ring. The deep teals are reminiscent of the Washington-state evergreens. In fact, these green giants serve as the inspiration for our proprietary hand-carved Evergreen texture! Montana sapphire rings finished with an Evergreen texture are the epitome of a nature lover’s dream ring. There’s a reason this beautiful Montana Sapphire Solitaire with an Evergreen Finish is an Anueva Best Seller:
We deploy great scrutiny when selecting which businesses with whom we choose to partner. Many of the stones at Aneuva are hand-selected from small businesses, many of which are small-scale, family-run operations. As an eco-conscious company that proudly plants 1-2 trees per purchase through our partnership with Plant-It-2020, we are happy to report that many of our partners embody similar values. To protect and restore mined lands, several businesses redeposit soil and native grasses after a mining location closes.