Blue sapphires from the baw mar mine in mogok

Hpone Phyo Kan-Nyunt, Stefanos Karampelas, Klemens Link, Kyaw Thu, Lore Kiefert, Pierre Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In the last five years, fine Burmese blue sapphires from the Baw Mar area of Mogok have reached the market. The faceted stones typically show a strong pleochroism from greenish to violetish blue when viewed perpendicular and parallel to the c-axis, respectively, with medium to strong saturation and medium to dark tone. Most of the samples were relatively clean under the microscope, showing multiple twinning with whitish needle-like inclusions (presumably boehmite) at the intersections. Often, these inclusions were associated with stress tension fissures. Needles, most likely rutile, were found only occasionally, but small platelets and needle-like particles, probably ilmenite, appeared more frequently. Most of the stones contained surface-reaching open and healed fissures, but crystal inclusions of K-feldspar and mica (identified by Raman) were occasionally encountered. The sapphires also had a relatively high iron content, low gallium, and very low titanium. Their Ga/Mg ratio varied from 0.6 to 17. Their UV-Vis- NIR spectra displayed intense iron-related absorptions, and the FTIR absorption spectra presented mainly boehmite- and mica-related bands. Based on careful microscopic observations, combined with spectroscopic and chemical analysis, the sapphire from Baw Mar can, in most cases, be distinguished from the blue sapphire of other localities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalGems and Gemology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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