Sapphire is a gemstone of considerable reach and much studied, and yet still delivering scientific surprises. This is most recently exemplified by a new paper in this issue of American Mineralogist by Palke and Breeding (2017) that re-interprets the origin of needle-like rutile inclusions that form “silk” in sapphires.

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Sapphire as a gem variety of corundum with wide use in the gem trade as one of the more historically valuable colored gem stones (CGS). It is mined from a great variety of continental gem deposits across the world. A masterly compendium on this gemstone and its ramifications is available (...

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