Sapphires panned from river gravels

Sapphires panned from river gravels

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Credit: VAUGHAN FLEMING/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sapphires. Sapphire is a highly prized, deep blue, transparent variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). Small amounts of iron and titanium give it its colour. Sapphires are found in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Kashmir, Australia, Afghanistan and Montana (USA). Those seen here were panned from river gravels and have been smoothed and rounded by abrasion.

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Keywords: corundum, mineral, sapphire

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