NATURAL MONTANA SAPPHIRES: Mine to Market

There’s an implicitly rustic appeal to Montana sapphires. Maybe it’s because we can envision where they come from. The steely blue mountains, swaying cottonwood trees and boundless sky inspire settings and ring designs more reflective of the natural world. So much so, some clients actually elect to keep their center stones rough and untouched, save for a flattened bottom to set. The best way to get started on designing your own is to start a Design Page.
Get inspired by our collection of Montana Sapphire Engagement Rings & work with our designers to create something completely new and spectacular!

What makes a Montana Sapphire so different?

The kind of sapphires Green Lake is sourcing from Montana are different in the way they’re mined. Unlike some sapphire deposits that lay deep underground in hard rock dikes (requiring more extensive tunneling and excavation), these sapphires are sourced from alluvial deposits. An alluvial sapphire deposit is where the mineral corundum was ejected from prehistoric volcanoes with trace elements of titanium and aluminum, left to roll over millennia down rivers that have long since dried up. This means their mining is more ecologically sustainable, free of the extensive tunneling or outright removal of mountaintops that can devastate the natural environment

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While in the U.S., Montana may boast the richest deposits of corundum (the mineral that makes up sapphires and rubies), an overwhelming majority of the gems that sell have traditionally come from South Asia (places like Sri Lanka and Myanmar). Because much of the mining taking place in Montana today is relatively small-scale, getting a regular supply of consistent, production-grade sapphires can prove to be a more trying (and pricier) endeavor than simply working with a larger consortium from afar. So if you were unaware that some of the rarest, most beautiful sapphires in the world are discovered right in your backyard, you’re not alone.

Montana Sapphires

Green Lake’s collection of ecologically sourced Montana sapphires come from small-scale, low impact mines that sort through alluvial deposits which were once the riverbeds of ancient waterways.


Sapphires discovered in this region of the world come in a wild array of color - from lush peach to deep teal - and it's exceptionally rare to find any two that are alike. From Victorian-era jewelry to contemporary design, sapphires are a favorite gemstone for bridal pieces to last the ages. A gem variety of corundum, sapphire gets its colors from subtle differences in chemical composition, such as varying amounts of iron or titanium. This produces colors that range from deep and inky to lighter tones, with a cool iridescent sparkle.


Sustainable Mining Stewards

Sapphire mining in Montana is an echo of the original gold rush. Today miners search for the very stones that many of their own prospecting ancestors had unwittingly tossed to the wayside, on an 1860's-era search for gold. Today these miners use both sustainable and environmentally friendly systems to protect their communities and legacy.

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