Montana's exclusive Yogo sapphire, known as the finest gemstone in America , has been a Montana treasure for over a hundred years. When the "blue pebbles" were originally noticed by gold prospectors they were disregarded until over a decade later when they were recognized as sapphires. A year later the stones were officially discovered as sapphires when a local rancher, Jake Hoover, sent a cigar box containing the sapphires to an assay office, which in turn sent them to Tiffany's in New York. There the nation's leading gemologist at the time pronounced they were "the finest precious gemstones ever found in the United States."
Yogo sapphires acquired their name from the source where they are found, at Yogo Gulch in Judith Basin County, Montana. This location has proven to be a challenging site to recover the beautiful gemstones. This has made Yogo sapphires extremely rare, in addition, less than 10% of rough crystals will yield a finished faceted stone that's one carat or larger. Yogo sapphires are known for having a natural "cornflower" blue color without the use of treatments to enhance their appearance, whereas the majority of sapphires around the world are heat-treated to improve their color. Almost all Yogo sapphires are blue, the only other color they are found to have is purple.
Yogo sapphires have an impressive history, from adorning First Ladies to British royalty. Soon after their discovery Yogo sapphires were presented at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where they were awarded a silver medal amongst some of the world's finest gems. Currently there are several Yogo sapphires displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.