Monday, 9 September 2013

September Sapphire

Dinny Hall purple and Cornflower Blue Sapphire (from Sri Lanka) Stacking Rings with a Rose Cut Diamond 
and Eternity Rings.

Sapphires are my favourite gemstones  we sell more of them than any other precious gemstone. 
The gemstone can come in nearly any colour under the sun, but is most commonly found in shades of blue. Although Sapphires can be heat treated to enchance their natural colour. Padparadscha Sapphires are an incredible Orange/Pink, this colour is very rare as it's like nothing else. Most people don't know that a Ruby is the same mineral as a Sapphire but contains Chromium in the stone making it a different gem from a Sapphire.

I've mostly used Sapphires in my engagement ring designs, although I would love to use them much more, so watch out for more designs. 

Sapphire's are mined mostly in Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Burma and unlike many other coloured gemstones are hard enough to wear everyday for a lifetime as it is the second hardest natural material on the planet. There is a place in Australia named 'Sapphire' after it's local sapphire mine, where the gem's they tend to mine are in the darker colour's which I think are better suited to the men. 

Sapphire's from Kashmir, India are extremely rare and expensive, and are known for their highly saturated violet-blue colour and 'velvety' transparency which is caused by the presence of 'silk' in the stones. Kashmir Sapphire's were first discovered when a landslide revealed large blue crystals in the Earth. Due to extensive mining of Kashmir Sapphire's in the 1880's, Sapphire's from this area haven't been mined in over a Century making them very sought after and rarely available for sale, their extreme rarity gives these stone's a nearly mythical reputation. 

Hill's Kashmir Sapphire

The famous 22.66-carat Kashmir blue sapphire is an unnamed blue sapphire that once belonged to the family of the railroad magnate James J. Hill, and was used as the centerpiece of a pendant to a diamond and sapphire encrusted necklace consisting of 36 other gemstones. The piece was kept in Hill's family from 1886 when James gave it to his wife as a present until 2006 when it was donated to the Minnesota Historical Society. The necklace set a new world record for price per carat AND whole stone when it was sold in Christie's, New York in 2007. 

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