World of Sapphires
Sapphires at a Glance:
|Colour:||Blue, Yellow, Pink, Green, Orange, Brown or colourless|
|Main Factor affecting Value:||Colour is the most important factor. Lack of inclusions and higher transparency also increase the value of sapphires|
|Inclusions:||There are nearly always Inclusions in Sapphires|
|Birthstone:||Sapphire is the September Birthstone|
|Some Sapphire Mines:||Eastern Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania (East Africa) and North Amereica|
A Super Sparkling look at the World of Sapphires
The world of precious gems is both intriguing and beautifully varied, and there may be few as well placed an example of this as the world of sapphires. So here we take a look at the sapphire stone and take time to appreciate just what this jewel brings to the sparkling work of gems.
Sapphires - A few famous fans
A right Royal story:
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is known as one of the most famous celebrities to wear Sapphires. Her engagement ring was, of course, first worn by Princess Diana and consists of 12 solitaire diamonds and a 12-carat oval sapphire set within 18-carat white gold. When purchased originally in 1981 the ring was worth £28,000; today however, with its extensive royal connections, it is now worth an estimated £300,000.
Anna Kournikova rocks the pinkest of sapphires:
Anna Kournikova demonstrates just how beautiful the pink sapphire can be as she wears her £2 million engagement ring (from Enrique Iglesias, no less) everywhere, even on the tennis court.
The story behind the scenes of Titanic and that ‘Heart of the Ocean’ necklace:
There were two ‘Heart of the Ocean’ necklaces used within the filming of Titanic… one that was designed and created by Harry Wilson, which featured a blue sapphire as well as a $20 million price tag, and another which featured a 12-carat blue diamond which cost a comparatively measly $10,000.
Sapphires: Just where do these beautiful jewels come from?
In comparison to other gems, Sapphires are relatively diverse in relation to the regions of the world that they are mined from. In the main, these stones come from the following countries (although this is by no means a complete or all-encompassing list): Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam. The sapphires that are found from one region or country to another can be wildly different in qualities and appearance. For example, in Beluga, sapphires tend to have a distinctive deep blue colour with violet overtones, whereas Afghanistan and Pakistan offer stones that are more tourmaline or aquamarine in tone.
A little technical information upon the Sapphire gem
A few general notes on sapphire value
The most valuable of all sapphires are those that are cornflower blue (which tends to mostly emerge from Sri Lanka). As a general rule of thumb however, focusing upon the deepness of the colour and the clarity of the stone will provide you with a good base upon which to work, whatever the colour of the sapphire (which may actually be White, Colourless, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray, Black, or Multi-coloured).
The hardness of the stone
Like many gemstones, Sapphires can range in hardness, and are defined by a 9 step scale where 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. This denotes how susceptible the stone may be to scratching, with the softest being most prone and the hardest least prone.
The three components of a sapphire: Hue, saturation and tone
When purchasing sapphire gems, there are three qualifying components that will determine the gem’s value. These are hue, saturation and tone:
- Hue is more commonly understood as the colour of the gem;
- Saturation is the vividness of the stone;
- Tone is the range of light to dark within the colour of the gem.
Blue Sapphires: The true jewel within the Sapphire world’s crown
Most of us will conjure up an image of a blue stone gem as soon as the word ‘Sapphire’ is mentioned and, whilst sapphires feature in many colours, it is often the blue sapphire that is considered to be the most beautiful, as well as accounting for some of the most valuable in the world. The blue sapphire is the birthstone of September and is known to represent serenity and loyalty; they are frequently given as a gift to brides as their something blue on their big day.
Evaluating the worth of a beautiful deep blue sapphire - Blue sapphires are evaluated based upon the pureness of what is known as their primary hue; purple, violet and green may all then serve as the secondary hues within the stone, with violet and purple contributing to a rich blue, and green generally detracting from the overall effect. Because of this, green hue based sapphires are considered to be of lower quality than those that are violet or purple based.
The Sapphire: Legends and myths
1. The sapphire was originally thought to protect the wearer against evil, and most specifically against poisoning (which was relatively common amongst the Ancient Persian societies).
2. The ruby gemstone is actually a sapphire, only in a rich red colour!
3. The diamond is often thought of as the most precious of all gemstones, but in actuality this title truly belongs to the sapphire, in particular the Cornflower blue sapphire.
The world’s most famous Sapphires
1. The Logan Sapphire:
The Logan Sapphire is a 422.99 carat sapphire, making it one of the largest sapphires in the entire world. The diamond surrounded gem was gifted to the Smithsonian Institute from Mrs John A. Logan back in 1960.
2. The Star of Bombay:
The Star of Bombay is a gemstone that features 182 carats and weighs in at 36.4g. Once the property of silent screen starlet Mary Pickford, today this gem is also under the care of the Smithsonian Institution.
3. The Rockefeller Sapphire:
The Rockefeller Sapphire features 62.02 carats and an internally flawless, princess cut blue sapphire. The name ‘Rockefeller’ is due to the gemstone's one time owner: Mr John D. Rockefeller Jr, who purchased the stone from an Indian Maharajah.
Three little known facts about the beautiful world of Sapphires
1. Sapphires are traditionally associated with truth, sincerity, and constancy.
2. The exact colour of a sapphires is defined by the gem’s selective absorption of certain wavelengths of light known as the colour body.
3. The name ‘Sapphire’ emerges from the ancient Greek word ‘Sappheiros’, which can be literally translated to mean ‘precious stone’.