Sapphires are cut from an extremely hard mineral called corundum, which is also the source of an even rarer gem, the ruby. Used in everything from necklaces to bracelets to rings, sapphires get their characteristic blue hue from iron and titanium in the mineral. A variant of the sapphire, the padparadscha, ranges in color from pink to orange and occurs only in Sri Lanka. Other sapphires are mined in North America, Russia, Africa, and Australia, but the most prized examples are found in Myanmar, India, and Thailand.
During the late-Georgian period, jewelers used sapphires to try out new gem cuts, the most popular being the rose cut and table cut. Georgian sapphires typically had enclosed backs and were set over foil. In the Victorian Era, sapphires were combined with other gemstones in so-called acrostic rings so that the first letter in the name of each stone spelled out the word "dearest," (i.e., diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and topaz).
By the 20th century, some of the world’s greatest examples of fine jewelry were anchored and accented by sapphires. Cosmetics queen Helena Rubinstein wore a starfish-shaped, Ecalle-designed ornament on the back of her hand, whose center was dominated by a large sapphire cabochon. Opera singer Ganna Walska wore enormous sapphires on her fingers.
Daisy Fellowes, whose grandfather was Isaac Singer (as in the sewing machine) favored sapphire brooches from Cartier. The Duchess of Windsor also shopped at Cartier for sapphires; one of her many necklaces featured no less than nine flower-like clusters of sapphires, each liberally accented with diamonds and attached to a pair of sapphire-bead chains.
The most sought-after sapphires are usually the ones of deepest blue. Kashmir sapphires are the color of cornflowers, often shading to rich purples, while those from Mynamar have a more royal-blue tint. Stones from other regions that are not as naturally blue are often cut to ensure that the meager amount of blue in the gem radiates throughout the final cut-and-polished piece (the secret is to leave the blue at the gem’s base rather than its surface).
Almost all shades of blue are generally acceptable for sapphires, even ones with gray in them, which makes the blue “steely.” Green, however, is not desirable. Unfortunately, the impurities that make most sapphires blue can also produce shades of green when the stone is held at certain angles. That’s just one reason why the skill of the cutter is so important.
Green can also occur when sapphires are heat-treated to make them more blue. In fact, heat is one of numerous treatments used to enrich the color of sapphires. For example, distr...
Last but not least is the star sapphire, whose asterism, as it is called, is the result of light playing upon the silk-like fibers within a stone. Most heat treatments diminish a stone’s asterism (the trade off for the jeweler, though, is a richer color). Some star sapphires, particularly those from Thailand and Sri Lanka, have another stone’s base glued to theirs. While this makes the gem appear larger and more imposing than it really is, over time the glue can yellow the stone.
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AmigoBingo's Twelve Days of Christmas are backCasino City Times, December 11th
Other days to keep a special eye on due to their extraordinarily nice prizes are especially Sunday 15th when white sapphire hoop earrings can be won simply by winning the most bingo patterns that day and Friday 20th December when a fantastic 50” LG ...Read more
Sotheby's to Auction Jewelry Once Owned by Duke and Duchess of WindsorWomen's Wear Daily, December 11th
Another highlight is a sapphire and diamond bracelet by Cartier, circa 1945. Designed as a series of oval links set with cushion-shaped sapphires in alternating light and dark shades of blue, it is valued at $211,000-$292,000. Among the duke's former...Read more
More than 200 lots of dazzling diamonds, jewels, fine timepieces will be sold ...ArtfixDaily, December 10th
These will include 14kt and 18kt gold jewelry pieces, diamond necklaces and earrings, sapphire necklaces and earrings and other items. Most will carry reserves as low as $200 and none will exceed $1,000. All will be snapped up. The certified diamonds ...Read more
Black Diamond Engagement Rings: Unique Coloured Rings For Your Signficant ...Huffington Post Canada, December 10th
Our Pick: <a href="http://www.zales.com/product/index.jsp?productId=29879276&fd=Under+%2450&size=96&fv=00000000~-~00004999&ff=StorePrice" target="_blank">Oval Amethyst and Lab-Created White Sapphire Three Stone Ring</a> (Pictured) Shop ...Read more
1915 Letter To Santa May Make Today's Kids Feel Pretty Greedy In Comparison ...Huffington Post, December 10th
A large sapphire ring found by metal detector enthusiast Michael Greenhorn in a field near Escrick, England is thought to have originated in the 5th or 6th century and may have even belonged to a king. Greenhorn sold the ring to the Yorkshire Museum...Read more
Jewelry: Flights of FancyGulfshore Life, December 9th
Diamond and white gold plume earring; diamond and yellow gold four-petal earrings; diamond and white gold buterfly charm; diamond and yellow gold eight-flower ring; diamond, yellow sapphire and yellow gold butterfly earring; citrine, sapphire and...Read more
This Beautiful Wedding Band Is Actually Made Of Dinosaur BoneHuffington Post, November 25th
"My ring is a 3-carat sapphire ring on a band with two rows of channel-set diamonds. Wouldn't have it any other way!" - Cary Queen. "Green sapphire -- a stronger approximation of peridot (his birth stone) in a vintage setting that belonged to his...Read more
Anna Hu Sets Global Auction Records for Highest Price Paid for a Contemporary ...PR Newswire (press release), November 12th
Anna Hu Sets Global Auction Records For Highest Price Paid For A Contemporary Jewelry Artist And For A Burmese Sapphire -- Anna Hu's Cote d'Azur Brooch sells for CHF 4,197,000 (EUR 3,411,847 / US$ 4,568,163) at Christie's Magnificent ... GENEVA ...Read more