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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Elements Lab to Debut App to Custom Design Your Own 3D Printed Jewelry3DPrint.com, February 8th
elements 3 I love jewelry. It's just a fact of my life (sometimes much to my poor husband's chagrin). Wearing a ring or pendant with great meaning can make me feel closer to family members, while statement pieces can add the right panache to an outfit...Read more
Top 5 Takeaways From the 2016 Tucson Gem ShowsJCK (blog), February 8th
Tamir Pinchasi of Tamir Jewels in New York City showed two spectacular rings at AGTA, both in unique blackened metal settings. One, a 5.55 ct. mint green tourmaline, wholesales for $9,900, while the other, a 5.56-ct. unheated yellow sapphire from Sri...Read more
Crime ReportUnion Daily Times, February 8th
29 that someone stole several pieces of jewelry from her home, including a diamond and sapphire ring with a gold band valued at $300; a ring with a large ruby and many diamonds on an ornate gold band valued at $150; a gold wedding band with diamonds ...Read more
Crime Reported in ColleyvilleLocal News Only, February 7th
Officer Craig Terrell was advised at 3:59 PM by the victim, Nancy Joyce Rogers, that a two tone gold and stainless steel Rolex watch (n/a), 18k gold ring with sapphire and emerald stones (n/a), and a white pearl necklace (n/a) had been stolen...Read more
Contest showcases the lost art of writing love lettersDaily Inter Lake, February 6th
McGough and Co. is running its annual $1,000 Love Letter Contest. Those who wish to submit a letter need to have their letters in by Friday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day. Last year's winner used the prize toward...Read more
Celebrities And Their Stylists Previewed Jewelry From DAVANI At StyleLab's ...PR Newswire (press release), January 30th
SAG nominee Sola Bamis ("Mad Men") looked stunning in a pair of dangle earrings featuring over 90-carats of yellow sapphire slices, white sapphires and diamonds, set in 14k white gold and priced at $9,904. To make a major statement, Sola added the ...Read more
Long Island woman sues Nassau County cops after cleared of stealing diamond ...New York Daily News, January 28th
The mall cops would have done better investigating this caper. A 48-year-old Long Island woman who was arrested for stealing a diamond sapphire ring from a jewelry store is suing the Nassau County detectives now that she has been exonerated by ...Read more
Three more men convicted in brazen $20M London jewelry heist in Hatton GardenNew York Daily News, January 14th
jewelry district, an audacious 14 million-pound ($20 million) heist that prosecutors called the largest burglary in English history. The haul included gold, diamond and sapphire jewelry, cash and other valuables belonging to local jewelers in...Read more