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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Suspect accused of cashing fake checks against Mamaroneck Rd woman's ...Scarsdale10583.com, October 22nd
The missing jewelry included the following pieces: one gold and diamond necklace, one gold necklace with five semi-precious stones, two pairs of diamond earrings, a diamond and sapphire bracelet with matching earrings and a diamond tennis bracelet...Read more
Kate Middleton Dazzles in Celeb-Loved Jewelry Brand Last Night—Get the ...E! Online, October 22nd
Of course she still upholds tradition; after all, she is always wearing a piece of history with her blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring. But she still likes to accessorize with her own of-the-moment, trendy jewelry. Just chalk it up to another...Read more
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in Monica Vinader loved by Emma Watson, Cheryl ...Daily Mail, October 22nd
Undoubtedly the best-known item in Kate's jewellery collection is her £28,500 engagement ring, which once belonged to Princess Diana. The blue sapphire, which sparkles with 14 diamonds, was bought at the former Crown jewellers Garrard of Mayfair for a ...Read more
Jana Duggar Reveals Why She Hasn't Married, Volunteering At Fire Department ...Mstarz, October 21st
“Mama selected some very special rings from her jewelry box for each of us to choose from. Jana's ring has one red sapphire surrounded by tiny diamonds. Jill's is a beautiful pearl. Jinger's ring has a heart design set with a small diamond. Jessa's is...Read more
Treasures of the Maharajas: The Dazzling Al-Thani Indian Jewelry CollectionForbes, October 20th
“Without doubt,” he says, “the piece which most impressed me was the Mughal sapphire turban ornament given to Admiral Charles Watson by Nawab Mir Jafar in 1757.” In the Watson sarpech, part of the V&A's permanent collection, you can find the seeds of ...Read more
Angara Offers Free Sapphire PendantCryptoCoinsNews, October 18th
Angara states, “Sapphire jewelry makes a very significant gift for any special occasion as it speaks about love, devotion, heavenly beauty and eternal bonding.” Your 14K White Gold V-bale pendant design consists of a classic pear-shape complemented by...Read more
Graff's Nuage Jewelry Collection Inspired By Clouds And FlowersForbes, October 13th
This is probably most explicit in a sapphire and diamond necklace with swirling pavé diamonds in the shapes of clouds embracing brilliant cut sapphires spouting out of the white metal and diamonds like flowers in bloom. The necklace is accompanied by a ...Read more
Pink Diamond Sets Auction Record; Sapphires, Pearls and Rubies Climb in ...Forbes, October 12th
I'm a one-time daily newspaper reporter who now writes about high-end jewelry, the finest timepieces, luxury and fashion. It seems remarkable when looking back, but, at the same time, it feels quite normal. My first magazine job was with a design and ...Read more