September 2nd 2015 12:55 pm | by Gemme Couture | Posted in Blog
When hearing the word Sapphire many people immediately envision a stunning violet-blue gemstone because the word “Sapphire” is Greek for blue. Since Ancient times the Blue Sapphire represented a promise of honesty, loyalty, purity and trust. Medieval clergy wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, while commoners thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. This gemstone is believed to have healing powers of creative expression and inner peace and meditation, the Sapphire also aids in personal expression and the alleviation of pain. Sapphires are also one of the most popular engagement gemstones today. Just think about Princess Diana’s engagement ring, now worn by Princess Catherine, it consists of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold.
Sapphires with highly saturated violet-blue color and “velvety” or “sleepy” transparency are more rare. The purer the blue of the Sapphire, the greater the price. Blue sapphires range from very light to very dark greenish or violetish blue, as well as various shades of pure blue. Sapphires are not only blue, they come in almost every color of the rainbow: Pink, purple, green, orange, or yellow corundum are known by their color (pink sapphire, green sapphire). Ruby is the red variety of corundum. The most sought-after color fancy Sapphire is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha: a pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset. These ultra-rare, ultra-expensive stones are among the most coveted gems in the world.
Gemme Couture loves to work with the whole color range of Sapphires, some of our Candy Collection items are dedicated to this beautiful and colorful gemstone.
Sapphires are not only beautiful stones that are commonly worn in jewelry but because of the remarkable hardness of sapphires – 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, after diamond), sapphires are used in some non-ornamental applications, including infrared optical components, such as in scientific instruments; high-durability windows; wristwatch crystals and movement bearings.
Sapphire is found in many parts of the world, but the most prized Sapphires are from Myanmar (Burma), Kashmir and Sri Lanka. Sapphires from different geographic locations may have different appearances or chemical-impurity concentrations, and tend to contain different types of microscopic inclusions. Because of this, sapphires can be divided into three broad categories: classic metamorphic, non-classic metamorphic or magmatic, and classic magmatic. Sapphires from certain locations, or of certain categories, may be more commercially appealing than others, particularly classic metamorphic sapphires from Kashmir (India), Burma, or Sri Lanka that have not been subjected to heat-treatment.
The Logan sapphire, the Star of India, and the Star of Bombay originate from Sri Lankan mines. Madagascar is the world leader in sapphire production (as of 2007). Prior to the opening of the Ilakaka mines in Madagascar, Australia was the largest producer of sapphires (such as in 1987).
The sapphire deposits of Kashmir are still well known in the gem industry, despite the fact that the peak production from this area mostly took place in a relatively short period at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kashmir-origin contributes meaningfully to the value of a sapphire, and most corundum of Kashmir origin can be readily identified by its characteristic silky appearance and exceptional hue. At present, the world record price-per-carat for sapphire at auction was achieved by a sapphire from Kashmir in a ring, which sold for approximately $212,000 per carat (more than $7.45 million in total, including buyer’s premium) in May 2015.