Sapphires: what you should know!
Sapphires, we often think of them as beautiful blue gemstones, but surprisingly they come in a rainbow of colours. They are made from corundum and every colour except the red ones are called sapphires. The red ones are rubies. Sapphires can be white, grey, blue/green, violet, purple, orange, yellow, yellow/green, brown, peachy pink, pink and black! A huge list! ‘Fancy sapphires’ are less common and account for the violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple and part coloured ones. And, amazingly there are ‘colour changing’ sapphires that are blue in the daylight but turn purple in incandescent light.
The sapphire measures 9 on the hardness (Mohs) scale (a diamond is a 10!), so it’s really strong and sturdy. It won’t scratch easily and can withstand heavy wear and tear. They are mined in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, the USA and Madagascar. Sri Lanka being the biggest producer and Kashmir and Myanmar sourcing the most expensive gems.
The History of Birthstones
Birthstones connect your month of birth to a precious gem and thus make a really meaningful gift for a loved one or for yourself! The idea of having a birthstone dates back to biblical times and seems to originate from the Book of Exodus where Aaron is described as having a breastplate adorned with 12 different stones. These stones represented the 12 sons of Israel.
Furthermore in the first century, 2 schollars, Falvius Josephus and St Jerome associated these stones with the months of the year and the 12 signs of the zodiac. They began to encourage Christians to wear the stones linked to the month in which they were born. The stones were thought to have special powers and give protection to the wearer. A new tradition was established that would last for centuries. People would wear these stones on their belts, bracelets and around their necks. Hindus have similar traditions too.
Later in the 18th Century in Poland, Jewish gem traders began to sell the stones based on the month the wearer was born. In 1912 the American National Association of Jewellers began to cement the list of stones linking them to a specific month. Today each month has between 1 and 3 precious stones linked to it, allowing some of us to choose the stone that we prefer!
Wearing Your Birthstone
So, why bother with birthstones? Well, wearing your birthstone on a piece of jewellery is very popular because it’s fun, colourful and appeals to people regardless of where they live and what religion they are. It makes jewellery personalised and can create a really special gift for someone close to you or someone you’d like to show your appreciation of. Some still believe that wearing your birthstone can bring good luck, good health and protection.
The Sapphire, myths, legends and secrets
The sapphire has been thought to guard off evil, have healing powers and be an antidote to poison. It has been traditionally favoured by royalty and the clergy. It has been said to symbolise purity, truth, wisdom, nobility and Heaven itself. The name sapphire comes from the Latin ‘sapphirus’ and the Greek ‘sappheiros’ meaning blue stone.
The Rockerfeller Sapphire is said to set the standard by which all other sapphires are measured! It is a beautiful, flawless, cornflower blue, 62.02 carat, rectangular step cut sapphire from Myanmar. John D. Rockerfeller bought it from the last Nizam of Hyderabad in 1934. The extraordinary sapphire was made into two brooches for Rockerfeller’s first and second wives and then later in 1971 sold at auction for a whopping $170,000!
Another sapphire to become famous was that given to Princess Diana as an engagement ring from Prince Charles. This is a 12 carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by a halo of 14 glittering diamonds. This beautiful ring was controversial however as it was not a bespoke creation meaning that anyone who could afford the ring could purchase another one. Princess Diana simply loved the ring as it was and she even continued to wear it from time to time after getting divorced from Prince Charles. The ring has since been given to Kate Middleton now the Duchess of Cambridge by Prince William as her engagement ring.
More recently, in July of this year, the world’s largest ‘star sapphire cluster’ was found in the backyard of a Mr Gamage in the Ratnapura area of Sri Lanka by accident. The ‘Serendipity Sapphire’ was found by workmen digging a well and has been estimated to have a value of $100 million! The star cluster weighs a massive 510kg or 2.5 million carats! Given its size and how it was found, it may end up in a museum or could be bought by private collectors.
Diamond Boutique’s Favourite Sapphire Pieces
Rings! Rings! Rings!
First up is our Paragon Blue Sapphire Ring which holds a genuine Sri Lankan oval sapphire of the most luxurious royal blue. The sapphire is 1.01 carat and is encased by twin round brilliant cut diamonds totalling 0.22 carat. The classical designed band can be made in 18 carat white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or platinum. The choice is yours! This ring is ideal as an engagement ring for someone who doesn’t always follow the crowd. Or give it as a gift for someone who means a lot to you and has a September birthday.
Another stunning choice is the Kashmir Blue Sapphire Ring. This is a spectacular piece that has been hand crafted from highly polished 18 carat white gold but also comes in yellow gold and platinum. It features a 1.01 carat oval sapphire again from Sri Lanka. It also holds 2 dazzling trillion cut diamonds which add more sparkle to the general design. This design optimises radiance and sophistication and will be perfect for an engagement ring with a difference or a ring for that special someone.
Looking for a more vintage look? Well look no further! Our Vintage Blue Sapphire Ring is graceful and charming. It contains a stunning Australian blue sapphire accompanied by 6 shimmering round brilliant diamonds set in a triangular design. Again, perfect for an engagement ring or as a gift for someone close to you. Or perhaps you’d like to spoil yourself! In any case, this is a perfect sapphire piece.
Sparkling Sapphire Pendants
Looking for a pendant to symbolise her birthstone? Then look no further than the Blue Sapphire Double Halo Pendant. This piece is stunning and an absolute showstopper! It contains a Sri Lankan pear shaped blue sapphire of 0.54 carat, surrounded by two halos of diamonds!
If you fancy something even more special and a little unique, then the Vogue Blue Sapphire Pendant is the one for you! Showcasing 9 sapphires totalling 2.8 carat and 129 small round brilliant diamonds this pendant has a lot of sparkle to give! Wear it for those special occasions to really stand out of the crowd.
Show stopping Earrings
To match the Vogue Blue Sapphire Pendant, we have the Vogue Blue Sapphire Earrings! With equally impressive statistics as the pendant, the earrings contain 18 exceptionally high grade sapphires arranged in an eye-catching diamond shape arrangement. And, 228 perfectly placed brilliant round diamonds complete the piece. These earrings are graceful, sleek and have luxurious appeal.
Want a pair of the finest fashion earrings that will take your breath away? Then the Athena Sri Lankan Sapphire and Diamond Earrings are for you! Containing twin pear shaped sapphires that are huge (totalling 1.8 carat) and will leave a lasting impression on anyone you meet. The diamonds in these earrings are equally impressive (a total of 1.95 carat) and are arranged in a flower design. These earrings would make a lovely present for someone special whose birthday is in September. They really will stop the show when they enter any room!
For a more simple sleek design, look no further than our Sapphire Halo Earrings. These traditional earrings are perfect for someone who likes the finer things in life. Showcasing twin round sapphires in a deep blue measuring 0.68 carat. Encased by a glittering halo of 0.13 carat diamonds creating a charming accompaniment to any outfit.
So, if you’re looking for a special gift for someone whose birthday is in September or someone who loves the deep blue sapphire stone, then we will have the gift for you. Propose this month and choose the sapphire to symbolise your feelings for your bride to be. Or simply spoil yourself rotten and choose a piece of jewellery for everyday or a special occasion. To see our full catalogue of beautiful sapphire jewellery, click here. Or design your own piece of fine jewellery using our expert service click here.