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GUIDANCE

Sapphires

What Is A Sapphire?

Belonging to the corundum family which includes Ruby, sapphires are a very durable and versatile choice for an engagement ring. It is most well known for its velvety blue hues, but also comes in a vast array of the other colours of the rainbow, the rarest and most expensive being the ‘Padparadscha’ sapphire which translates from ancient sanskrit as lotus flower. There have been many well known pieces of jewellery which have been set with sapphires of all colours most recently Kate Middleton, formerly Princess Diana’s engagement ring.

Read on to learn more about the specific colours.

 

Blue Sapphire

 

Hardness: 9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Heating

Quality Information:

A: Medium to dark navy, little or no colour zoning; slightly included; good cut

AA: Medium navy to royal blue; eye clean; good brilliance; good cut; good polish

Ceylon A: Medium light to medium blue, little or no colour zoning; good cut; good polish

Ceylon AA: Medium to medium dark blue, little or no colour zoning; good cut; good polish

SWAROVSKI GEMS™ Bright Blue Fine: Medium navy blue; eye clean; excellent brilliance; excellent machine cut

SWAROVSKI GEMS™ Top Blue Fine: Medium to dark navy blue, no colour zoning; eye clean; excellent brilliance, excellent machine cut

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, East Africa, India, Kashmir, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States

Belonging to the mineral family- Corundum, like it’s sister Ruby, the sapphire is a stunning choice for jewellery, being very hard and coming in a great range of colours, most famously the breathtaking blue of Sapphire that has captured man’s imagination for millennia. The ancients believed that Blue Sapphire had the ability to make peace between warring parties and could influence the spirit world. An enduring symbol for loyalty and trust, it’s frequently chosen to celebrate engagements or anniversaries. Perhaps the best known modern Sapphire is the 18 carat oval stunner that announced Princess Diana’s engagement, and then her son’s engagement to the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

Many believe that the darker the colour, the more valuable the gem. Sapphire is the exception: the vibrant mid-tone “cornflower” colour is most prized. With shades ranging from inky blue to azure, there is a blue for everyone to experience the enchantment

 

Padparadscha Sapphire

Hardness:9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Heating

Quality Information:

Delicate pinkish orange color

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Sri Lanka

A special orangy pink sapphire color is called padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in ancient Sanskrit, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. These are the rarest and most highly prized variety of sapphire, second only to the Kashmir blue sapphires. Stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labeled with this marketable name. There’s no telling how many padparadscha’s have been sifted from Sri Lankan river gravel throughout history, However a Padparadscha can only be named this if it falls within a very small parameter of colour, if there is any reddish orange, or brown in them, they won’t be able to have the unique name.

 

Black And Blue Star Sapphire

 

Hardness: 9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Natural

Quality Information:

Black Standard: Charcoal gray to dark brown; good star (with light); good cut; good polish; medium dome

Blue AA: Dark blue with patches of white; good star (with light); good cut; good polish; medium dome

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, East Africa, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Star sapphires are unique in that they contain small inclusions in their structure that align in such a way that they reflect a magical six-pointed star. Perhaps the most dramatic example of star sapphires is the black variety, with the star shining brightly from the dark background. The largest star sapphire on record was discovered in the 1930s. Known as the Black Star of Queensland, it astonishes at a whopping 733 carats!

Combining the wonder of the star pattern with the celestial blue colour most associated with sapphires makes for a heavenly combination. This unusual and handsome gem is popular in both men’s and women’s designs. Three centuries ago, the incredible Star of India was discovered. This rare jewel not only unusually displays stars on both sides, it weighs a stunning 536 carats and is the size of a golf ball!

Pink Sapphire

 

Hardness: 9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Heating

Quality Information:

A: Light to medium light pink, little or no colour zoning; slightly included; good brilliance; good cut; good polish

AA: Medium pink, little or no colour zoning; eye clean; good brilliance; good cut; good polish

SWAROVSKI GEMS™ Fine: Light to medium pink; eye clean; excellent brilliance; excellent machine cut

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, East Africa, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States

Although the name sapphire is derived from the Greek meaning “blue,” sapphires, like the sky can dazzle in many colours. One of the rarest is the beautifully feminine pink variety. Ranging in colour from a delicate pastel to a vibrantly tropical pink, this winner is romantic and vibrant, which explains its continuing risein popularity.

 

White Sapphire

 

Hardness: 9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Heating

Quality Information:

AA: Near colourless (may be very slightly yellow, grey or blue); eye clean; good brilliance; good cut; good polish

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, East Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka

Before cubic zirconia, white sapphire was often used as a substitute for diamonds. Now, white sapphire is coming into its own. Its unique beauty lies in purely reflecting white light.

 

Yellow Sapphire

 

Hardness: 9 Mohs

Enhancement Code: Heating

Quality Information:

AA: Medium yellow; eye clean; good brilliance; excellent cut; excellent polish

Care: Rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, East Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand

One of the most popular gems in India, yellow sapphires range from a lovely warm gold to the naturally beautiful canary yellow. Thought to promote wisdom and bring prosperity, this sunny gemstone is rapidly gaining in demand in the US as well.

 

To find out more about sapphires in a particular shade, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our highly trained gemstone specialists.

 

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