It’s September and that means we finally have the perfect excuse to write exclusively about Sapphires, as they are the birthstone of this month. These stones are probably the best-known gemstones, after diamonds, as they are one of the “Big 3” coloured gemstones.
Most people know of Sapphires as a strong royal to dark blue gemstone, such as the one Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has in her engagement ring which originally belonged to Princess Diana.
Used as an engagement ring, a blue Sapphire represents faithfulness and sincerity; and the stones are also thought to symbolize wisdom, good fortune and virtue.
But in fact, Sapphires exist in every colour in the rainbow, except for red. When they are red, they are called Rubies. When they are blue, they are simply called Sapphires. Any other coloured Sapphire is referred to as a ‘Fancy Sapphire’, and named as ‘Yellow Sapphire’ or ‘Green Sapphire’, etc. They can even be colourless and are being used more and more often by Jewellers who want something similar to the Diamond ‘look’ in their Jewellery, without having to put a Diamond price tag on it.
These gems belong to a ‘family’ of minerals called Corundum, with aluminium oxide as their basic ingredient. It is the trace elements that give the stones their various colours – chrome makes them red (therefore called ‘Ruby’), a bit of iron and titanium will make the stone blue. Other trace elements such as copper or magnesium can cause an orange or a green colour.
As a mineral, Corundum is the second hardest mineral after Diamond, it is very tough and is very stable. These characteristics make it a very popular gem to wear, because it can’t be easily damaged, scratched or broken.
Sapphires are found all over the world, with darker blue and green stones traditionally coming from Australia, and the famous Cornflower blue gems coming from Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Burma. However, sapphires are also found in places such as Madagascar, Vietnam, Thailand and even Montana in the US.
Recently, a variety of sapphire which is salmony-pink in colour, called Padparadscha, has gained a lot of attention and are ‘on trend’ thanks to Princess Eugenie who got engaged last year with an absolutely stunning Padparadscha and diamond engagement ring. These sapphires are highly prized by true connoisseurs.
However, the best known and most stunning sapphire type remains the blue sapphire, in particular ones that are known as “Cornflower Blue”. The Jewel Box has recently created a new ring which we invite you to take a closer look at – the saturation of colour in this Sri Lankan Sapphire is divine, and the white gold setting, with the sapphire flanked by a trillion cut diamond on each side, makes this ring the perfect showcase for this stunner of a stone.
At The Jewel Box, we have a fabulous selection of Sapphires in many different colours, and would love the opportunity to discuss your bespoke sapphire jewellery needs with us. Call us on +65 6733 4100 to make an appointment.
Know someone who was born in the month of August? Read about August’s birthstone, the peridot.