About the history and characteristics of sapphire

Now that we’ve covered all jewelry eras, we’re excited to dive deeper into the details of the gemstone world. This week well be talking about Sapphire Septembers birthstone. It is one of the oldest, most precious and precious gemstones of all civilizations and decades. Today, this gemstone is very popular for its color variations, durability, and royal appearance.


In this blog, you will learn:

1. Main characteristics of sapphire

2. Kashmir Sapphire

3. How to choose sapphire

4. Historical stories


1. Main characteristics of sapphire

Like rubies, sapphires are derived from the mineral corundum. When people think of sapphire, they probably think of a rich royal blue color. Sapphires actually come in almost every color, including green, pink, peach, orange, teal, purple and various shades. However, red and its various shades are generally considered rubies. For sapphires, origin and color are the most valuable characteristics. Sapphires often contain light inclusions – tiny needle-like inclusions of rutile. When present, these inclusions reduce transparency and are often referred to as filaments.


Sapphires are the second most durable gemstone after diamonds, making them perfect for everyday wear and engagement rings. Due to its hardness, sapphire also has industrial uses. Many watch companies, including the Apple Watch Series 3, are using lab-created sapphire crystal on their screens to make them more scratch-resistant.


2. Kashmir Sapphire

The most valuable sapphires come from the Kashmir mountains in the Himalayas. They are known for their deep, vibrant cornflower blue color. But color is not the only characteristic that makes Kashmir sapphires so rare and expensive. Lets take a closer look at their history.

The story begins in 1880 in the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent. Landslides at the top of the Himalayas have exposed unique rocks beneath the surface soil. Locals discovered blue tints in piles of fallen rocks from the mountains. After some time, the locals realized that these tiny blue stones were sapphires. This incident attracted the attention of the local ruler of India, the Maharaja. He immediately sent guards to protect the mines and sent miners to dig for more sapphires. The years 1882 to 1887 were an extremely productive but exhausting period for the mine. Miners must work day and night in all weather conditions to collect gemstones.

By the end of 1887, the mine was exhausted and no more sapphires could be mined. No other Kashmir sapphire deposits have been discovered to date. This means that all Kashmir sapphires were mined within 5 years of the 19th century. Today, Kashmir sapphires are extremely rare and enjoy an almost mythical reputation. We happen to have one of the rarest sapphires in the world. In addition to Kashmir, Myanmar and Ceylon are also the most valuable sources of high-quality sapphires.


3. How to choose sapphire

(1) Color

For sapphires, besides origin, color is the most valuable factor. Dark royal velvet blue to purple blue are the most ideal colors. The higher the saturation, the better.

(2) Clarity

Unlike diamonds, there is no universal grading system for sapphires. Sapphires are generally believed to contain slight inclusions. Your ultimate goal is to obtain a “eye clean” sapphire, which means there are no inclusions visible to the naked eye. Due to the depth and color, inclusions in sapphires are not as obvious as in diamonds. Please note that if you find a completely clean, flawless sapphire, it is probably synthetic, lab-created.

While diamonds are valuable, with sapphires, cut and carat are even more subjective. Most importantly, be sure to choose a shape that you find attractive.

(3) Sapphire heat treatment

Sapphires are often heat treated to enhance color, clarity, and overall appearance. When purchasing, assume that all sapphires have been heat treated unless explicitly stated as “unheated,” “unheated,” “no signs of treatment,” etc. Untreated sapphires are rarer and therefore more valuable and expensive. These gorgeous Oscar Heyman earrings feature untreated natural sapphires, approximately 10 carats each. Still, theres nothing wrong with purchasing a heating stone. Youll find a variety of more affordable options.


4. Historical stories

For centuries, different cultures have believed in the mystical powers of sapphires. In ancient times, people believed that sapphires could ward off evil spirits. Due to their bright blue color, they are often associated with safe havens. Medieval Europeans believed that sapphires could cure the wearer’s eye problems, maintain chastity and bring other blessings.

One of the most fascinating and admired historical figures – French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave his beloved wife Josephine a two sapphire and diamond engagement ring in 1796. The ring consists of two pear-shaped stones facing opposite directions set in a thin gold band.

The most famous royal sapphire engagement ring today was given to Princess Diana by Britain’s Prince Charles in 1981 and is now worn by Princess Catherine. This gorgeous ring features a 12 carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

During the Victorian era, many engagement rings featured a sapphire as the center stone, surrounded by diamonds to create a flower cluster pattern. The most famous royal sapphire engagement ring today was given to Princess Diana by Britain’s Prince Charles in 1981 and is now worn by Princess Catherine. This gorgeous ring features a 12 carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

When choosing sapphire jewelry, pay attention to origin, color, and treatment indications. If your budget allows, definitely consider investing in real gemstones. The journey of gemstones from earth deposits to your hands is truly a magical and scientific process.

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