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Sapphire: A Kaleidoscope of Colour

Sapphire: A Kaleidoscope of Colour

Sapphire Overview

Sapphire is one of the most popular gemstones for jewellery of any kind and was originated from the Latin word "Sapphirus" and the Greek word "Sappheiros", both meaning blue. Sapphires are associated with social harmony and therefore it was common to see royalty wearing the gemstone as not only did it attract wealth but its purpose is to protect the wearer from envy and infidelity.

Sapphire Birthstone

The September birthstone is a gem that has been cherished for years and although the term "sapphire" usually refers to the blue variety of corundum, the birthstone comes in a rainbow of other colours. Personalities who are born in September are said to be honest, mentally strong and tend to shy away from showing their emotions to the world.

Sapphire Hardness

On the MOHs (mineral of hardness scale), Sapphires fall under corundum's which is a rock-forming mineral in the form of a crystal. Corundum's are ranked at number 9 on the MOHs which is relatively high - This means that sapphires have excellent toughness however it has no cleavage which means that it does have a tendency to break if struck. However, it is stable under normal wearing conditions, which means the gemstone is resistant to the effects of heat, light and common chemicals making it a great choice for daily wear.  

Sapphire History

Since the Middle Age, Sapphire stones and jewellery has been appreciated and kept sacred by many different religions and cultures all over the world. The gemstone correlated an authentic sense of nobility, sincerity and faithfulness. Sapphires were also used to decorate royal robes and religious leaders. In the 12th century, the Sapphire was known as the most suitable stone for spiritual jewellery, especially rings. It was believed that the stone acted as protection and a shield against witchcraft and will simply attract good luck and omen just by having the stone in your sights. 

The admiration and appreciation of Sapphires have lasted centuries with celebrities, royals and worldwide communities as the Sapphire is a symbol of loyalty, romance and kindness. The sapphire grew infamous when Prince Charles gifted a Sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana in 1981.

Sapphire Origins

Millions of years ago, source rocks inside the earth's crust were subjected to intense pressures and high temperatures, causing the atoms to recombine into new metamorphic (changed) rocks which included rubies and sapphires.

Sapphires come from many places around the world but only few locations produce fine qualities. However the most beautiful sapphires come from the same countries as they have for thousands of years; One prime example being Sri Lanka and Madagascar. The quantity and quality of blue sapphires coming from Sri Lanka is rivalled by new deposits found in Madagascar. However, the colour tone, the price and the internal crystal characteristics of these sapphires are almost identical in most cases. Myanmar is another long time producing country of fine, dark, royal blue sapphires. These stones are usually in smaller quantities but larger sizes and will almost cost 50 - 100% more than a sapphire from Sri Lanka or Madagascar. 

Sapphire Types

Cornflower Blue Sapphire

Certified Natural Ceylon Cornflower Blue Sapphire 0.51ct VS Clarity 4.5mm  Round | eBay

The cornflower blue sapphire has the exact same shade as the cornflower, a dainty European flower, which is also known as the bachelor's button. This sapphire is known to have the purest blue hue and is one of the most prized stone in the sapphire stone family.

Padparadscha Sapphire

Padparadscha Sapphire Formation, Sources, Properties » Geology Science

One of the most fascinating type of sapphire is the Padparadscha as it is a beautiful blend of orange and pink. The Padparadscha is a part of the rare sapphire family.

Star Sapphire

NATURAL STAR SAPPHIRE Sri-Lanka Star Sapphire, eye clean, rare, excellent

The star sapphire is known to reflect the starry sky. This type of sapphire is available in every possible colour but the pattern of stars is its key defining feature. This particular sapphire is believed to be a guiding gem which protects you from ill omens.

Parti-Coloured Sapphires

Parti Sapphires: the Colored Gemstones for 2021 - Gem Society

Parti-coloured sapphires show a seamless mix of yellow, blue and green and even though there are similar hued sapphires, this one is different as it has a phenomenon called colour zoning. This means that these gems remain constant in their colour underneath different lights.

Sapphire Meaning

Sapphire is mostly known as the wisdom stone - It is meant to represent intelligence, education and the ability to make wise and good choices. Back in the ancient times, Ancient Greeks used to wear this stone to attain wisdom as this would help them make sensible judgements in certain situations. It can be said that the Sapphire stone can connect you to the universe and can protect you from the bad as well as opening you up to good spirits and angels.

Famous Sapphires

One of the most rarest and famous Sapphires is known as The Rockefeller Sapphire - Which is a 62.02 carat sapphire that is worth $3million. The gemstone was named after John D. Rockefeller after he purchased the sapphire from an Indian Maharajah in 1934. He demanded for the stone to be recut into a unique shape so he could give it to his second wife however she passed away before he could do so. Therefore, it went up for auction in Zurich where it was sold for $170,000 and made its last appearance at Christies New York in April 2001.

Another famous sapphire is known as The Star of India which is one of the biggest sapphires in the world at 563 carats. It was given to the American Museum of Natural History by JP Morgan in the early 20th century. In 1964, the sapphire was stolen from the museum and found in a Miami locker several months later.

Other famous sapphires are mostly jewels that belong to the royal family such as the Royal Sapphire Engagement Ring and the Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire.

Sapphires at Augustine Jewels

Birthstone Halo Earrings in Sapphire

Birthstone Halo Earrings - Sapphire, £650, Sapphire Jewellery Collection

Silver Sapphire Pendant Necklace

Silver Sapphire Pendant Necklace, £350, Sapphire Jewellery Collection

Silver Spiral Sapphire Earrings

Silver Spiral Sapphire Earrings, £245, Sapphire Jewellery Collection

Silver Spiral Sapphire Necklace

Silver Spiral Sapphire Pendant Necklace, £195, Sapphire Jewellery Collection

 

Top 5 Facts about Sapphires

1. The only colour sapphires do not come in is red = This is because gemstones formed from red corundum are called rubies - which is another gem variety of the same mineral

2. There are sapphires that change colour = When some sapphires are exposed to low light conditions, they can transform from their blue appearance to violet, purple or indigo.

3. Sapphires have been used industrially (in high-tech) = The company, Apple, uses sapphire to cover the camera and fingerprint sensors since 2013

4. The only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond = This is because sapphire is the second most strongest natural gemstone - First being diamond. 

5. Single crystal sapphires are biocompatible (well-accepted when used inside the body) = This means that lab-created sapphires can be used as a component of hip joint replacements

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