Taking its name from the Latin ‘saphirus’, meaning ‘blue’, sapphires are typically of a blue-violet colour, with ‘cornflower blue’ being the most desirable and rare shade. In a high quality sapphire gemstone, blue makes up more than 85% of the colour, leaving little room for violet hues. Sapphires can also be green, yellow, orange, purple, pink, and even colourless, but never red - if a stone could be considered a ‘red sapphire’, it is actually classified as a ruby!
Platinum, Diamond and Sapphire Ring, Bespoke ring
Sapphire is very high on the Mohs Scale, which measures the hardness of stones, with a score of 9 - close behind diamond, which is top of the Mohs Scale with a score of 10 - making it the third hardest natural gemstone on Earth.
Silver and Sapphire Cotswold Bracelet, Cotswold Collection available in store
Sapphire is probably one of the most mysterious gemstones, which charms with its characteristic dark blue colour. Not only it is easily recognisable, but we all remember the Duchess of Cambridge’s 12-carat oval blue sapphire engagement ring, originally belonging to Princess Diana. The choice has been spot-on, as sapphires are often associated with romantic love, representing fidelity and romantic devotion. Without a doubt the Royal family keeps setting the trends - even in jewellery - leading to a surge in demand for sapphires since the Duchess’ engagement in 2010.
Silver Sapphire Cotswold Ring, Cotswold Collection available in store
Sapphires are mined from many places across the world, including Eastern Australia, Thailand, China, North America, and Sri Lanka. Burmese sapphires and rubies coming from the Mogok Valley are particularly highly regarded. The most rare sapphires are the ‘star sapphires’, which come with a six-pointed stat-shaped reflection that appears on their surface once they are polished. The world’s biggest sapphire is in fact a ‘star sapphire’, named ‘The Star of Adam’ after a Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. This gemstone was discovered in Ratnapura, known as the ‘City of Gems’, in southern Sri Lanka in 2015. Weighing an astonishing 1,404 carats, around 280g, and being valued between 100 and 300 million dollars, this stone earned the title of world’s largest sapphire. It took this title from the Logan Sapphire, which is now the second largest blue sapphire known. This sapphire, being roughly the size of an egg, is set in a brooch surrounded by round brilliant cut diamonds and is now displayed at National Museum od Natural History in Washington. It was donated by Polly Logan, former wife of Robert Guggenheim, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1960. This stone was gifted by an Indian maharaja to Guggenheim, who gifted it to his wife Polly. They later divorced and Polly took the last name of her second husband, the name later given to the stone upon its donation to the Institution.
Silver Sapphire Spiral Earrings, Portofino Collection
From the stories above, it’s not hard to believe that the most magical and interesting stories are developed around sapphires. At Augustine Jewels, we will be celebrating this amazing stone at our upcoming private gemstone talk: ‘Sapphire Stories’, on Monday 29th April 2019 from 6.30 to 8.30pm, at our flagship store in London. You can register here - the event is limited to 10 guests, so sign up soon to avoid disappointment! At the event, guests will have the opportunity to hear a talk from our founder and CEO, Alexandra Robson, before being taught how to carefully study gemstones with a loupe and tweezers - all whilst enjoying champagne and canapés. You can also browse our ready-to-wear sapphire jewellery, in particular our Portofino Collection and Cotswold Collection.
Silver Sapphire Spiral Pendant, Portofino Collection