GEMSTONE FACT FILE: SAPPHIRE
There are few gemstones in the world which are as highly prized as sapphires. This precious examples of mother nature’s beauty have been mined for centuries, and used to adorn the most spectacular items of jewelry, ranging from sapphire engagement rings to royal crowns.
When jewelers and gemologists are inspecting a sapphire, they’re really hoping to see a high level of clarity, and a very even, consistent colour throughout the gemstone. At our workshop, we spend a huge amount of time with each sapphire, ensuring the examples we use in our jewelry have minimal colour spotting, and making sure the gemstones we select are as beautiful as they can possibly be.
WHAT COLOR IS A SAPPHIRE?
Sapphires, as with most gemstones, have their colour judged according to three main criteria. The first of these is the hue, which refers to the general body colour of the gemstone. When we discuss hue, we are usually discussing it in regards to primarily the colour which has the strongest presence within the stone, and also any other secondary colours or tints which may be detectable.
Sapphires often cross pigment boundaries quite freely, and it isn’t uncommon to see sapphires described as ‘violet-pink’ or ‘greenish-blue’ in this way. We are incredibly selective with our sapphires, and we choose those which display the most fascinating colours for our esteemed customers to choose from.
Our blue sapphires will range between slightly violet-blue on the darker scale, to slightly greenish-blue on the other end, while we also offer sapphires which are green, purple, peach-coloured, orange, pink or yellow… an entire rainbow of options for you to choose from!
All sapphires are also judged according to their tone. Essentially, the term ‘tone’ refers to the sapphires most treasured property; that wonderful array of colours that these gemstones offer to the viewer, which range from ethereally pale and delicate, to deeply, darkly mysterious and irresistible.
While our standard blue sapphires sit on the ‘medium-deep blue’ side of the scale, we offer a wide range of light and dark tone sapphires for our jewelry.
Finally, sapphires are judged on their saturation. This has everything to do with how many undesirable grey, brown or dull tones there are in the sapphire. A high level of saturation will indicate a clean colour, without any trace of those murky or muddy tones - this is often referred to as ‘vivid’ saturation. At our workshop, our commitment to excellence means that only strong to vivid levels of saturation can be found in our precious and beautiful sapphires.
UNDERSTANDING THE CUT OF A SAPPHIRE
Sapphires are handled quite differently than diamonds, which features standard ‘ideal’ cuts emulated all over the world. Sapphires are carefully cut to bring out their natural beauty and unique qualities, and in order to display their stunning colours most effectively.
Due to the fact there is no standard cut for a sapphire, and each gemstone has its own unique properties and character, there’s plenty of room for variation. Indeed, it is down to the skill and vision of the jeweler to cut the sapphire, to further emphasize the individual properties of each gemstone in a unique and fascinating manner.
Well cut sapphires are things of remarkable natural beauty, and a particularly skilled gem cutter - will be able to enhance the natural brilliance of the gemstone, while making it suitable for setting in an item of fine jewelry. While there are no specific standards, certain practices are commonplace and based on logic.
For example, paler coloured sapphires will have a deeper cut, in order to bring an extra sense of dimension to the gemstone and to add further power to the colour. On the other hand, dark sapphires are generally cut in a more shallow fashion, as this will soften the colour and bring more light and brightness within.
As for the shape of the cut, sapphires will be shaped in order to enhance brilliance and lustre. This usually involves evenly cut facets, with a large table (the flat surface on top of the sapphire) for maximum light penetration and reflection.
We treat all of our sapphires with the ultimate respect and reverence this incredibly gemstones deserve. On top of this, we ensure that all of our sapphires have been hand-selected by our seasoned experts, and have exacting demands that our sapphires are of premium quality, are cut symmetrically, have a stunning level of light reflection, and the most delightful colours imaginable.
WHY CHOOSE A SAPPHIRE?
Throughout the ages, sapphires have dazzled all who have come across them. Their astonishing array of colours, incredible properties and wide range of sizes and shapes have made them highly prized gemstones for centuries, which have adored crown jewels and engagement rings alike.
Indeed, the symbolic meaning of the sapphire is connected to fidelity and loyalty, and as a result, they have become increasingly popular for engagement rings and eternity rings, too.
A LASTING, RELIABLE BEAUTY
One of the key properties of sapphires which makes them such an enduringly popular choice is their durability. Because of their hardness and lasting quality, sapphires can be worn on a daily basis, and their 9 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale mean they’ll never let you down - this unique property mean they are far less likely to chip or break than almost any other gemstone found in nature.
On top of their excellent hardness, they are also a highly stable gemstone, and resistant to heat, light and chemical damage.
A FASCINATING CLARITY
Because sapphires form in regions where minerals are rich and plentiful, almost all sapphires feature some needle-like inclusions. While diamonds are prized most highly when they are free from inclusions, with sapphires, tiny flaws are accepted as an inevitability - after all, their depth of colour and fascinating hues are not only their main feature, but they also make most (if not all) inclusions completely invisible to the naked eye due that richness of tone.
We preffer to work with ‘eye clean’ sapphires, which may have the typical needle-like inclusions associated with sapphires, but will have no inclusions which are noticeable without the use of specialist equipment.
BEAUTY AT GREAT VALUE
Sapphires are often a more budget-friendly choice for an engagement ring or other item of jewelry, being often considerable more affordable than a diamond of a similar size or carat weight.
If you want to get more sparkle for your money, sapphires are sensible choices which make no compromise whatsoever on stunning impact, and phenomenal natural beauty.