Sapphire: Tough and Beautiful

September 28, 2018

Sapphire, more than any other gem, carries a royal flair. Its color is majestic when set against both white and yellow gold; surrounded by diamonds or not. The finest examples of sapphire are found in Burma, now known as Myanmar, but their export out of the country is non-existent due to a trade embargo. Their signature blue hue is recognized as being even throughout the stone with a strong saturation.

Sapphire doesn’t just stop at blue. The padparadsha, a brilliant orange stone most commonly found in Sri Lanka, is technically a sapphire. Rubies, too, share the same corundum mineral base as blue sapphire and orange padparadsha.

Star sapphires are chemically sapphire, but due to an inclusion of rutile, a common mineral, they display a six pointed star when viewed overhead. Star sapphires are cut in a cabochon shape to allow the star to be seen more easily. Rubies with rutile inclusions, not as well known as star sapphires, are known as star rubies.

Blue sapphire certainly didn’t get less popular after Princess Diana wore one as an engagement ring. Her ring was made by then- crown jeweler Garrard & Company—it was neither custom made nor overly ornate. It features in the center a 12 carat Ceylon (Ceylon was the name of Sri Lanka while it was under colonial British rule, now the term is used to describe Sri Lankan sapphires ) blue sapphire surrounded by a halo of 14 brilliant diamonds. After Diana’s passing, Prince William used the ring to propose to Kate Middleton; what was once dubbed the ‘commoner’s sapphire’ is now again the most famous ring in the world.

Sapphires of different colors, such as pink and purple, are a slightly less classic way to wear the stone. In rings, they make perfect accent pieces to a bold outfit. As earrings, they offer a subtle hint of playfulness as they dance behind longer hair.

Sapphire just doesn’t make its way into jewelry. Watch crystals on most Swiss watches are made from a synthetic, clear version of the gem. The hardness of sapphire, 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, allows it to be resilient to the bumps and scratches that plague plastic and glass watch crystals. The windows of spacecraft are even made out of sapphire.

Our collection of sapphire at JB Hudson is ever changing. We offer something for every budget, including investment quality pieces from Oscar Heyman and Robert Procop. To learn more about this regal stone, or to visit our collection in person, please contact us here!