When most people think about sapphire, blue is the colour that automatically comes to mind. But did you know that sapphire can be found in virtually every colour of the rainbow? Yes, September’s birthstone truly is a rainbow gemstone.
Mineralogically, sapphire is known as corundum (as is ruby) and as the second hardest gemstone on Moh’s Hardness scale, it’s perfect for daily use in jewellery. With a hardness of 9 out of 10, the only natural substance that can scratch a sapphire is diamond and, as such, sapphires are perfect for engagement rings.
One of the most famous sapphire engagement rings was of course the oval sapphire and 14 diamond halo ring given to Lady Diana Spencer by Prince Charles when he proposed to her in 1981. Prince William used his mother’s 18ct sapphire ring when he proposed to Kate Middleton 29 years later in 2010.
Sapphires are mined in many countries around the world and whilst the most prized blue colour sapphires are “Ceylon sapphires” from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Mozambique, Australia, Malawi and Myanmar all produce outstanding quality and colour sapphires.
The variation in colours in sapphires is a result of trace imperfections of different elements. Iron and titanium cause the blue colour in sapphires, whereas chromium will turn the sapphire pink and, ultimately red, which is when it becomes known as ruby. The most sought-after color fancy Sapphire is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha: a pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset. These ultra-rare, ultra-expensive stones are among the most coveted gems in the world.
The popularity of sapphire dates back to the Middle Ages where the celestial blue colour of the gem symbolized heaven and attracted divine favour and wise judgement. Classical violet-blue sapphires traditionally came from the Kashmir region of India between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The world record price-per-carat for sapphire was set by a gem from Kashmir, which sold at auction for $242,000 per carat (more than $6.74 million total) in October 2015.
Katannuta Diamonds has an extensive selection of sapphires in all colours, sizes and shapes and can design and manufacture jewellery to your specific designs and budget. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your exact needs.