Sapphire | First State Auctions

Sapphire

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Name Origin: Linked to Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Old Iranian and Sanskrit – roughly translating as “precious to Saturn”
Colour: Majority are blue, but can be ‘fancy’ colours like green or yellow
Family: Corundum (same as ruby)
Hardness: 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale
Found in: Kashmir, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Australia, and Brazil.
 Birthstone: May and September (zodiac stone for Taurus and Libra)
Anniversaries: 5th, 45th and 70th

 

BLUE BLOODED

When Princess Diana became engaged to Prince Charles (and later with Prince William and Kate), it was all about that sapphire. Its regal colour and links to stability, sincerity and faithfulness make the sapphire one of today’s most popular gems for engagement rings and other fine jewellery.

While blue is the most common, a sapphire can appear in a range of other ‘fancy’ colours – often to breathtaking effect. However, it is the Kashmir sapphire – with its deep, intense blue and violet tones – that is often regarded as the most valuable. Most were mined a century ago, but they still dominate – with one Kashmir example in 2011 fetching $145,000 per carat!

Since first mined in Sri Lanka, the sapphire has continued to capture hearts the world over. Helen of Troy'’s allure was attributed to her star sapphire, while astrologers believe the gem can bring very good luck to its wearer. ‘True blue’ indeed!

 

YOUR SAPPHIRE

Most sapphires are heat-treated – a standard industry practice – to improve their colour and clarity. With a 9 on the Mohs scale, Sapphires are also extremely hard – great news when it comes to looking after them. To clean, simply use a soft cloth and some warm soapy water.

Avoid vigorous activity while wearing your sapphire and speak to your jeweller about any concerns. We recommend having your sapphire professionally cleaned about every two years.

 

NOTABLE SAPPHIRES

Kashmir sapphires are highly valued for their colour and quality. Queen Marie-Antoinette adored sapphires, with many of hers more than 20 carats. One of Elizabeth Taylor'’s many engagement rings included a large sapphire.