One of the ‘big three’ of coloured gemstones is the versatile, durable and endlessly beautiful sapphire. Known in the gem world as corundum, ruby and sapphire are actually formed from the same mineral structure, with sapphire the term ascribed to all non-red corundum. The chemical formula for corundum is Aluminium Oxide, or Al₂O₃.
Depending on the presence of colouring elements, sapphires can range from the classic blue (thanks to iron and titanium), orange, yellow (due to iron), pink (due to the presence of chromium), green (with the presence of vanadium), colourless (a pure sapphire) and even colour-change! Sapphires can also exhibit asterism, or a ‘star’ effect caused by needles of rutile within the crystal reflecting a star-like glow upon the surface of the stone.
The birthstone for September, as well as the gemstone for 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries, sapphires make fantastic presents that can be worn and cherished for a lifetime. Many couples choose to go with a sapphire and diamond engagement ring. With a Moh’s hardness rating of 9, these wonderful gemstones make ideal alternative options to the traditional diamonds. Whether you opt for a classic blue sapphire and diamond cluster like Kate Middleton, or choose a fantastic coloured sapphire for a statement like Princess Eugenie’s Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring, these wonderful gemstones have a shade to suit every preference.
One of the most famous locations for sapphire is Sri Lanka or ‘Ceylon’. Sapphires from this origin tend to exhibit a fantastic colour saturation and quality that is unsurpassed by any other location. Sapphires are sourced naturally from all over the world, but the quality of the stones varies according to the geological occurrence of the gemstone and its growth conditions. For example, Australian sapphires tend to have a dark inky blue colour whereas Kashmir sapphires often have silk-like inclusions.
Entered into our Fine Art Auction on the 20th November are an array of sumptuous sapphires, perfect to suit every taste and any occasion.
A pair of Sri Lankan Sapphire Drop Earrings, £800-1,200
This wonderful pair of earrings have that magic duo, a fantastic origin and no treatment. Natural and absolutely beautiful, these mid-tone blue sapphire drop earrings are set in delicate yellow gold settings typical of the early 20th Century, with simple knife bar spacers and spherical surmounts. This eye-catching pair would make a wonderfully stylish addition to any outfit and a fantastic piece to wear again and again. This lot is accompanied by a certificate from GCS stating that the principal sapphires are Sri Lankan, with no evidence of heat treatment.
A Sri Lankan Sapphire and Diamond Three Stone Ring, £1,500-2,000
A firm favourite of ours is this beautiful Sri Lankan sapphire and diamond trilogy ring, featuring the most gorgeous cushion shape principal stone. With a luxurious rich blue colouring and fantastic clarity, this sapphire is definitely a head-turner, with a GCS report confirming that the sapphire is of Sri Lankan origin with no evidence of treatment. Accented with round brilliant cut diamonds either side, this classic ring setting would make a fantastic engagement ring, dress ring or anniversary gift.
A Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Ring, £860-960
What a sweet cluster ring, set in platinum and accented with both brilliant and baguette cut diamonds totalling 0.60ct in a delicate millegrain surround. The eye-catching central sapphire is a generous size as well as a fantastic medium blue and cut in a stylish cushion shape giving the stone that opulent feel.
A Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Ring, £850-950
Another superb cluster ring in our sale, very reminiscent of Kate Middleton's engagement ring, with an oval shape sapphire and brilliant cut diamond floral surround, set in traditional 18ct yellow gold and boasting 0.80ct of diamond weight.
An 18ct gold Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Ring, £150-200
A fantastic cluster ring featuring an array of well matched inky-blue sapphires, contrasting beautifully with the brilliant and single cut diamond counterparts. This ring would make a fantastic dress ring or cocktail ring, adding some monochromatic interest to any ensemble. Offered with a reasonable guide price, there is nothing not to like about this sweet little ring.
An 18ct gold Sapphire and Diamond Dress Ring, £80-120
This 18ct gold ring features a mesmerising oval shape sapphire in a beautiful medium blue hue, accented by brilliant cut diamond trefoil sides. A modern ring in a sweet setting, this piece would look equally as captivating worn individually or alongside other diamond and sapphire pieces. With approximately 0.20ct total diamond weight, this ring offers that perfect balance between the blue of the sapphire and the brilliance of the diamonds.
We are still accepting entries for our November Fine Art Auction, if you wish to find out how much your items of jewellery and watches may be worth, or for further information on any of our forthcoming lots, contact Liz Bailey on firstname.lastname@example.org.