02 September 2017
Did you know that Sapphires aren’t always blue? In fact they come in practically every colour in the spectrum except for the rarer red stones – which were given their own name - rubies, but more about that later!
They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as ‘color change’, most often going from blue in daylight to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be grey, black, or brown.
Rubies and Sapphires are in the same mineral family – Corundum. The colour is determined by trace elements in the mineral. It turns blue when it contains iron and titanium, traces of chromium can turn corundum pink, while more chromium turns it into a ruby.
Sapphires are among the most durable naturally occurring elements in the world. Gemstones are rated on their ability to withstand scratching based on a system called the Mohs Scale of Hardness and sapphires score a 9 out of 10. The only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. Thereferore the durability of sapphires makes them an excellent choice for engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry that you plan to wear every day.
In 1776 Napoleon Bonaparte presented Josephine with this ‘toi et moi’ ring featuring 2 pear shaped gems; a 1ct diamond and a 1ct blue sapphire on a simple gold band.
Their marriage was to only last 13 years but the ring stayed in the Bonaparte family for generations to come.
In 2013 the ring was sold for $913,000.
Here at the shop in Smithbrook Kilns, we have some beautiful examples of unusual coloured sapphires including this unique 'sail' shaped pink sapphire, set in one of Jon's 'bunny' pendants and this green sapphire meadow ring. Both made in 18ct Fairtrade gold.
Just today we said goodbye to this stunning brown sapphire ring, which had a wonderful red hue – an early birthday present for one of our lovely customers. I mean it was her birth stone after all!
With the myriad of colours available, there is a sapphire to suit everyone but let’s not forget that the endless, deep blue sapphire colour was considered beautiful enough to name a gin after!
Chin chin, pass the Gin!