Sapphires have been ogled at for thousands of years. Those in ancient times simply adored them as much as we do today. They were also attributed magical powers that included protection from evil, cures for diseases, and the most popular use of protecting a ladies virtue. Hmmm…I’m curious exactly how that went down. And of course, all noble-born types even tried to take possession of the gems very color itself by naming it “royal blue.”
When sapphires are name-dropped, most everyone cuts right to the chase and just pictures Princess Diana’s 18-carat oval blue sapphire engagement ring or that fabulous heart-shaped sapphire necklace from the blockbuster “Titanic.”
While blue may have your attention when it comes to sapphires, the truth is they come in a rainbow of colors including green, orange, pink, yellow, and violet.
Sapphires are made up of the mineral corundum which is composed of oxygen and aluminum. Because of this, sapphires are among the most durable stones – second only to diamonds. In corundum’s purest state, which is rare, a gem is colorless. Trace elements have to hit the scene for the sapphire rainbow to come alive. Blue sapphires have iron and titanium to thank for their illustrious color while pink sapphires have traces of chromium to high-five. Add some more chromium and a pink sapphire leaves the land of sapphires to turn into a ruby. The rarest sapphire is a pinkish orange.
One humdinger of a sapphire was purchased in 1934 from an Indian Maharajah by none other than mega rich-guy John D. Rockefeller. To say this 62.02 carat rectangular sapphire rocked would be an understatement. After Rockefeller’s death some lucky person snatched it up for a $170,000. It’s now worth millions, of course.
One of the more mysterious, as well as the largest sapphires in the land, is the 486 carat “Blue Giant of the Orient.” Yes, you heard me, 486 carats. It was discovered in 1907 in a place known for fabulous sapphires – Sri Lanka. It was quickly sold and kept under wraps until it landed at a Christies auction in 2004. And if you can believe it, had no takers. Finally someone got a clue and snagged it for a cool $1M and put it back under wraps away from the world’s prying eyes.
Some other jaw-dropping sapphires include the 98.6 carat deep blue Bismark sapphire necklace designed by Cartier. Another stunner is the beyond-elegant 50.0 carat Gordon sapphire pendant – framed with diamonds cut into marquises, pears, rounds, and baguettes. Unbelievable!
One of the more interesting sapphires is the 135.8 carat Ruspoli sapphire. Its distinctive rhomb shape with only six facets is almost flawless, with only one small crystal and feather inclusion. Once a prominent part of France’s Crown Jewels, it was confiscated during the French Revolution and then subsequently stolen. A poor wooden spoon seller found the stone in India in the late-1800s. It now sits in Paris’ Museum of Natural History where everyone can now ogle it.
Aside from those of noble birth, Hollywood “royalty” also favors sapphires in engagement ring form. The actress and model Elizabeth Hurly was proposed to with a gorgeous 9.0 carat square-cut sapphire. And when it comes to gifts of sapphire, look no further than the absolutely out-of-this-world sapphire and diamond necklace that Elizabeth Taylor was gifted on her 40th birthday. It’s beyond stunning and we should all be completely jealous of a birthday gift like that.
One of the more unique rings from times past is one that famed Napoleon gave to his lady Josephine in the 1700s. The simple gold band has a not-so-simple pear-shaped sapphire set next to a pear-shaped diamond. It’s actually quite stunning and something to consider if you really want to wow someone.
Whether you’re looking for a birthstone gift or an anniversary gift or a “just because” gift, sapphires are always an excellent choice.
Something to consider would be a choker or bracelet with a mix of different sapphire colors. Stunning! Another would be a diamond halo sapphire pendant. Magnifique! A bezel-set sapphire pendant or teardrop sapphire earrings are also something to be pretty excited about. And of course, a sapphire ring is always on the menu.
Are you ready to dive into the seriously colorful world of sapphires? Give me a call at 619.223.2151 to chat or send me an email if you prefer.