Did you know that Ruby and Sapphire are
made from the same material – the mineral Corundum?
Corundum is colourless, the red or blue (or other shades of sapphire) are a
result of metallic ‘impurities’ in the crystal pocket deep within the earth
where the gems form. Chromium gives Corundum it’s red colour – Ruby – and the
amount present determines the depth of colour, sapphire gets its blue tone from
Iron and Titanium. Other solid ‘impurities’ found in these stones are called
‘inclusions’ and help gemmologist identify stones and can help identify the
origin. For example dissolved needle crystals give ruby and sapphire it’s
characteristic growth lines which identify the stones as being natural immediately.
Perhaps the most sought after sapphires come from Kashmir in India and are
known for their magnificent ‘cornflower blue’ colour, they are no longer mined
here and therefore command exceptionally high prices at auction when they come
up, the most distinctive inclusion is a small black crystal. More commonly
occurring sapphires are ‘Ceylon’ or Sri Lankan, they can be identified by
zircon crystals with a stress crack around them called a ‘Zircon Halo’. ‘Star’
sapphires display a six rayed star effect or ‘asterism’ when cut ‘en cabachon’
this effect is caused by long needle crystals lying in three dimensional planes.
Impurities in gemstones can very useful in identifying the stone, giving it a
particular colour or intensity of colour and also an array of beautiful optical
effects when viewed in light and certainly make them unique, interesting and
My favourite examples in this sale are
Lot 62 – A pair of purple sapphire
cufflinks, relatively inexpensive compared to their blue counterparts the
stones in these cufflinks will be an interesting addition to any Gentleman’s
attire €300 – 400
Lot 35 – A suite of eternity rings, each
set with ruby, blue sapphire or pink sapphire – the most popular corundum
colours displayed here in the ever popular ‘stackable’ suite €1800 – 2500
Lot 199 – Madagascar Sapphire and diamond
cluster ring, if you can’t afford a Kashmir sapphire, this blue will rival the
cornflower blue of the elusive Kashmiri sapphires for a fraction of the price
€2500 – 3500
Lot 283 – An Art Deco synthetic sapphire
ring, synthetic sapphires became popular in the early 20th century
with the development of new technology, this is a 9.00 ct fine example and will
only set you back €4000 – 6000
Lot 311 – A yellow sapphire and diamond ring – sapphires come in a rainbow of colours and this is a pretty example of a yellow sapphire that will brighten up anyone’s day €600 – 800
Akamai Bot Manager
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