25/08/2021 Jewellery & Gems
Sapphire – from Sapphirus, σάπφειρος, meaning blue in Ancient Greek
Possibly the most popular of the coloured stones, the dreamy blue tones of sapphire were once believed by the Ancient Persians to be the pedestal on which the world perched, and which gave the sky its colour, sapphires have been associated with myth and legend throughout human history. Desired by royalty, coveted by all, sapphires are highly prized precious gems.
Sapphires come in a range of different colours from pink to yellow to colourless, but it is blue (although not the rarest) that is the most valued and prized. This is probably due to the ancient lore and association the colour blue has with the heavens. Colour has the greatest influence on a sapphire’s value, in general, the more intense and uniform the colour is, the more valuable the stone, the preferred sapphires have strong to vivid colour saturation in a velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium-dark tones. Sapphires with these qualities command the highest prices per carat. Less valuable blue sapphires might be grayish, purplish, too light, or too dark.
Sapphires are mined in various places, perhaps the most sought - after sapphires come from Kashmir in India and are known for their magnificent ‘cornflower blue’ colour, more commonly occurring sapphires are ‘Ceylon’ or Sri Lankan or Madagascan.
My favourite sapphires in this month’s sale:
Lot 96: AN ANTIQUE DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE RING, mounted in 18ct gold, size O €400 – 500
Lot 330: A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER RING, the oval sapphire to a brilliant cut diamond surround, mounted in platinum. Estimated: weight of sapphire: 8.00 ct. Estimated: weight of diamonds: 2.40 ct, colour and clarity: H, VS/SI, size H, (with sizing beads) €8000 – 10,000
Lot 384: AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY CABOCHON SAPPHIRE RING, the cabochon sapphire to calibré sapphire shoulders, mounted in 18ct white and yellow gold, with French hallmark, size K €2000 - 3000
Lot 426: A SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND THREE STONE RING, the octagonal sapphire to rectangular diamond shoulders, mounted in white metal. Together with a gem report stating the sapphire to be 4.90 ct with no indication of heat treatment. Estimated; weight of diamonds: 0.75 ct each, size K €26,500 – 29,500