Sapphires - An Emblem of Romantic Love
With a rising interest in beautiful sapphires, as seen this week when the Duchess of Cambridge attended the state banquet wearing rich blue sapphires, we delight in drawing inspiration and passion for this jewel.
Symbolising fidelity, truth and sincerity it is hardly surprising that sapphires have long been favoured by royalty and noblemen. These exquisite, precious gemstones have perpetually been held in high esteem, so much so that the Ancient Persians believed that the earth sat on a giant pedestal of sapphire which they thought made the sky blue.
The word sapphire derives from the Greek word Sappheiros, in Ancient Greece and Roman times wealthy citizens wore sapphires as protection against harm, and in the Middle Ages clergy wore them as a symbol of heaven.
These coveted gemstones are found in many countries around the world but the most famous and sought after sapphires hale from Kashmir, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Kashmir is synonymous with the highest quality sapphires, with their unique cornflower blue hue and exceptional lustre. Their extreme rarity means that they are surrounded with an almost mythical allure.
In Myanmar the most sought after sapphires come from the Mogok Valley, known as the ‘Valley of Gems’. One of the best known sapphires from Myanmar is the exquisite Rockefeller sapphire which is an impressive 62.02ct rectangular step cut stone which was acquired by John.D.Rockefeller from an Indian Maharaja in 1934.
Many of the largest stones have been found in deposits in Sri Lanka, including the largest to date that was unearthed in 2012 weighing in at an impressive 42kg. Another fantastic find was The Star of India, one of the largest and most famous sapphires at 563ct it is thought to be 2 billion years old. It is now housed in the American Museum of Natural History.
Sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, people often think of them in blue but although this is the most chosen colour they can be found in a palette of colours from yellow, purple, orange and green. A particularly cherished and rare stone is the peach-pink ‘Padparadscha’ which translates to Lotus Flower in Sinhalese, this can be seen in Princess Eugenie’s strikingly beautiful engagement ring.
These treasured gems are not only September's birthstone but are also used to mark both the 5th and 45th wedding anniversary. With their remarkable strength, they are 9/10 on the Mohs scale, they make fantastic stones for everyday wear.
The Royal family have had a long love affair with these emblems of romantic love, one of the best known being Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring which Prince William subsequently used to propose to the Duchess of Cambridge. She looks to be following a long line of sapphire enthusiasts and was seen this week at the state banquet held in honour of the President of the United States wearing a magnificent pair of diamond and inky blue sapphire fringe earrings originally belonging to the Queen Mother. The perfect adornment with the truly dazzling diamond and pearl Lover’s Knot tiara, which was originally created for Queen Mary in 1914.
To find out more about this precious jewel and the myriad of colours we source, come in and talk to our sapphire specialists and you can be sure of a majestic welcome.
If pearls are more your style then don’t miss out on meeting Claudia Bradby in store this Saturday to learn how she creates with pearls in her award winning designs and hear the inspiration behind some of her pieces, plus you’ll get the chance to try-on samples from Claudia’s full range and receive a £20 voucher off anything bought from Claudia Bradby on the day, all whilst sipping on flutes of fizz.