Sapphires are one of my favourite gems. It started with a birthday present my husband bought me – a large yellow sapphire solitaire ring – which was something of a revelation as like a lot of people I wasn’t really aware that Sapphires came in other colours! I asked our gemologist about it and he was so enthusiastic and passionate about the subject I think some of that enthusiasm rubbed off on me.
When we think of sapphires I think most of us picture a vibrant blue gem, similar to the stone set in Princess Diana’s (now the Duchess of Cambridge’s) engagement ring. That rich, lustrous royal blue which catches the eye even without diamond embellishments. And we’ve all seen the dark blue, almost black stone which is usually used in commercial jewellery but how many people are aware of a third, fourth or even a fifth option?
Sapphires come in many colours; pink, green, yellow, purple, orange – the list is endless. And whilst the occasional Pink Sapphire seems to have made its way into High Street Jewellers in recent years, we still don’t we see them as often as their Blue counterparts. Maybe it’s down to tradition, maybe fashion, or maybe it’s just cynical marketing? Either way it’s a real shame as the colour variation can be spectacular!
I added a green sapphire to my collection a while back, and we’ve had pink, purple, orange and even white examples in the shop, but my overall favourite is the Padparadscha which can only be found in Sri Lanka, and like it’s namesake (padparadscha means Lotus Blossom) it is a gorgeous pinky/orange colour.
There is still a real drive for individualism and uniqueness in jewellery, despite the current climate which has us all counting our pennies. And I think as so many of us develop emotional attachments to our jewellery we don’t necessarily want to invest in “disposable” fashion pieces. The price variation in Sapphires is huge, depending on colour choice and whether you favour natural or man made gems, meaning you can enjoy the prestige of actual gems (instead of glass or paste fashion stones) for not much more money. Sapphires are a fabulous way to introduce some of your own personality into your jewellery using precious gems without necessarily breaking the bank!
Many antique pieces circa 1910 will be set with “Created” Sapphires as this was around the time when the process was invented. At the time, it was the height of technological achievement and the stones were highly prized! Now, they command far smaller prices and little gold gypsy rings set with Faux Sapphires can be found for under £100.
It’s also becoming more common to see Sapphires set in Silver (keeping the cost affordable) but gold doesn’t have to mean expensive if you try to source Second Hand and have an eye for a bargain!
I’ll certainly be keeping mine peeled!