Introduction to Sapphire
Once seen as traditional jewellery, sapphires have become fashionable since
Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton with the sapphire engagement ring that belonged to his mother, Lady Diana.
Throughout history, sapphires have been seen as the gem of royalty. The word sapphire comes from the Greek word 'sappheiros' meaning blue gem. Sapphire represents truth and loyalty.
Sapphires were first discovered in, Kashmir in India around 1880, and are now mined in many places around the world.
- Sapphire is the birthstone for September.
- Sapphire is also the traditional gift for a 45th Wedding Anniversary.
- The hardness of a sapphire is strong enough that it can be used in scientific instruments. As with a form of ruby, sapphire is 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond
- Sapphires and rubies both come from the mineral corundum and are often found together.
- Sapphires are often heated to enhance their colour. This enhancement is permanent.
- In 1902 French chemist Auguste Verneuil introduced a process to create synthetic sapphires, known today as created sapphire.
Normally associated with the colour blue, sapphire is actually the name for any corundum (ruby) that's not red. Although available in many colours, pink sapphire is especially popular.
One of the rarest sapphires known as padaradscha is of a vibrant pink-orange tone and is of very high value.
Sapphires are valued by three components, hue, saturation and tone. Hue is the colour, saturation is the brightness and tone is the shade or depth of colour.
Renowned for its hardness, when you own a piece of sapphire jewellery, keep it safely in a cloth or pouch, so that it does not scratch other jewellery items.
Whether it's a pink sapphire pendant or blue sapphire ring, try not to expose it to high temperatures which could affect the colour of the stone.
Sapphires are mined underground in many places around the world including Sri Lanka, Thailand, Eastern Australia and Madagascar, which is currently the world leader in sapphire production.