The sapphire is often called “the gemstone of the sky”, a simply magnificent
gem that appears in every shade of blue one could imagine. The sapphire also comes in greys, pinks, yellow
and orange but it’s the “rhapsody in blue” that delights and excites people through the ages.
The sapphire is a symbol of loyalty, friendship, trust and harmony, personifying all the qualities that are noble and lasting.
Sapphires are the hardest of precious stones, second only to the diamond and like rubies they are composed
of the colourless mineral corundum, which is essentially aluminium oxide. The blazing colours that give the sapphire
its character are authored by the infusion of iron and chrome coupled with heat and pressure changes within the earth.
Sapphires and rubies are closely related and for many centuries there was debate as to what gems should be
classified as sapphires. Eventually it was decreed that the “ruby” red gems would be known as rubies and all the
other colours sapphires.
The major miners of this rare jewel are India, Australia, Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Africa and Thailand.
Most of the blue sapphires come from Thailand or Australia but it is worth noting that the Sri Lankan sky
blue sapphire is much loved and the finest Sapphires the world has known were discovered in Kashmir during the 1800’s.
The sapphire’s colour is dependent on where it is sourced but a stone may also be classified with reference to a
geographical area that exhibits a given colour. For example an Indian sapphire may be said to possess Sri Lankan gem qualities
in terms of colour.
A sapphire’s value is determined by colour, size, transparency and the origin of the gem itself. Traditionally
Kashmir sapphires have been deemed the most valuable, closely followed by Burmese and Sri Lankan stones.