September is on its way out, but we're celebrating our love for SAPPHIRES before it's over! Sapphires are September's birthstone and one of our most favorite colored gemstones here at T&H. We bet there's a lot about sapphires that you didn't already know... some of the facts below may surprise you!
Sapphires are typically known for their amazing blue color, but sapphires can actually be just about any color except red! Sapphires come in a rainbow of colors including blue, pink, yellow, orange, purple, and green, although blue is definitely the most well known color of sapphire. The only time a colored sapphire isn't actually a sapphire is when it's red or deep pink - then we call it a ruby!
Sapphires are most commonly blue, but the colors of blue range from light, unsaturated blue to a very dark navy blue. The standard for the perfect "sapphire blue" comes from sapphires mined in Kashmir, which are incredibly saturated and rare. Most of the sapphires from Kashmir were mined over a century ago, but they are still considered the standard for that perfect blue color we all know and love!
98% of sapphires are actually brown when they come out of the ground(!) and are heated to bring out the blue color. There are no negative side effects to heating sapphires, and when disclosed to the buyer, it's a perfectly acceptable and normal practice for sapphires. When you come across a sapphire that is "unheated", it's typically going to be a lot more rare (and expensive!), because it came out of the ground that way! If you've ever heard of a "star sapphire", that's another phenomenon altogether called an "asterism". The crystal structure of sapphires is hexagonal, which means that it has six sides. In a star sapphire, you can actually see this six-sided crystal structure in the stone under certain lighting, which looks like a star!
The most famous sapphire ring in the world is the 18 carat sapphire and diamond halo ring that has been worn by Kate Middleton and Princess Diana before her. The sapphire alone is worth about $300,000 today, which is a HUGE increase from the original selling price of $60,000! We definitely have Kate Middleton to thank for the recent interest in sapphire engagement rings again!
If you love sapphire rings as much as we do, check out our current collection of vintage sapphire engagement rings! We get new sapphires all the time, so make sure to check back often for more vintage beauties!
Photos from: Sheinside, ADST.org, GIA