MEET YOUR MINERALS
Moh’s Hardness: 9
Historically, Sapphires are best known as symbols of power, strength and wisdom. There are many myths and legends featuring sapphires as magical healing or protecting stones. The choice of royalty, Sapphires were frequently worn around the necks of Kings as powerful amulets, thought to protect the wearer from harm and foster divine favor.
Sapphires are a gem varietiy of the mineral corundum; the other being Ruby. Both Sapphires and Rubies have the same chemical composition and structure. Gems generally get their colour because of certain metals or impurities contained in the mineral. With a Moh's Hardness Scale score of 9, Sapphires are second only in hardness to diamond, giving the wearer confidence in selecting this stone for everyday wear.
NOT JUST BLUE
Blue Sapphires are the most common colour that is seen in this mineral, and gems with a rich blue to violet colour are the most traditionally desirable. Containing traces of iron, titanium and nickel, the mineral corundum actually comes in a broad range of colours including green, yellow, blue, orange, black and pink. All colours of corundum are referred to as Sapphires, except the red variety, which alone is exclusively referred to as Ruby.
Sapphires are mined in locations around the globe in regions such as Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka and the United States. The sapphires from the various regions differ from one another in terms of their chemical structure and appearance.
Parti Sapphires, also known as Bi-colour, Tri-colour or Polychrome Sapphires, are a rare type of corundum gemstone that, like Salt & Pepper Diamonds, cannot be be replicated in a lab. Parti stones typically include two or three colours within the same stone, typically in mixes of blues, greens and yellows that perfectly complement one another, emulating similar colours to peacock feathers.
Although Parti Sapphires can be found around the world, Australia is a particularly good region for mining and fossicking these unique and beautiful stones.
While Sri Lanka is responsible for the production of many gem varieties—including Padparadschah Sapphires, a rare and highly sought after vibrant shade of orangey-pink—the Ceylon Sapphire is surely it's most famous. These hotly desired bright blue stones have a particularly strong lustre that has featured in some of the most renowned jewels in history.
Most famously, British Princess Diana selected a Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring for her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981. In 2010 Prince William presented this ring to Kate Middleton when the two became engaged.
At smaller sizes, some darker coloured sapphires lose vibrancy once set into metal. Thanks to their high luster, Ceylon Sapphires are a marvellous choice for brightness and vibrancy in small sized stones and my preferred choice for use in pieces like the Gneiss Pavé Ring.
WHY CHOOSE SAPPHIRES?
As well as being the second hardest gemstone variety, Corundum is a truly beautiful mineral that comes in an array of soul-stirring colours that make each stone different and special. Unlike White Diamonds, which have a narrow scale for grading colour (and therefore all look the same) Sapphires are a wonderful choice for a unique piece of jewellery with incredible longevity.
It also is much easier to trace a Sapphire back to its mine of origin than it is for a Diamond. This is because most Sapphires come from small mines, run by families or local groups and not large, industrial mines.