There is an inexplicable charm when it comes to sapphire. From being an inseparable part of the precious jewellery vocabulary, to be seen as a pious birthstone to even punctuating red carpet fashion with its bling, sapphire has its own clique of fans.
As a word, “sapphire” was derived from the term that ancient Greeks used to refer to blue stones. Today, we know two things: those bluestones may have actually been the lapis lazuli, and real sapphires come in so many other colours besides blue. Still, the September birthstone is the most desirable when it’s in the hue that reflects the sky and the sea.
A true blue sapphire can compel admirers into a meditative state. Perhaps that’s why the precious gemstone is sometimes seen as a symbol of wisdom and peace — or even a cure for anger and stupidity, according to the pages of Renaissance lapidaries. Of course, we know now there is no such cure, but these age-old superstitions only add to the allure of the sapphire.
So do its origins. The most prized sapphires in the world come from Kashmir, a region that sits on the north of India. It was there that the ultra-rare gems, illuminated by an intense, cornflower blue shade, were mined towards the end of the 19th century. Today, those few “blue velvet” stones, as they are called, fetch up to millions at auctions.
The sapphires you’ll find on jewellery pieces today are likely mined elsewhere, such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and more recently, Madagascar. The azure hue of these gems may not be as brilliant as Kashmir sapphires, but they can come close — it all depends on how they are treated or heated.
That’s because the sapphire, in its purest form, is actually transparent. It’s one of two gem varieties of corundum, a mineral that looks like glass and diamond. In fact, it’s almost as hard as the latter, ranking nine on the Mohs scale of hardness. Depending on a sapphire stone’s chemical make-up, it can appear in colours like pink, green, yellow and purple. Except for red — those are considered rubies.
The sapphire definitely makes a fascinating specimen in the world of gemstones and geology, but perhaps they’re best appreciated when set within the artistic designs of top jewellery brands. Below, we highlight five pieces that cement the sapphire’s beauty and timelessness.
Why wear one, when you can go for a stack or wedding bands. These exquisitely crafted pieces feature a medley of diamonds, blue sapphires, and emeralds.
Get over those run-of-the-mill cuffs, instead try this flexible bracelet in unpolished yellow gold set studded multicoloured sapphires round and rose-cut diamonds.
A classic ring lasts forever and this sapphire ring with clusters of diamonds and beautifully cut sapphires make for a perfect piece of jewel.
Just in case you are over the usual idea of earrings, this beautiful pair of apply naked shooting stars earrings might do. Featuring a set of diamonds and sapphires set on a base of white gold, these numbers are to watch out for.
How about investing in a pendant bringing together four gemstones signifying different elements of life. This Moi Vibe pendant made in gold features four gemstones that stand for each element, Emerald for Earth, Garnet for Fire, Yellow Sapphire for Air, Blue Sapphire for Water.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.