Sunday, September 28, 2008

September Birthstone, Sapphire!!!

At one time the name sapphire (Greek - blue) was used for various stones, in the Middle Ages it was used for what is now know to be lapis lazuli.

Above is a 22 karat gold butterfly, with inlaid stunning sapphire stones!

As I mentioned last week, I made the above earrings for a special lady who had both the rubies and the sapphire gems brought directly from Burma...the sparkle in these tiny gems is amazing...

In the 1800's it was recognized the ruby and sapphire, which are chemically and structurally the same, are both members of the corundum family. In this day and age any corundum of gem quality, with the exclusion of the red are called sapphires...which come in orange-pink, golden, white, black, yellow and green...the red stones are called rubies!
Above is a stunning sapphire and diamond bracelet, which would cost in the neighborhood of an entry level luxury car!!!

The above custom designed necklace is made with just under 17 carats of colored sapphires and 4 carats of clear white diamonds, and was found in one of the largest jewelry stores in Bangkok Thailand, with a price tag of a mere $15,000.00...

There are fewer rubies than sapphires due to the fact the sapphire coloring impurities are more common than the ruby. The Burmese and Kashmir blue sapphires are the most desirable sapphires, with the Kashmir sapphires a deep blue, while the Burmese sapphires a royal blue, with a hint of purple. Sapphires are also found in African, Russia, North Carolina, Brazil and China, with important deposits found in Australia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

...the most sought after color for a sapphire is the "cornflower blue sapphire".

The stunning choker above is adorned with blue sapphire baguettes and pave diamonds, set in 18k white and yellow gold, yours for $50,000.00...pave is stones set so close together that the metal used isn't visible.

Surprisingly, in this day and age the mining methods are still very simple, hand dug holes and trenches are used to locate the gem stones underground, the stones are then hand picked by washing the sand, clay and gravel away, revealing the sapphires...the washing away of debris is much the same way gold was mined years ago!

Corundum, which is not gemstone quality is used as cutting and polishing material..."The well know polishing material, emery is mainly fine-grained corundum, to which magnetite, hematite, and quartz are added"(Gemstones of the World)

Sapphires are hard, a 9 on the Mohs' Scale of Hardness...with only the Diamond and Moisannite harder.

There is a unique sapphire called "star" sapphire, which has a 6 pointed rutile crystal inclusion, giving the effect of a star in the deep blue sapphire...

"rutile": a lusterous red, reddish brown or black tetregonal mineral that is an ore titanium. Rutile ususally occurs as prismatic crystals in othere minerals especially as dark needle like crystals in quartz. chemical form TiO2.
rutile. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Retrieved October 01, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rutile

Famous Sapphires:

The American Museum of Natural History (New York) owns the
  • Star of India, 536ct
  • Midnight Star, a black sapphire, 116ct
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. owns the
  • Star of Asia, a star sapphire, 330ct
St. Edward's and the Stuart sapphire are part of the English Crown Jewels.

The United States has three large sapphires each weighing roughly 2000ct, which have been carved with the heads of presidents Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower...

There you have it...the beautiful sapphire, one of my favorite gems, but then I do like them all, just some more than others!
Cheers...

All photos, with the exceptions of the sapphires earrings are courtesy of Swamibu, Flickr.com A heartfelt "thank you" Bu for allowing me to use your stunning photos in my features!!!

Information References:
Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann, Third Edition, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.,

The Jeweler's Directory of Gemstones, Judith Crowe, Firefly Books, 2006

11 comments:

  1. so, when do we get to wear all this magnificent jewelry...lol..STUNNING...great piece and what a beautiful stone...one of my favorites...I have a sapphire/diamond ring that was a tie pin of my Grandfather...I should wear it more often...I wish it were my birthstone..I'm December...

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  2. I had no idea that sapphires came in so many colours, much less that rubies and sapphires were the same kind of stone! I love them - ever since I first saw Princess Diana's engagement ring...

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  3. oh wow! What stunning and beautiful jewelry! Would feel like a queen in it!

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  4. would love to wear this jewelry and feel like a queen in it!!!

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  5. Sapphires are one of my absolute favorite gems. LOVELY photos. I looooove the way the sapphire earrings turned out. I was anxious to see!

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  6. I'm sitting here salivating!!! oh my!!! talk about gorgeous!!! and great info on the sones!!!

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    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful jewellery, a very nice collection.

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  9. i always like handycraft, and your site blog is helpful.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment...it is truly appreciated!
Cheers