Published 25th June 2013
Sapphires are one of the most popular and precious gems used in jewellery, second perhaps only to diamonds in popularity. However, there is more to this beautiful blue stone than first meets the eye!
The sapphire is part of the corundum gem variety, the other two being ruby and padparadshca. The ruby is defined as corundum in the shade of red. The padparadshca is of a pinkish-orange variety, more rare than the sapphire and ruby gem stones.
Natural padparadshca sapphires often draw higher prices than many of the finest blue sapphires. Sapphires can be found in many colours including grey and black, the most well-known being blue.
Fancy sapphire colours such as pink sapphires are popular at auction and deepen in colour as the quantity of chronium increases. The deeper the pink, the higher their value.
White or 'colourless' sapphires are also used as diamond substitutes in jewellery. You can often define white sapphires by their cut. The value of a natural sapphire depends on its colour, clarity, size, cut and overall quality.
The Jewellery department has been busy. There are several pieces of jewellery using sapphires in the upcoming jewellery auction in our Summer Fine Sale that is being held on the 3rd/4th July 2013 at our Exeter Salerooms.
The Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Ring (FS19/168) is a good example of a sapphire in jewellery with its good cut and clarity. Boucheron are a well-known and respected firm of jewellers who have been trading in Paris since 1858.
The Sapphire and Diamond Mounted Triple Cluster Ring (FS19/157) incorporates sapphires that are less intense in colour but cut into attractive oval and pear shapes. A more affordable example than the Boucheron ring, this is still a charming piece of jewellery.
The Sapphire and Diamond Round Cluster Ring in lot 161 is valued in between lots 157 and 168 at £900-£1,300. A simple circular cushion cut shows off the central sapphire to great advantage, being a deep Royal blue, contrasting nicely with the brilliant-cut diamonds surrounding it.