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Gemstones

Erroneously, most people think that sapphires are blue. And although sapphires can be blue, which is the most chosen colour, sapphire comes in several hues of blue, but also in many different colours.  It certainly is the most valuable blue gemstone, and highly sought due its beauty, hardness, and luster.

What are Sapphires?

Sapphires are amazingly beautiful gemstones mined all around the globe. Their main sources are in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Madagascar.

Sapphire is a hard gemstone, found in the mineral corundum. The term sapphire includes all gems colour varieties of corundum, excluding the red variety named ruby. Being hard gemstones (second hardest after diamonds), sapphires are suitable not only for special occasions but for daily usage as well, as in engagement rings.  

Certainly, sapphires are available in blue, the most known version of them, ranging from pale blue to deep dark almost black blue. However, sapphires come in a wide array of amazing colours and hues. Green, purple, yellow, orange, brown, pink, purple and white is some of the varieties. Usually, when the term sapphire is used alone, it refers to blue sapphire, while sapphires with a colour other than blue are named with their color as a prefix, for instance, yellow sapphire, pink sapphire, orange sapphire, and others.

As a matter of fact, there are also bi-colour sapphires too which instead of featuring one saturated colour; they feature more two. It is important to know that such sapphires are popularly considered poor quality, however, that rarity makes them a unique and different choice.

Unlike diamonds, sapphires don’t have a grading system to classify them according to their quality. Nevertheless, a sapphire to be considered high quality should have little or inexistent inclusions or imperfections, a nice saturated colour, and finally should be a well-cut stone.

Sapphire Treatments

It is usual practice to heat treat sapphires to intensify the blue color and to increase clarity by the removal of inclusions. Untreated sapphires with an intense natural colour are much more valuable than treated ones.

Sapphires in Jewellery

Sapphires are among the most popular gemstones used in jewelry. They can be found in all types of jewelry, including bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, and as we mentioned, in engagement rings. They are utilized as centerpieces as well as secondary stones to complement diamonds.

The possibilities of sapphires are immense. Edellie.com is an online jewellery Switzerland based shop that counts on a representative collection of jewels where sapphires are present in different pieces. When buying jewels online, it is important to seek professional and reliable advice, to know what you are really buying. View Edellie’s collection, and contact them if you need further information.

 

There is something about the redness of most rubies that really attracts attention. But, not all rubies are a rich red some of them are rather pink in colour. Flawless rubies which are the most desirable are rare and most sort after. The best rubies actually cost more than do diamonds of the same size and are exceeded in value only by emeralds.

Genuine rubies have tiny irregular inclusions. Synthetic rubies come with perfectly rounded bubbles in them and can be further identified by having striae in them rather than curved lines. Some so-called rubies are in fact red Spinel! Sometimes these not-rubies are known as “Balas Ruby or Ruby Spinel.”

Many colours of sapphires

Sapphires are available in a variety of colouring but never in red. They can be yellow, green, white, pink, purple, brown and black. The most popular however range from pale cornflower blue to a deep velvety-looking blue. Sapphires that are not blue are often referred to by jewellers as “fancy sapphires.” Some sapphires tend to change their colour in artificial lighting from that seen in daylight.

Other names given to sapphires can be “Oriental Topaz” for the yellow variety and “Oriental Amethyst” for purple stones. Sometimes, the sapphire colouring is altered by a heat treatment that dulls the colour or by irradiation that tends to fade with time.  Synthetic sapphires were developed for cheaper jewellery back in 1910. The term Brazilian sapphire is actually a misnomer for a blue variety of Tourmaline that is found in Brazil.

The richness of emeralds

An emerald is a variety of Beryl and considered as one of the most valuable of the precious stones. The green colour ranges from pale to dark with the most costly being the very dark warm velvety green colour. Flawless stones are very rare and most emeralds contain inclusions. Unlike sapphires, emeralds maintain their colour and are not affected by a change of light.

Amethyst

Amethysts are a variety of quartz and are transparent and crystalline. The usual colouring range from a deep purple, reddish mauve, to a pale blue-violet. Sometimes, the hues come mingled in a stone and some can even show a tinge of yellow. Amethysts are often set pear-shaped in pendants and as pierced beads for necklaces and earrings. Amethysts that are banded with inclusions of agate or milky quartz are known as amethyst quartz.

A brief story of gemstone jewels, the origins, the design, the essence for those captivated by the colour, energy and diversity.

In the beginning

Ancient people collected gem minerals because they were attracted to the colours, lustre, and crystal forms. Soon they began to use them as amulets, charm stones, and personal adornment. Prehistoric caves revealed findings of amber used as simple jewellery many thousands of years ago. There is archaeological evidence of amber trading in Northern Europe during the fourth and third millenia B.C.

When jewellery as we know it started to be shaped in silver and gold, gemstones were often used to decorate items. The Minoans used semi-precious gemstones to decorate their jewellery. During the late Roman Empire, gems were not only used for the Emperor’s robes but also for decorating chariots, harnesses, and utensils, in the Imperial household. The gems most popular were amethyst, agate, amber, jasper, chalcedony, rock crystal, ruby, emerald, opal and coral.

Interest in gemstones declined during the early Middle Ages due to Christianity putting an emphasis on afterlife rather than worldly pleasures.

Gemstone revival in France

Gemstones in the Gothic period were only smoothed to remove blemishes, then, drilled through and polished, leaving the stone looking as large as possible. The fashionable gems of the period were ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, rock crystal, and amethyst. With progress, the first facet cuts appeared. During the 14th- century gems began to be used to decorate religious items and as well as spectacular royal crowns made as well. Wearing jewellery now became the fashion at royal courts and among the nobility.

The Renaissance aroused interest in smaller precious gems with diamond, transparent pale-coloured stones, and turquoise. The 17th- century brought about the development of new facet cuts, such as the rosette and brilliant cut. These enhanced colour play and lustre of diamonds.

Wearing beautiful gems

Ancient Egyptians wore necklaces and rings that shone, as intensely did the ancient Greeks. It has been noted by Homer in his writings, of the precious priceless earrings of Hera and of the amber necklace that Eurymachos gave to Penelope.

Transparent stones of bright colours often look better on women than men. Stones with deeper tones of a less conspicuous colour usually suit males. Naturally, jewellery must match clothes and appropriate for the occasion. Formal evening clothes for the theatre do not go with brightly coloured stones noticed from afar, and when several jewellery items are worn together, they should match.