Sapphires are one of the “Big Four” traditional precious gemstones, along with Diamond, Emerald and Ruby. Sapphires are the second hardest mineral known to man, rating 9 on the Mohs scale (where diamonds are a 10). Its exceptional hardness and toughness make them superior gemstones, suitable for a lifetime of daily wear.
Did you know that gem Sapphires are in fact, rarer than diamonds? In a year, over 140 million carats of diamonds may be produced, but only 128 million carats of sapphires are produced around the world. Of this 128 million, only less than 5% of production are left as unheated sapphires. Not having undergone any clarity-enhancing processes, an unheated sapphire is a natural marvel that is incredibly precious and highly coveted. Heat treatment is an ancient and acceptable low-tech process to enhance the clarity of slightly “silky” sapphires, and these type sapphires are just fine for use in fine jewellery. If a sapphire is sold as “unheated”, it must come with a certificate from a reliable independent gemological laboratory to confirm its status and value.
Not known to many, both sapphire and ruby are gem forms of the same mineral, Corundum, making ruby essentially a red sapphire! Sapphires are formed approximately 30-60 million years ago in a volcanically active period of the Earth’s evolution. Natural sapphire crystals are found in gem gravel deposits from ancient rivers, having been blown out of volcanoes and making their way through erosion into drainage patterns around the world. Gem quality sapphires have been found in many countries, but fine stones from Kashmir, Burma, Sri Lanka and Madagascar are especially prized for their exceptional colours. Origin can be a very important point for many collectors, and only a few gemological laboratories in the world can reliably determine the source of a fine ruby or sapphire.
Sapphires are often thought of as only blue, but they actually come in a wonderful array of beautiful colours. Each colour has its own variety of shades. A “blue sapphire” may refer to intensely coloured “royal blue” or “cornflower blue” sapphires, or it could be a more medium blue, or may even be a soft pastel colour, with an endless variety of shades in between. From blues to pinks, yellows, greens, violets and purples, and even icy white, sapphires boast a fantastic range of colours, hues and saturations! Possibilities are endless with these hard, durable, beautiful and colourful gemstones.
La Putri is proud to hold a dazzling array of gorgeous natural sapphires in our fine jewellery boutiques in Mandarin Gallery in Singapore or Pavillion KL in Malaysia. Drop by to have a chat with us, and enjoy an intimate viewing of the sapphires in our collection.