Did you know that out of hundreds of gemstones that have been discovered, only 4 are considered "precious gems"? Precious gems include diamond, ruby, emerald, and...you guessed it... sapphire!
Sapphire is a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, second only to diamond. In addition to their beauty, sapphire's resistance to scratching is another reason why they're awesome for jewelry!
Over 95% of sapphires in jewelry have been heated to improve their color. Unheated natural sapphires are more rare, and more valuable than treated sapphires of similar quality.
Historically, the most valuable sapphires are of Kashmir origin. Kashmir mines were only mined for about 5 to 10 years before supply was completely depleted, and have since been closed for over 100 years! Kashmir sapphires can be intensely saturated and have a sleepy, velvety appearance due to their rutile inclusions.
Sapphire mines in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Myanmar (Burma) also produce very beautiful and very valuable sapphires.
Sapphire is a timeless gem that has been worn by celebrities as well as royalty. Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Crown Jewels contained a 104-carat cabochon sapphire.
Princess Diana was gifted a beautiful sapphire brooch by her mother, which she had converted into a remarkable sapphire, diamond, and cultured pearl 7-strand choker necklace.
As a wedding gift from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Princess Diana was given a sapphire and diamond necklace with matching earrings, which she was photographed wearing on multiple occasions.
Good news for September babies! Sapphire is the September birthstone!