About Sapphire Jewelry
Sapphire jewelry has long been a favorite of both men and women alike due to the sparkling, starry depths of the gem which come in all shades of blue - the preferred color of over half the population.
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Centuries ago, Persians believed the sky was the reflection from a huge sapphire with Earth suspended in its middle. This magical gem can be found in shades of midnight blue to the lighter cerulean of a summer day, from a smoky gray-blue to royal purple, from sunny yellow to sunset hues of pink and orange and even white. It symbolizes truth, sincerity and faithfulness and is designated as the birth stone for those born in the month of September.
In addition to a rainbow of brilliant colors, sapphires are hard (a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamonds), transparent, and durable. These exceptional qualities make sapphires an ideal gem to set in a variety of jewelry; usually white gold is used to enhance the clear, distinct colors.
They are part of the corundum group of gems and share this designation with rubies; the only difference between a ruby and a sapphire is color. Sapphires gain their shade from the presence of iron in alluvial deposits while rubies are colored by chromium.
In addition to the deep blue color traditionally associated with sapphires, there are also "fancy" gems, the term which describes sapphires of other colors such as yellow, green, white, pink, purple or yellow.
Padparadscha is the name given to the very unique orange color with pink undertones which characterizes a small amount of fancy sapphires. Another rather rare variety is the star sapphire, which contains a silvery, cross-shaped anomaly that resembles a star when cut as a half dome. Which type you desire is based purely on personal preference as all are available in exceptionally high quality.
When looking for the highest quality sapphire, there are several considerations. The most desirable color is not the darkest blue, but rather a more vivid and intense medium blue which is not clouded with any other hues, such as green, black, or gray. The clearest of stones without any visible flaws are always the most valuable with the exception of gems from Kashmir. Kashmir sapphires contain a texture which lays like a velvety mist over the stone; this serves to enhance the rich blue shade.
Sapphires are ideal for use in any style or type of jewelry. Star sapphires, in particular, have long been a popular choice in men's rings. Long and dangling or brilliant cut studs, sapphire earrings sparkle and shine along a feminine neck or jaw line. For a woman's arm, a sapphire bracelet in either a bangle style or as part of a mesh chain always looks fantastic. And of course, sapphire necklaces will enhance any female's neckline with either one large stone or a string of many smaller gems. Sapphire rings, particularly engagement rings, enjoyed great popularity after Princess Diana received one from Prince Charles. The practice of giving an engagement or wedding ring with gemstones has long been fashionable in Europe and is just now gaining popularity in the United States.
No matter the occasion and no matter the style, sapphire jewelry is always a magnificent and much-appreciated gift. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of always thinking diamonds, especially for wedding sets, consider sapphire jewelry to give something more unique.