It is the most cheerful of all gemstones. It frees the spirit and creates well-being.


“Sauriratna, sacred to Saturn”, is how the ancient Sanskrit Indians named this gem. In Chaldean it was called sampir, in Greek sappheiros, in Latin sapphirus and in Arabic safir. The history of sapphire is shrouded in mystery and leads us back to a number of languages and cultures, the exact origin of today’s name remaining a secret. In contrast to ruby, this gem symbolises less turbulent, more reliable and enduring emotions such as harmony, loyalty, trust, faithfulness and love. This is why, up to the present day, sapphires have been endowed with divine significance in several religious traditions; the blue gem is thought to be imbued with many sought-after supernatural powers.


In ancient times it was believed that Earth either rested on, or was set in, a magnificent sapphire that turned the sky blue in the reflected sunlight – an apposite and beautiful description, as sapphire occurs in every imaginable shade of blue, matching the changing moods of the skies. Royal blue is one of the most sought-after colours. Dr. Eduard Gubelin describes the royal blue sapphire as imbued with a silken, velvety sheen, leading the glance into its hidden depths, rendered as unfathomable as mountain lakes by a tiny trace of cobalt blue. Cornflower blue, just as coveted, he describes as soft and velvety, scintillating yet bland at the same time; it is a clear, deep blue, enhanced by a gentle admixture of kingly purple.


Gemmological Properties
Sapphire, like ruby, is a member of the colourful corundum family. The blue of sapphire is the result of traces of iron and titanium within the original corundum composition. Due to the more frequent occurrence of iron and titanium in the earth’s crust, one could say that Mother Nature has been a little more generous with her gift of blue sapphires.


Mining Areas
The island of Ceylon was the world’s first source of sapphires and remained the premier supplier of these gem-quality stones for centuries. As with rubies, the remote valley of Mogok also became a primary source of these fine quality gems. One of the most significant events to occur in the realm of blue sapphires took place in the early 1880s, when a rockslide in the Himalayan Mountains of Kashmir revealed a source of blue sapphires which has become legendary for the exquisite gems recovered there. Although Kashmir has produced only a limited number of gems since the 1920s, the soft, velvety blue colour of Kashmiri sapphires remains the epitome of this gem variety, one highly regarded by connoisseurs and collectors alike.


In more recent times, the number of sapphire sources has also increased significantly. Gem-quality sapphires originate from a number of regions around the world, including Australia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Madagascar, Montana (USA), Nigeria, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.