Stars in Sapphire

Helen

The stars were out in full force and sparkling like mad at the 2010 BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts – think, England’s Oscars).  While some stars like Kristin Stewart and Anna Kendrick chose to eschew jewelry (bite your tongue!), the majority of the actresses in attendance glittered and gleamed just like the stars that they’re associated with, dripping with gems, including some beautiful blue sapphires.

Speaking of which … while I may have a one-track mind, and while all of the outfits were beautiful, I was a big fan of one in particular: Joely Richardson shone in sapphire-blue silk with delightfully Edwardian jeweled serpent straps, in an outfit that exemplified old-school Hollywood glamour, made all the better by her presence on London’s red carpet.

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Congratulations to all the nominees and all of the award winners!   And, as we’re just under two weeks away from the Oscars, scheduled for March 7th, it’s nice to know there’s another dose of glamor awaiting us … I wonder which trends will fade (you can guess the one at the top of my list, I think), and which will grow by then.  As a fan of the traditional red carpet, I’m hoping for dangling glittering earrings, and draping necklaces.  Or perhaps some star who reads our blog might be in the mood for a custom sapphire suite?

Blue Sapphire EarringsBlue Sapphire Necklace

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Make every day Valentine’s Day with a Heart-Shaped Sapphire

Joe

Romance is for every day, not just Valentine’s Day.  Every year, we hear protests against Valentine’s Day.  “It’s an artificial holiday!” the haters cry.  “You should show your partner how much you love them every day!” they say.  It’s an admirable sentiment, but how often do most of us find the time for specific romance on a regular basis?  The annual celebration most definitely has its place.

But on the off-chance that Valentine’s Day has come and gone but you’re still wanting to capture its spirit on one of those other days, just like they tell you you ought to … we definitely have what you’re looking for.

JS595

JS595 is just one of our beautiful heart shaped semi mountings

For example, let’s say this Valentine’s Day made you realize that, yes!, she’s the one, and you want to propose in the spirit of the realization.  Should you wait a year?  No!  But you do want her to remember it for years ….  I’d suggest you find a romantic place and propose her with a heart shaped blue sapphire three stone ring.

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Just consider JS49, with its round diamond or sapphire side-stones!

A heart shaped sapphire engagement ring might be hard to find, but it is considered to be a very symbolic gift: the shape advertises your love, and the sapphire is well known as a stone promoting fidelity, loyalty, and love in the language of gemstones. A heart shaped sapphire engagement ring will definitely signify a meaningful and cherished love affair.

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Or, for the full romantic package, perhaps a 3 of Hearts like ring setting JS495, set with a pink sapphire?

Simple heart shaped sapphires make good-looking promises, whether they come in the form of engagement rings or other things – perfect for a proposal or anniversary gift.

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A heart of gold deserves a heart of gold … and sapphire, like yellow sapphire Y2521

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The Sapphire Solution

Zarche

Women are complex creatures … or so we’ve been told.

Whenever we think of getting ourselves a piece of jewelry, especially beautiful and colorful natural sapphires, we consider many details, such as: will this sapphire color compliment my skin tone? Does it this particular sapphire color and shape goes well with the jewelry design I have in mind? Most important of all, can this jewelry easily be  incorporated into my daily wardrobe? Considering all the aspects, it is a tough decision to make!  Luckily, natural sapphires offer options for every occasion and every variation on personal taste.

With so many choices and aspects to take into consideration, it is very important for a woman to pick the right piece of jewelry to balance all those concerns. So, my personal pick? A beautiful violet sapphire set in white gold ring with a bead-set halo. Cushion-cut sapphire U2732 has a brilliant cut and a hint of cool winter in its hue. Setting this sapphire in one of our custom jewelry settings, with the subtle gleam of tube-set round diamonds at the four corners will make for a stunning ring.  And, even if the complex creature in your life might prefer a different cut or color, what’s a better way to express your love than by putting a gallery of hearts in as a little secret for the two of you to enjoy together?

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More precious than rubies ….

Helen

They say a virtuous woman is more precious than rubies, but that doesn’t mean that even the most virtuous of women wouldn’t appreciate one!  The thing is, just as she’s truly, honestly, and really virtuous – a phrase that possesses the specific connotation of honesty and wisdom – you’ll sort of want to be certain that you’re presenting her with real rubies.

Recent reports from San Francisco’s CBS 5 and ABC’s Good Morning America have brought to light the common practice of selling glass-filled rubies as natural stones, with no regard for their intrinsic value (or lack thereof), or the care that they require: while rubies and sapphires may be 9s on the Moh’s scale, the hardest natural gem substances after diamonds, treated stones are fragile and need to be babied; their fillers can be damaged or ruined by anything from household cleaning products to lemon juice.   Macy’s department store was the focus of these reports, but considering the fact that 99% of rubies and sapphires on the market are routinely treated but that considerably less are disclosed as such … well, it’s enough to make a virtuous woman feel a tad concerned.

So consider natural sapphires and rubies, sapphires and rubies that have been properly certified.  In Hindi, ruby is called ratna raj, king of gems: naturally appropriate when you’re looking for a gift that’s fit for a queen.

.70 Carat Natural Burmese Ruby RingNatural Ruby Pendant2.45 Carat Burmese Ruby

A vivid ruby ring like J1568?  A crimson pendant like J1259?  Or, perhaps a loose cushion like U559, to be mounted in the custom jewelry setting of your choice?

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The Diamond Scheme

Michael

The diamond market is a relatively new industry created through a marketing phenomenon.  Not too long ago the diamond market was created and controlled by a massive mining cartel called DeBeers.  The company controlled dozens of mines worldwide for generations.  Demand was created through DeBeers ingenious marketing, which created the tradition of the diamond engagement ring.  Diamonds are in enough supply for literally hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people to own a fine quality diamond.  Mines exist on almost every single continent around the world.  The supply is limitless, yet the cost is high.

Today DeBeers is still a very strong company in the diamond industry, but they have serious competition from other nationally run diamond mines in places like Russia, Batswana and many other countries.

What makes natural untreated sapphires so unique and rare is that there is no large company that mines these stones.  No single government or country has any great influence on market supply or demand.  Sapphires are traded in a completely free market system.  They are far more rare than diamonds, extremely durable and very unique in that they come in every color in the rainbow.

Sapphire-Rainbow

Consider our collection of unique natural sapphires ….

A fine quality natural sapphire ring is a perfect engagement ring, fashion statement, family heirloom and investment.

Diamond Invention Sapphire Halo Ring

J2028

If you would like to learn more about the diamond trade and the history behind its marketing, might appreciate this article from The Atlantic: “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?

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The Floral Jewelry Trend Hits Natural Sapphires

Erika

You’ve probably spotted this trend in women’s jewelry and accessories recently.  Flowers are appearing on rings, earrings, necklaces, and even inspiring fragrances like Marc Jacobs’ Daisy.

J1867

J1867 is a yellow sapphire and diamond daisy design

This trend isn’t just a flash in the pan.  Just like Chanel’s iconic camellia, classic floral designs have staying power and are always in fashion.  If you’re tired of the winter weather, kick-start spring with these blooming beauties.

J1843

J1843 features a beautiful pink sapphire surrounded by white sapphire petals

J1940

These purple natural sapphire and diamond earrings are lovely additions to any spring wardrobe

J1962

And last but not least, B1962 is an amazing pairing of intense blue natural sapphires and diamonds

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A Bouquet that Lasts a Lifetime

Livia

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner one automatically thinks of  candy, bouquets of flowers, and of course, jewelry!

The Natural Sapphire Company is proud to showcase an exquisite floral bouquet of blue sapphires, as seen below.  We designed this custom creation for a lovely French couple’s engagement ring.  The first step in creating a special custom-made piece of jewelry is selecting the center stone.

Blue Sapphire Engagement Stone B3060

Vivid blue brilliant-cut natural sapphire B3060 is now residing with the happy couple, but we could certainly source a stone to fit your preferences as well -perhaps something like B3643?

This lovely round blue sapphire has a rich vivid color tone.  A sapphire of this caliber certainly needs to be set in a custom mounting that shows off its resplendent beauty.

M9676 Light Blue stones

We then create a 3D rendering of the design for the customer to approve.  And, as you can see below, the ring came out picture perfectly!

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Here at NSC, we hope that your Valentine’s Days go just as perfectly – candy, bouquets, jewelry, and all!

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Who's a special snowflake?

Helen

They say that no two snowflakes are alike, and they’re right.  Well, the same goes for sapphires.  Heated sapphires can acquire a sort of an assembly-line resemblance to one another, having taken chance out of the equation, but when you go straight from Nature to artifice?  Anything’s possible.

Special Snowflake

For those interested in snowflakes as well as sapphires, the book of that name might be of interest …. (image, The Snowflake)

For example: we think of sapphires as being blue, yes?  Maybe sometimes other colors, like yellow?  But why narrow the options like that?  Why not have both, in one?

Bi-Color Sapphire

Two, two, two great colors of natural sapphire in one with U2360!

Why not step outside the field of possibility for a natural green sapphire?  (A touch of green is particularly welcome on a day like today, when half the Eastern seaboard is buried under a blizzard: also, see if you can guess the inspiration for this blog topic).  Green sapphires are colored by chromium and vanadium as blue sapphires are colored by iron and rubies by chromium primarily.

Green Sapphire

They say the grass is always greener, but what about the sapphire?  U2817 sort of puts paid to that question

Speaking of rubies … did you know that the distinction between rubies and pink sapphires was a fairly recent one, dating back only as far as the 19th c.?  Prior to that, they were known as “male” and “female” rubies.  While the gender dynamics there might call for a little deconstruction, they certainly cast a new light on the broad range of possibilities in the world of corundum.

Male RubyFemale Ruby

Two sides of the same natural sapphire coin with U2639 and U2572 ….

While we may not all be special snowflakes (to paraphrase Tyler Durden), sapphires sort of are.  At least, they are the way we handle them here at The Natural Sapphire Company.

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T-minus 6 days to V-Day ….

Helen

Some people call Valentine’s Day a Hallmark holiday: I figure, no matter what the reasoning behind it, why would you ever pass up an opportunity to tell your beloved how you feel?

Valentine's Day Candy

Sweets for the sweet, indeed, but are you sure your Valentine might not prefer something a bit more lasting?

Valentine’s Day actually has a long and honorable history: it’s thought to derive from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, or to hearken back to St. Valentine, supposedly martyred for love in the late Roman period.  Our first extant mention comes from no less an authority on love than one of the fathers of English literature, that renowned poet, Geoffrey Chaucer,  in his “Parlement of Fowles,” wherein he gave us the first “love birds.” Valentine’s Day as we know it today has been celebrated in one guise or another since the 14th century … so instead of breaking with tradition (or breaking your darling’s heart), why not demonstrate how you feel in the clearest way possible?  Give them your heart!  Or, at any rate, a heart ….

The Natural Sapphire Company has laid in great stock to choose from for V-Day.  From blue sapphire pendants to blue sapphire earrings to blue sapphire rings to loose blue natural sapphires to be set as you like, we’ve got it all (and that’s not even getting into our spectrum of additional options).

Natural Blue Sapphire PendantNatural Blue Sapphire Earrings

She can keep blue sapphire pendant J936 close to her heart, or have blue sapphire earrings J1974 whispering sweet nothing in her ears for when you’re not around ….

Natural Blue Sapphire Ringnatural Blue Sapphire Heart

Blue sapphire ring J1995 makes a promise for the future of nothing but the best, and as for natural blue sapphire heart B2288 … well!  Let’s just say that, from St. Valentine himself on down, this holiday’s arbitrators of love would approve.

When you celebrate Valentine’s Day, however you choose to observe it – big, small, low-key or over-the-top – know that regardless of what the critics might say, it’s a holiday with its heart (if you’ll pardon the expression) in the right place.  An opportunity to tell your loved ones how you feel, whatever the history or the contemporary commercial exploitation?  That’s a golden opportunity.  Or even, as we might put it, a sapphire one ….

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A Whiter Shade of Pale ….

Helen

White gold, palladium, or platinum?  It can be hard to pick and choose between the three precious white metals (if you like yellow or rose gold, you’re in the clear – there aren’t really any serious alternative alloys out there).  So let’s run down the list and see what their various virtues are, to help you decide ….

Gold is traditionally one of the most valued metals, and its palest variants most definitely have their virtues: for one thing, the color of white gold is uniquely rich (even “white” gold has a pleasant, buttery warmth to it, though if you prefer the whiter shades of pale you can always have your ring rhodium dipped – the one caveat here is that you’ll need to redip it periodically depending on body chemistry if you choose this option).  18K white gold is a bit more pure and a bit more soft than 14K: both are forms of pure yellow gold alloyed with nickel (or our next metal, palladium).  Before you go with white gold, be sure that you’re not allergic: a small percentage of the population has a negative reaction to the nickel that is most commonly used to adulterate the gold and to give it its color.

White Gold Ring

A 14 carat Ceylon blue sapphire ring, featuring an elegantly minimalist bezel setting

Both palladium and platinum have their virtues: the colors are slightly different, and the feel of the materials is significantly different (palladium definitely deserves its reputation as a space-age metal: it’s very strong, but also very light, whereas platinum is heavier and has a bit more presence).  Palladium is a fairly recent discovery, dating back to 1803, when it was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston, who named it after the recently discovered asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the Greek goddess, Pallas Athena.  It’s been used widely in jewelry since 1939, when platinum was declared a strategic resource for weapons manufacturing during WWII.

Palladium Ring

Almost 3 carats of natural Ceylon blue sapphire are flattered by half-moon diamonds, all framed in palladium

Platinum tends to be the most prestigious of the precious metals these days: it’s the rarest, and, commensurately, the most expensive.  In terms of how it wears: it’s more malleable than gold, which can make it safer and more long-lasting than gold.  For example, if you accidentally scratch gold, the gold you’ve scratched off will disappear, but if you scratch platinum, it just displaces and can be polished back into place; if you catch a prong on something, in gold it might snap off, but in platinum it will just bend back.  Practical as well as beautiful, familiar to jewelers and designers, and possessed of that certain je ne sais quoi in the eyes of consumers, platinum is the ne plus ultra of the jewelry world’s metal choices.

Platinum Ring

When nothing but the best will do, try Blue Sapphire Ring J317

So which metal is right for you?  It depends on what you want from your jewelry. Cost?  Color?  Durability?  A complex algorithm of all of the above?  Whatever it is, we’ll be happy to help you decide, whether it’s via one of our finished ring settings or our custom jewelry setting process.

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