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About Us

Sapphire Specialists, in New York City Since 1939.

At The Natural Sapphire Company we offer true beauty, rarity and value in all of our natural sapphires. Our sapphires are not color diffused, irradiated oiled, glass filled, or heated to extreme temperatures.

Blue Sapphire Ring
100% Natural Sapphires since 1939.

We begin from the ground up; purchasing the rough and semi-polished sapphire crystals directly from the gem mines. We then cut, polish, and certify all of our sapphires in-house. We pride ourselves on being expert stone cutters and artisans.

Our certified staff gemologists analyze and guarantee each sapphire. All of our sapphires are accompanied by laboratory documentation per industry standards.

Our staff is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and experienced. Our dedicated team of designers, CAD specialists, jewelers, and setters manufacture all of our fine jewelry on premises.

We hope you enjoy the rarity, beauty, and quality we present in our inventory.

View our Sapphire Education resource for more information about sapphires.

Photos of Walter Arnstein – Left: Circa 1951, Right: Circa 1939.

Over 75 Years of History.

The Natural Sapphire Company is rich in history. We are not a “start-up” internet company like most online jewelers.

Our founding president, Walter S. Arnstein, began importing sapphires into the United States in 1939.

He had a great passion for the natural beauty he saw in sapphires. In 1939, gemstone enhancements and synthetic stones had not yet been invented; so Walter dealt only with natural untreated sapphires.

Left: The New York Gem Importers Association, President, Walter Arnstein, circa 1951.
 Right: The actual altimeter Samuel Arnstein used in the 1880’s while prospecting in New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana.

In the early 1900’s, diamond engagement rings became popular in the US with the emergence of the immigrant middle class. However, many people still could not afford the high price of a diamond and looked for alternative gemstones. This created a burgeoning market for diamond substitutes. White quartz and other colorless gemstones could not be used for engagement rings as they were too soft and brittle to survive everyday wear. White sapphires, however, were extremely durable and became the best alternative to a diamond. Walter Arnstein recognized the potential in white sapphires and specialized in this unique market.

Early Ledge of Sales.
Early Ledge of Sales.
Walter knew a thing or two about mining, gemstones, and gold. The family roots in gem cutting and mining go back to Germany in the mid-1800’s. Walter’s parents arrived in New York in the late 1870’s and soon went out west to prospect. Samuel Arnstein, Walter’s father, settled in Leadville, Colorado during a mining boom in 1880.

Samuel Arnstein prospected for gold, silver, and copper in New Mexico, Colorado and Montana before returning to New York where he raised a family. Samuel’s son, Walter, became our founding president and continued the family trade of mining and selling gold and precious gemstones.

Gemstone and gold mining was a popular family business venture in the New World, and Walter Arnstein developed an early interest in investing in gemstones and mining.

The gemstone trade proved to be a lucrative business prospect. There was little competition at the time and the jewelry trade in America was growing rapidly. Walter Arnstein narrowed the company’s focus to buying and selling sapphires and other precious gemstones.

Early Print Ads
A few of our early print ads plus an original draft of a star sapphire advertisement in the 1940’s. The ad went to print in some of the first jewelry magazine publications in New York.

During the latter half of the 20th century, white sapphires were the most popular alternative stone for an engagement ring. Walter Arnstein successfully applied for and obtained patents on marketing white sapphires under various trade names.

Cubic zirconias eventually took over the white sapphire market in the 1970’s when Russian scientists discovered how to synthetically create them. But, white sapphires have seen a resurgence in popularity in the past few years and continue to own a fair share of the engagement ring market.

1953 US Patent Application for White Sapphire Marketing
US Patent Testing application from 1953 for a brand marketing campaign for white sapphires.
Running the business was a family affair and Walter’s wife, Janette, worked side by side with Walter for over 50 years. She assisted with marketing, sales and was a meticulous bookkeeper.

Seymour Arnstein, Walter’s son, joined the company in the early 1970’s and continued the family tradition of working with natural sapphires. While stock markets have fluctuated, the value of our sapphires has always endured. We continued to expand our business as the demand for natural untreated sapphires grew during the past 20 years.

Michael Arnstein, our 3rd generation president, began working at the company in the mid-1990’s and was the driving force behind creating our e-commerce website.

Now, after 75 years in business, we continue to lead the industry. We are a team of gemologists, designers, jewelers, CAD engineers and craftsmen, dedicated to preserving the company’s roots and offering the best selection of rare and beautiful natural sapphires.

Education
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