When you think of a sapphire, a blue gemstone probably comes to mind first. This is not surprising as the blue sapphire is considered one of the three Classic Gemstones, along with emerald and ruby, and has been valued for centuries. Yet, as hallowed a place that blue sapphires hold in the gemstone world, we can’t ignore the other colors of sapphire that are special in their own right.
Sapphire is the gem variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum comes in all colors of the spectrum and is called sapphire for every color except red, when it is referred to as ruby. A sapphire’s value is determined by several factors including color, clarity and origin. Whether a sapphire is treated in some way, generally by heating, can affect its value as well. Let’s look at a few examples of some of our favorite fancy color sapphires.
Sapphires come in many shades of pink, from super vivid to a barely discernable wisp. Value is often determined by the saturation of pink throughout the gem, but with lighter pink sapphires, the quality of the cutting and clarity may have a bigger impact. A premium is placed on sapphires that are completely natural with no external enhancements or treatments. The 6.61 carat pink sapphire is one of those special, natural pink sapphires.
Named after the lotus flower blossom of Sri Lanka, the orangey-pink Padparadscha sapphire is a favorite amongst colored gemstone connoisseurs. These special sapphires are rare in their optimal color and typically demand a hefty premium over pink or orange sapphires. As you can see above with this 5.73 carat oval, we love to surround our padparadscha sapphires with rose gold to complement the color.
Some of the prettiest sapphires are in the purple family. These gems range in color including lilac, lavender and deep, royal purple. The color is believed to be a result of trace amounts of vanadium in the sapphire. We love to work with sapphires in this color range, often pairing them with pink sapphires in rose gold for a very rich look.
Fine green sapphires are rare, bold and really beautiful. The green color is caused by trace amounts of iron within the gemstone. The color ranges from pale to rich, dark shades. When we obtain a top quality green sapphire, we like to accent it with alexandrites and diamonds for an interesting combination – as can be seen in the ring above.
We could use up a lot more space going on and on about all of the different colors of sapphire, but we need to leave some for us to discuss in a future blog. Sapphires in all colors are a great addition to any collection as they are durable and have lasting value. The best part is that no matter what your favorite color is that there is a sapphire available for you in that color. We always have a great selection of fancy colored sapphire jewelry on hand or we can provide an unset gemstone for custom designs. Call or email us today.
Accessorizing with the Colors of the Season
The trend-setting institution that is Pantone shares with the world on an ongoing basis the most important fashion colors for Spring and Fall seasons. What do you do with this information? Do you immediately go out shopping, with palette in hand, to ensure you are on trend with your personal apparel? Or do you give it a quick glance, pick out a couple of your favorites and file it away for future reference? The important aspect from our perspective of this guide to the upcoming season’s colors is how do we recommend our jewelry as an accessory to outifts in these hues.
For example, let’s look at what we might suggest for Island Paradise, a light, refreshing blue color. The obvious choice if you were the type of person who likes matching accessories, would be something with aquamarine as the featured gemstone. The light, airy feel of aqua would pair beautifully with this color. What about a complementary color? We would suggest something with a pastel feel, such as a light pink or peach. A piece featuring a light pink sapphire, spinel, morganite, or in this case a Padparadscha sapphire, would be a great match.
If we look at the more “earthy” colors in this palette, aside from finding matching colors, we will also have the opportunity to select colors that really pop against a warmer base color. If we look at the the color Greenery, which is also Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2017, we would match this color with gemstones such as peridot, chrysoberyl or green tourmaline, like this ring below. On the other side of the spectrum, you would look to something in a bolder purple, red or pink as a suitable companion. As you can see from this Duet ring, we love combining green with purple spinel centers.
For another example, let’s consider a rich blue color like Lapis Blue. One of our specialties is blue sapphire, so matching this color with existing Omi jewelry is relatively easy. The complementary color for a bold blue color like this would be an equally bold orange hue – which we would find in our new orange tourmaline ring seen below. We can also find similar colors in spessartite garnets and orange sapphires.
There is a myriad of options when it comes to accessorizing this Spring’s fashion color palette with fabulous colored gemstones. Knowing and understanding how colors accent each other will go a long way in developing your fashion credibility amongst your peers and clients. Pay attention to what the trends are and take the time to pick out the best options for you to ensure you are trend-savvy in your day-to-day life.
There was a time in this great land, not too long ago, when a great behemoth of a company ruled the airwaves with a constant barrage of commercials stating that “A Diamond is Forever”. One would have been considered weird or rebellious to get engaged with anything other than a diamond. Well, things have changed here in the 21st century with a renaissance of color emerging in engagement rings. Women and men are choosing gemstones for their most important and symbolic piece of jewelry that better reflect them as individuals. It is a new age, free of any pressure or traditional bonds to choose fabulous color over the monotony of the colorless.
Prior to the days of mass marketing’s influence on the population, colored gemstones were far more popular as a symbol of one’s love for another. In fact, sapphires were the gemstone of choice in early engagement rings, not only for their beauty, value and symbolism of love, but they were also believed to reveal any infidelity of the wearer. In the 18th and 19th century, colored gemstones were valued higher than diamonds, so it was more special for a bride to receive a rarer, more valuable colored gemstone than a more run-of-the-mill diamond.
Today’s brides-to-be can choose from an incredible array of gemstones and hues. There are so many reasons that a person may connect with a particular type of gemstone. It could be as simple as a favorite color. It could be the origin of the gemstone. It could be a special cosmic trait that a gemstone posesses and creates a bond with the wearer. Whatever the reason, there is a universe of options available to the newly unshackled engagement ring shopper.
There are some practical considerations that should come into the decision-making process when choosing a colored gemstone engagement ring. One of the most important factors is durability. You will wear your engagement ring for a long time, so it is imperative to select a gemstone that will stand up to the daily grind of life. Really durable gemstones include sapphires, rubies, chrysoberyl (alexandrite), topaz and spinel. Within this list, you will find every color in the rainbow to select from. Your choices are endless and it is entirely up to the wearer as to which gemstone speaks to him or her.
Colored gemstones are returning as the symbol of love and romance as they have been throughout history. The few decades-long blip on the radar of mass marketed colorless stones is being replaced by a new era of freedom of choice and personal expression. We are honored and proud to be able to play a role in so many new special moments involving our beautiful colored gemstones and award-winning jewelry designs, and look forward to many more as color returns to its rightful place in the realm of romance.
A little holiday season inspiration for that special someone……..
What do you buy for that certain someone who has everything? Well, we at Omi Privé specialize in the rare and extraordinary, so here are a few of our suggestions for this year:
Incredible Australian Lightning Ridge Opal Ring
An amazing palette of color swirls around in this 13.46 carat opal. We surround this magnificent gem with grass-green tsavorite garnets, deep ocean blue sapphires and diamonds – all set in platinum. No two opals are alike and very few look anything like this one.
Pastel Pinks, Purples and Blues in a Cacophony of Color
In this design collaboration with artist/designer Remy Rotenier, we started with an amazing 12.27 carat cushion-cut pink kunzite in the center then surrounded it with rose cut sapphires in pleasing pink and purple tones. We added in a few pretty blue sapphires as accents to round out this18K rose gold ring for the free form loving artist in us all.
Luck be a Sapphire Tonight!
If you know someone who needs a little good fortune – how about this 7.77 carat emerald cut blue sapphire from Ceylon set in platinum and surrounded by baguette diamonds and a pair of blue sapphires? Imagine looking at this beauty everytime you pull down the handle on a one-armed bandit.
You Can’t Buy Me Love
But, you can buy this fabulous ring……featuring a passion-inspiring, unheated 4.01 carat oval ruby from Mozambique and over a carat of diamonds set in platinum with 18K gold prongs. This is truly one of Mother Nature’s true works of art, released by the hands of a master gem cutter.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Thanks to an effect known as asterism, certain cabochon-cut sapphires exhibit a star-like pattern when light is reflected off the internal silk of the gem. Finding a fine quality sapphire that exhibits this is rare, finding a pair is much rarer. Check out these star sapphire earrings, accented with blue sapphires and diamonds in 18K white gold. These are sure to be a conversation-starter at any event.
Emerald by Day, Ruby by Night – Introducing the Alexandrite
A lot of history and lore surrounds the magical color-change gemstone Alexandrite. What is truly factual is the beauty and rarity of this very fine gemstone. This 3.76 carat emerald-cut Alexandrite exhibits a deep teal blue-green in daylight and a rich raspberry-purple color in warm candlelight. The gem originated in the exceptional chrysoberyl deposits of Brazil, which have all been played out at this time. The gemstone is framed by a halo of diamonds, then framed again with more alexandrites that change color along with the center when the lighting conditions change. The platinum ring shank features more alexandrites and diamonds – this is a true work of gem wizardry.
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and remember that the more you give, the more you get!
Sapphire is one of the most revered gemstones in the world. It has held special meaning from the most ancient of times when it was worn as a symbol of power, wealth and as protection from harm and witchcraft. It is even said that the Ten Comandments were given to Moses on tablets of sapphire. As sapphires made their way into more modern pieces of jewelry, their siginificance and value continued to rise. Sapphires are found in the world’s most important royal jewelry pieces – so much so that sapphire is considered a “royal” gem. One royal-related piece that has garnered incredible attention in recent years is the blue sapphire engagement ring that Prince Charles gave to Diana, and subsequently that Prince William gave to Kate Middleton.
Sapphire is probably best known as a blue gemstone, but it is found in every color of the spectrum. When a sapphire is red, it is called a ruby. This wide palette of colors gives jewelry designers a lot of flexibility in creating colorful, all-sapphire designs. Sapphires are an excellent gemstone to use in everyday jewelry because of its durability – as it is the second hardest gemstone behind only diamond. A recent trend, maybe with help from Will and Kate, has seen many couples choosing sapphires for their engagement rings over diamonds – either in the traditional blue sapphire with a diamond halo, or in other colors as in the purple and pink sapphire ring below. Sapphires durability makes it suitable for everyday wear.
Would you say “Yes” to this engagement ring?
Sapphires are found in many countries around the world, including the United States. Most of our sapphires come from Sri Lanka/Ceylon, Madagascar and Myanmar/Burma. In most of these places sapphires are still mined by hand by artisanal miners in very remote areas. We travel the globe to find sapphires that best meet our strict standards and our clients’ needs. Fine sapphires are rare and prices have risen steadily for many years as demand continues to be very strong, which makes fine sapphire a nice long term investment. There is nothing more fulfilling for us than sourcing a gorgeous sapphire, designing a beautiful jewelry piece around it, then having someone appreciate it enough to add it to their personal jewelry collection.
Award-winning Omi Prive’ sapphire and diamond platinum bracelet
Most people understand that gemstones are from the earth, and that they have been there for a long time. But a long time is such an abstract concept. However, when Gübelin Gem Lab is able to give the age of a gemstone using radiometric dating, that abstract concept becomes very real. How long is a long time? Think in terms of millions of years, not hundreds of thousands. Here is an excerpt from the May 12, 2016 issue of the Gübelin Newsletter #46, on determining the absolute age of Kashmiri sapphires.
Kashmiri sapphires determined to be 25 million years old
Last fall, for the first time ever, the absolute age of a high-value gemstone has been determined. Our geochemical specialist Klemens Link used radiometric dating on the in-house Laser Ablation ICPMS facility. The method and results are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Gemmology, Vol 34, Issue 8. Meanwhile, age determination is applied regularly in our lab on rubies and sapphires, supporting the distinction of African and Sri Lankan sapphires from the Burmese and Kashmiri ones.
The determination of the exact age of Kashmiri sapphires, however, was not yet undertaken, until the Gübelin Gem Lab initiated a research project jointly with Prof. C. Liu, and Dr. C. Zhang of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Zircon crystals included in samples from the Gübelin Reference Collection have now been analysed by LA-ICPMS in the Gubelin lab, and by high-resolution SIMS at the IGGCAS in Beijing. The respective uranium-lead ages are 26.8 (±3.8) million years, and 24.97 (±0.22) million years, mutually confirming the results.
This is exciting news for all of us at Omi Gems and Omi Privé. Our Kashmiri Sapphires are among our favorite gemstones. To be able to imagine them in terms of their real age makes them even more magnificent in our eyes.
The platinum Omi Privé ring shown on the left and at the top of this post features a 3.43 carat Kashmir Sapphire accented with French-cut tapered diamond baguettes and round brilliant-cut diamonds.
We are always excited to welcome the fall season at Omi Privé, as it celebrates sapphire, the birthstone of September. Sapphire is named from the Greek “Sappheiros,” which is roughly translated as “blue stone.”
Sapphire comes in a wide range of blues, varying from very light to deep blue that can appear nearly black. A slightly subdued hue of sapphire known as cornflower blue, displays a lighter and more open blue, which is preferred by many. A highly valued shade of sapphire is “Royal Blue,” which is a very deep, rich blue. The very finest sapphires are a velvet, slightly violetish medium to medium dark blue, often called Kashmir blue, after its original location in India.
A wondrous fact about sapphire, besides its durability (it is a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale), is that it is found in a multitude of colors. Generally referred to as “fancy sapphires,” these include pink, purple, violet, yellow, orange, green and their intermediate hues. Some sapphires do exhibit a color-change, most often transitioning from blue in daylight or fluorescent light to purple in incandescent light. Padparadscha sapphires are amongst the rarest, exhibiting a unique combination of pink and orange, reminiscent of a warm sunset.
This award-winning platinum ring features a 20.03 blue sapphire certified as “Royal Blue”.
A cornflower blue sapphire sits at the center of this double halo ring from our Duet collection.
A cushion shape fancy purple sapphire is the star in this 18K rose gold and diamond ring.
An intense round fancy sapphire grabs attention in this unique 18K yellow gold ring.
A new twist on a classic, this sapphire and diamond ring features black rhodium accents, intensifying the overall look.
Last but not least, a stunning oval padparadscha sapphire displaying the rare pink and orange combination, which defines a padparadscha.
by Nicolette Kovacevich, G.G.
Manager of Fine Jewelry, Omi Privé
With the start of the new year, requests and purchases are already being made for Valentine’s Day. I decided to do a bit of research for this significant holiday.
Valentine’s Day can be traced to an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was celebrated annually in mid-February. The festival was to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Later, in the third century AD, Emperor Claudius II banned marriage in an effort to strengthen the Roman military. He believed that single males made better soldiers. A defiant Roman priest named Father Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret. The emperor caught on, and sentenced him to death. It is stated that while imprisoned, Father Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. On the morning of his execution, February 14th, he passed the young girl a note, and signed it “from your Valentine.” Thus, a tradition was born.
Today, 1 billion cards are sent each Valentine’s Day. 220 million roses are produced for this day alone in the U.S. Every year, an estimated 6 million couples are likely to get engaged on February 14th. One of the most interesting facts is that $4 billion is spent on jewelry to be given on Valentine’s Day every year.
Currently, there are many captivating Omi Privé pieces to be gifted this holiday. It was difficult to compile this list of favorites!
Pantone, the world-renowned authority of color, has announced their color predictions for Spring 2015. Although we don’t yet know the official color of 2015 (stay tuned in December for the announcement!), we are seeing prominent colors at Fashion Week including; aquamarine, lucite green and strawberry ice. Pantone executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, states “The color choices for 2015 follow a minimalistic, ‘en plain air’ theme, taking cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated. Soft, cool hues blend with subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.” Colored gemstones are the perfect natural representation or accent to spring’s hottest colors! We’re excited to present 9 of the most striking tones for the upcoming season with descriptive notes by Pantone.
“Both tasty and tasteful, Strawberry Ice is a confection color that evokes a feeling of being “in the pink,” emitting a flattering and healthy glow.” Our Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring is the perfect delight accented with 18K rose gold filigree. Pairs well with Tangerine and Toasted Almond.
“Aquamarine, an airy, ethereal blue with a cool, dreamy feel mixes will with other blues and greens in this season’s color palette.” Feel the breeze of the ocean all day with our 6.80 carat emerald cut aquamarine and diamond ring. Pairs well with Marsala, Classic Blue and Lucite Green.
“Classic blue is a strong and reliable anchor color and, with its waterborne qualities is perceived as thoughtful and introspective.” Classic Blue seems best represented by sapphire, as seen in these cushion sapphire and diamond double halo earrings. Classic Blue combines well with Lucite Green, Scuba Blue and Custard for bold looks.
“Custard serves as an all-encompassing yellow for the spring palette, which can be combined with Classic Blue for a maritime look.” Say “Ahoy” with our round yellow sapphire and diamond ring set in 18K yellow and white gold.
“Fresh and clarifying, cool and refreezing, Lucite Green has a minty glow. Light in weight and also in tone, Lucite Green seems almost transparent.” We can’t help but point out this color and transparency is perfectly represented through Paraíba tourmaline! Two Paraíba cabochons totaling 25.31 carats are cradled by 18K yellow gold surrounded by diamonds and round Paraíba tourmalines. Pairs well with Classic Blue and Scuba Blue.
“Sensual and bold, delicious Marsala is a daringly inviting tone that nurtures; exuding confidence and stability while feeding the body, mind and soul.” A robust shade, hints of Marsala can be seen in this imperial topaz, ruby and diamond ring set in 18K rose gold. Pairs well with Aquamarine.
“Scuba Blue offers a feeling of escape as it is reminiscent of a tropical ocean. This stirring and energizing shade takes us off to an exotic paradise that is pleasant and inviting, even if only a fantasy.” Make your fantasy come true by keeping this vibrant blue close to your heart with our blue zircon and diamond pendant. Pairs well with Classic Blue and Lucite Green.
“Spontaneous and gregarious, Tangerine is a juicy orange shade that is energizing, yet not jarring to the eye. Versatile Tangerine is striking enough to stand on its own and adds vitality to a printed pattern.” This fancy orange sapphire and diamond ring set in 18K rose gold is a great stone/metal combo to represent this tangy color! Pairs well with Strawberry Ice and Toasted Almond.
“A sun-tanned neutral, Toasted Almond offers comforting warmth and is indicative of a spontaneous spring, summer feeling.” Because Toasted Almond pairs well with Tangerine and Strawberry Ice, a great combination of those two hues can be found in our 21.88 carat cushion morganite and diamond earrings.