September Birthstone – Sapphire

What do you think of when you hear the word “Sapphire”? The picture of a royal blue stone may be what comes to mind.

 

18K and Sapphire ‘Micro’ wired Necklace with 68 carat faceted Sapphire Drop from PearlWorks by Sandy Jones

 

Are you aware that Sapphires comes in all the colors of the rainbow (except red which is classified as Ruby)? Iron, titanium, copper, magnesium and chromium are the trace elements that give naturally colorless corundum its tint of blue, yellow, orange, green or purple. White (colorless) and black are also Sapphire colors. Sapphires in other colors than blue are called ‘fancies’.

 

18K Multi-Colored Fancy Sapphire Torsade with Pink Tourmanline Clasp from PearlWorks by Sandy Jones

 

There are two different stories as to how the brillant Sapphire got its name. Some believe it came from the Sanskrit word meaning “dear to Saturn”, sanipriya. Others believe it came from the Latin sapphirus and Greek sappheiros meaning “blue stone”. Those words were mostly used to refer to lapis lazuli in ancient times.

 

Sterling Silver wrapped 4mm Lapis lazuli beads with Lapis drop Necklace, from Past Treasures

 

My love of Sapphires began as a very small child. My paternal Grandmother gave me a tiny sapphire and 14K ring for my birthday when I was 6. Sapphire is my birthstone and I have truly been enamored of it ever since. My engagement ring was a platinum 8 carat blue star Ceylon Sapphire surrounded by 10-0.10 carat brilliant cut diamonds originally make by Peacock’s Jewelers in Chicago. My future husband, Willis, asked me to marry him in Georgetown, (a story for another day) in the early hours of January 20th, 1981, looking at the TV waiting for the hostages to be released from Iran prior to Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural. We were attending the festivites surrounding the Inauguration as I was a volunteer for Mr. Reagan during the 1980 Presidential election. I went to Atlanta the next weekend to visit his parents and went ring shopping with my future Mother-in-law. We brought two rings home from Tiffany’s on approval. He did not like either one!! My ring was chosen, on Friday the 13th (13 figures prominently in my life – again a story for another day) of Febuary, as an estate piece from my Mother’s personal Jeweler, Levinson’s in Chicago. The stone was set north-south on the finger. I asked my fiance if I could change the orientation to horizontal across my finger and he said that we had spent enough money on the ring as it was, a preview of his careful nature about spending money.

 

Think how surprised I was when The Palace announced Lady Diana and Prince Charles’ engagement on Feb. 24th, 1981 and she had a very similar ring to mine!!! That ring was subsequently given by Prince William to Kate Middleton. It was and is an 18K white gold ring featuring a fabulous 12 carat faceted oval blue Ceylon Sapphire surrounded by 14 brilliant cut diamonds measured approximately 3mm each, approximately 1.40 carats total. The cost of her ring was 28,000 British Pounds Sterling, or nearly $56,000 US dollars at the time. Apparently Prince Charles asked Lady Diana to marry him after a house party, but was ringless! The next day a call to Garrad’s, Jewelers to the Crown, was made to bring in a tray of rings from which Lady Diana could choose. She chose the Sapphire ring that had been published in the current Garrad’s catalogue – not some specially designed ring. She said she liked that one the best, and it appears that her Mother also had a Sapphire engagement ring.

The Palace apparently did not like the fact that the ring could be purchased by just anyone, so pressure was applied to instead choose a specially designed Diamond ring, but she stood her ground and won her wish to have this ring. After the story broke, she was given the name of ‘the people’s princess’. Here is a photo, released by The Palace, of Diana and Charles’ hands showing off thier rings. His is the Three feathers gold insignia ring of the Prince of Wales. Now take a look at Diana’s ring. Look closely, and you will see that there are two prongs on each corner of the stone, 8 total. Later pictures show the ring with 13 prongs around the stone for more security, first shown in a photo from December 1981, and that is the way it looks today on the Countess of Cornwall’s finger.

After Diana’s death, the boys were allowed to go through their home and take mementos of their Mother to their new home with their father. William took the Caritier tank watch she wore everyday, and Harry took the Sapphire ring. The boys made an agreement to eachother that the first one to get married would be able to give “the ring” to their future wife. As William beat out Harry in that matter, he cheerfully gave it to William to give to Kate.

 

Getting back to my Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring … I caught my right hand, where I wore my ring, in a door, which caused the Sapphire to crack along the top. I was devistated but thankfully my finger was not severly injured! I put it away and did not wear it, fearing it would cleave in half. Several years later, I found out I could have the stone recut, but would lose some of the carat weight. It’s amazing what you can learn about jewelry when your specialty was only pearls.  Once recut it does not have quite as high of a dome on the cabochon. Then I had it redesigned for my 50th birthday and Mother’s Day.

 

Side view of Sandy’s Engagement Ring

Sandy’s Engagement Ring Redesigned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stone is set horizontally across the finger, with small diamonds on the shank flanking the Sapphire. Then there are two guard rings, each with 5 of the 0.10 pointer diamonds in a semi-circle around the center stone. Then small diamonds on the top of each shank. I added 1.00 carats of small diamonds to the already 1.00 carats from the original ring. The guard rings will fit on either side of several of my other rings, so they do get used from time to time. Ladies, here is an example of what can be done with one of your rings if you wish to change the way it looks!!!

 

Do you own a piece of jewelry that you would really like transformed into something you can’t wait to wear? Please contact me at: asksandy@sandyjonesjewelry.com, or call 404-350-8866 to make an appointment. I would be happy to set up a time that is convenient for you to come down to the store and we can brainstorm on several ideas for your redesigned gem.

 

I want to share some pictures of Fancy Color Sapphire Jewelry. First, here is a Pink Chinese Freshwater Pearl Lariat Necklace with Pink Pearl and Pink Sapphire Tassle ends. The Tassle ends are interchangeable and can be ordered in other color combinations.

 

14K and Pink Freshwater Pearl Lariat with Pearl and Pink Sapphire Tassles  from PearlWorks by Sandy Jones

 

Next I’d like to show you a pendant Necklace, on the left, with matching rainbow Sapphire Earrings. They are made in Sterling Silver with pink, to orange, to yellow, to green, then blue, and finally purple Sapphires. I smile every time I see this set, although they are priced separately. The only manufacuturer of fine jewelry I purchase from specializes in multi-colored sapphires. I put this set in the Sterling Silver Sandy’s Serendipities Collection as they are new. The photo on the right is a Sterling Silver Ring with White ‘Twin’ Sapphires, also in the Sterling Collection. This is a great option for someone looking for a birthstone ring that is totally differnt and very affordable.

 

Rainbow Sapphire and Sterling Silver Earrings and Pendant from Sterling Silver Sandy’s Serendipities Collection

Sterling Silver and Twin White Sapphire Ring from Sterling Silver Sandy’s Serendipities Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some more pieces by that same specialty manufacturer of Fancy Sapphires. The picture on the left is a graduated light to dark Sapphire Pendant in 14K gold. This is a perfect gift for Mom or that Sweet 16 young lady. The Earrings on the right are 18K gold with rainbow Sapphires in a post. What a perfect addition to your fall wardrobe!

 

14K Pendant with ombred light to dark Sapphire Pendant

18K Rainbow Sapphire Earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, my newest desigh: Pink Chinese Freshwater Pearls alternating with Fancy Sapphires and 14K clasp. The subtle variations of the colors really sets off the pinky-lavender of the pearls. Just Lovely!

 

14k Clasp with Pink Chinese Freshwater Pearls alternating with Fancy Sapphire roundels from PearlWorks by Sandy Jones Collection

 

 

Sandy’s Favorite Pick of the Month

Next is one of my favorite necklaces made recently this year. It consists of a group of like colored Fancies separated by large White Freshwater Pearls. It took many hours to match 6 of each color in size and shape, but the time was well spent.

 

18K Fancy Sapphires alternating with large White Freshwater Pearls,                                                                                from the PearlWorks by Sandy Jones Collection

 

Sandy’s Question of the Month

 

What piece of jewelry do you own that you wish was diferent or changed in some way? Do you have ideas about what needs to be changed, or are you stumped? Let me know below and maybe I can help you with your dilemma.