Royal Tour 2014

Paul

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George in tow are on their Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand. The press and social media erupted with pictures of the royal family, as they did when Princess Diana traveled with William and Harry. With Catherine’s incredible sense of fashion that she displays with the world as her runway; it is hard not to see the similarities between Catherine and Princess Di. Of course, what really peaks your attention are the blue sapphires, not only of the famous sapphire engagement ring, but in her ears as well. The vivid blue sapphires shine from every picture you see, that glorious royal blue hue complementing every outfit she wears; they are the most stunningly important pieces of her ensemble. Just as Princess Di became a part of the blue sapphire story, it seems the Duchess of Cambridge will be known for her sapphires as well.

Her dainty sapphire drop earrings had once been Princess Diana’s sapphire stud earrings. What a great way for the Duchess to make the earrings her own!

Here at The Natural Sapphire Company we applaud the Duchesses’ style and appreciation of blue sapphires. Take a look at some of our earrings, which I am sure Catherine would approve of even if they aren’t from the Queen’s vault.

Blue Sapphire Earring Image   Blue Sapphire Earring Image

Or if what you want is exactly like what the Duchess is wearing, speak to our sales team about doing a custom design. We have the stones and the skills to get started; all you have to do is say the word.

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Why Should I Buy A Sapphire?

Paul

Natural Untreated Blue Sapphire B2285 Image

Whether you are in the market for a colored stone engagement ring, have your heart set on a sapphire engagement ring, or are simply looking for your next piece of fine gemstone jewelry; there are many reasons why you should choose to buy a sapphire over any of the other popular gemstones.  While sapphires can reach high prices like diamonds, buying a sapphire can still be far more affordable than buying a comparably sized diamond. That’s the first thing you need to know… A beautiful sapphire is far more affordable than a beautiful diamond. More affordable, and more rare! Especially when you choose a natural untreated sapphire, which you can own with pride as less than 1% of sapphires are left untreated. Though some may still preach that diamonds are a girl’s best friend forever; to have a rare and beautiful untreated blue sapphire holds the most true and factual prestige. If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, sapphires are the intelligent woman’s confidant.  The woman who wears a sapphire knows what she has – a treasure high above the common hunk of carbon on every girl’s finger.

Pink Sapphire Ring Image 2

For a colored stone engagement ring, gemstone earrings, tennis bracelets, gemstone pendants, cocktail rings, and anything else you’d like to see your favorite color shine from; the multitude of sapphire colors and the one-and-only red of rubies are the wisest choice for gemstone jewelry, the beauty of which you want to last a lifetime. While you will be tempted by the colors of other popular gemstones like aquamarine, garnet, amethyst, emerald, tourmaline, etc. etc. None of those gemstones will match the combination of hardness, durability, brilliance, along with the extensive range of hues, tones, and levels of saturation that is found when it comes to sapphires and rubies. Though you may find the prices of other colored gemstones to be more appealing, you may find that same gemstone UN-appealing 5 years down the road when the facet junctions are heavily abraded, maybe some chips and scratches along the girdle of the stone, leaving you to either need the gem recut, or need a new stone altogether. This isn’t a joke; we see it all the time! Though sapphires aren’t indestructible, their beauty is guaranteed to last longer than all other gemstones, including diamond! That’s right, I said it, the beauty of a sapphire is guaranteed to last longer than a diamond. The reason: Diamonds naturally attract grease and wax, while repelling water, so diamond jewelry needs constant cleaning to maintain its beauty. Sure, sapphires will get dirty over time, but not as quickly as diamonds. Sapphires Win!!!

Natural Purplish Pink Sapphire. U7 Image

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What Does Sapphire Symbolize?

Paul

As an engagement ring, the blue sapphires specifically, have long been known to symbolize Faith, Loyalty and Fidelity making a blue sapphire perfect for not only a marriage proposal but for any relationship or agreement. Beyond the good virtues of marriage, sapphire has also been known as the stone of good fortune, protection, wisdom, royalty, and hope. While these descriptions are a nice thought to attach to your sapphire engagement ring, they are primarily one of the oldest sales tactics for crystals and gemstones still in use today practically unchanged.

Natural Untreated Padparadscha Sapphire CR2036 Image 2

Can you imagine 2000 years ago, how difficult it must have been to sell someone a rock? A pretty rock for sure, an uncut sapphire or ruby held up to a candle, but the bewildered customer would then ask the obvious question, “What is it?” followed by “Did you make it?” “Where did it come from” and finally “What is this pretty rock going to do for me?” These were difficult questions to answer, far more so than today given the gemological knowledge that we have. Two thousand years ago the ability to cut these gemstones was limited to rough crystals and cabochons, so even the selling of sapphires as personal adornment wasn’t easy. How do you sell something no one has ever seen and other than being beautiful, they may not really need? Answer: Put this ruby beneath your flesh and it will protect you in battle from swords and spears. Sold!!!

While it is easy to joke about our earliest entrepreneurs, it’s hard not to see and explore the possibility of truth to any of the powers of gemstones. While early salesmen described their sapphires as having virtuous powers, the ideas about the sapphire’s abilities were far older than the sales pitch. Perhaps somewhere in the list of meanings and cures for sapphire there is one that is true.  Along with many other gemstones, sapphires and rubies have been revered and drooled over by centuries of different people and different civilizations. There is something about rubies and sapphires that humanity is drawn to. There was an energy that created the gem, but the truth to that gem’s power, if any, is really a great mystery. The only definite is that gemstones like sapphires and rubies whether set in an engagement ring or even loose in the hand continue to inspire emotion and adoration as they have for thousands of years. When it comes down to it, if you can’t wrap your mind around the symbolism of sapphire, all you need to know is that you have a rare and beautiful gemstone. Should you believe that sapphire will bring you good fortune and faithfulness from your wife, perhaps it will.

Blue Sapphire Ring Image 2

“Warm, glowing rubies, or celestial-hued sapphires will to-day make a woman’s heart beat faster and bring a blush of pleasure to her cheek. Life will seem better worth living to here; and, indeed, this is no delusion, for life is what our thought makes it, and joy is born of gratified desire. Hence nothing that contributes to increasing the sum of innocent pleasures should be disdained; and surely no pleasure can be more innocent and justifiable that that inspired by the possession of beautiful natural objects.” – from The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by G.F. Kunz, famed gemologist and Tiffany & Co’s V.P. of Gemology 1879-1932

 

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Modern Engagement Rings and Contemporary Sapphire Jewelry

Paul

I think it would be safe to say that today’s woman is in many ways more active than ever before. Often I’ve heard from women who say they are “rough on their jewelry,” and therein lies the concern of engagement ring design.  No longer are women limited to raised solitaire designs or other rings without full protection of the engagement stone; today’s modern designs add more function to the form.  Here are a few suggestions for the sailing, rock climbing, CEO, mother of three who’s rough on her jewelry, or anyone else wanting a stream-lined modern design.

Bezel Set Sapphire Engagement Rings

  

This is the obvious choice for full protection of your rare untreated sapphire or ruby. Perfect for the woman wanting a streamlined design suitable for whatever adventure lies in her path. The added benefit of the bezel setting is that it will make a shallow sapphire of light tone appear darker. Do you live in a cold weather environment? Bezel set sapphire engagement rings have no problem getting in and out of gloves!

The Solid Halo

   

  

Where the “Princess Diana” style ring lacks strength, is where the Solid Halo saves the day.  This style of setting, which can include a bezel set sapphire or claw prongs adds greater structural strength to that which is framing your sapphire. Unlike earlier diamond halos featuring individual settings for the diamonds, thus being susceptible to damage; the solid halo acts as a platinum bumper so both granite kitchen counter tops and executive desks won’t do their usual damage.

After already having to worry about their sapphire engagement rings, many women look for everyday sapphire earrings to wear that are comfortable, secure, and of course, matching their beautiful sapphire engagement ring. All of our modern and contemporary ring designs can be complemented by a pair of sapphire earrings, the possibilities are limitless.

   

      

Maybe, you’re looking for a modern piece of sapphire jewelry as a conversation piece, something to be worn with quiet distinction on your suit lapel, or something worn daring and confidently as a right hand sapphire ring. Either way you go, the modern designs of today still create a sense of forward moving prosperity for collectors and wearers alike. Sapphire brooches, sapphire bracelets and even long sapphire pendants are quickly coming back in to fashion for today’s woman.

      

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What is Milgrain Detail?

Paul

Milgrain Detail on Pink Sapphire Engagement Ring

What is Milgrain?

Often described as, “you know, the little dots around the edges,” milgrain detail is essentially a rolled texture applied to a piece of jewelry’s edges by a jeweler. Not to be confused with the ancient art of granulation, that uses tiny spheres of metal fused in place to create design; milgraining is a technique of engraving. The jeweler’s knurling tool used to make milgrain looks like a tiny pizza cutter, with a wheel of tiny concave cutters.  When carefully pushed along the edge of a wedding band or engagement ring, the metal is formed into whatever shape the milgrain wheel is designed to cut. Most often these are small round bumps, but they can also be oval or square, and of varied sizes.

       

Those of us, who like milgrain detail, know why we like it. It gives any engagement ring an antique feel, to the eye and to the hand, as the texture applied to even a modern design allows for the feel of hand-engraved craftsmanship. The small polished spheres also add an extra bit of sparkle to the design.  If you’re not sure it’s your thing, don’t worry, you can always add it later!

While still a popular addition to sapphire engagement rings today; milgrain detail truly owes its fame to the Edwardian period of jewelry from 1901 – 1915. For jewelry, this was the time of the newly invented Acetylene torch which gave jewelers the ability to create incredibly intricate works of art using platinum. So fine was the detail of Edwardian era platinum jewelry, that its resemblance to lace was clearly the goal. The knurling tool used for milgrain was used extensively for adding borders as well as cleaning up rough lines after stone setting and engraving.  When World War I began, jewelers slowed their work on platinum, as the rare precious metal had to be used for the war efforts.  Milgrain detail thus was lost from jewelry for some time, coming back somewhat during the Art Deco period, but certainly not with as much exuberance as during the Edwardian era.  I must say it is odd and interesting that milgrain detail has seen such a resurgence in popularity during this early part of the 21st century, as it was just 100 years ago that milgrain detail first exploded in the jewelry market.

While many companies are now using machines to expedite this engraving technique, the jewelers from The Natural Sapphire Company continue to create milgrain detail by hand.  It is a common request to either add milgrain detail to a custom designed sapphire engagement ring, or to leave the edges clean and simple.  When you have your sapphire engagement ring custom designed by The Natural Sapphire Company, we can create a one-of-a-kind, flash to the past or modern contemporary sapphire engagement ring, with or without milgrain detail. If you like a design we have but only want half the amount of milgrain that can be arranged as well! Let our Sales Team and Design Team help you realize the sapphire ring in your mind.