With over 15 years working in the luxury industry, I have always been drawn to gemstones and remarkable jewels.
As a qualified gemmologist, I have trained at both GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) and am a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA), and I am truly privileged to be surrounded by so many pieces of exception in my day-to-day work at Berganza. The finest stones are largely found in antique and vintage jewellery, set in a time long before treating stones became widespread.
It is impossible for me to select a favourite piece from our vast collection, but I would say that I have always been drawn to the majestic blue of a sapphire.
The colour blue invokes a serene and peaceful feeling and one of my favourite things about a sapphire is the wide range of hues that we find.
When it comes to sapphires, there are three famed old mines where the finest sapphires were unearthed. Burmese material is known for deep blue shades, Ceylon sapphires are celebrated for their slightly lighter hues, known sometimes as 'cornflower' blue, and finally we have Kashmir sapphires. These gemstones are known for their rich and saturated blue colour with a velvety texture thanks to a very fine set of inclusions that give a unique softness to the stone.
Kashmir is an area in the Northern Himalayan states of India, and in 1881 they experienced a landslide which laid bare a deposit of magnificent blue stones. A famously isolated and inhospitable territory at heights of over 6,000m, the physical mining of these stones was incredibly difficult.
Within just six years, by 1887, the old Kashmir sapphire mine was exhausted. Despite many attempts over the years, gemmologists have been unable to discover other deposits in the area, making the few Kashmir sapphires in circulation today, all the more sought after.
Many times rarer than even the finest diamond, Kashmir sapphires (also known as the 'king' of sapphires!) have an almost mythical allure, and are coveted by gem collectors all over the world.
With over 2,500 pieces in our entire collection, we are privileged enough to have six Kashmir sapphires at present.
From a charming Edwardian three stone, to Art Deco clusters and impressive flanked solitaires of over 2.00 carats, two of our pieces also having been given the prestigious 'Royal Blue' status by world renowned Swiss laboratory, SSEF. 'Royal Blue' is the term reserved for only the very finest sapphires, and is the perfect balance of hue, tone and saturation. This exquisite colour is what all other sapphires are compared to.
Not only are these gemstones of immense beauty, but it is also incredible to think of the story behind the unearthing of these gemstones. To own a sapphire of Kashmir origin is to own a piece of history. Value is attributed to rarity and these gemstones are exceptional investment opportunities, as they continue to command record breaking prices across the globe.
Should you wish to know more about our exceptional collection of sapphires, myself and the team would be delighted to welcome you to the Berganza showroom.