Knowledge Centre > Gemmology > Gemstones > Sapphire

Spring colours captured in fancy coloured sapphires

Coloured sapphires used in jewellery

As we enter spring, nature is coming into full bloom making each day more beautiful than the last. Berganza has an array of vintage and antique rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches in classic platinum and timeless yellow gold, complimented with natural gemstones in a palette of spring colours, which can be shown off now that the weather is warmer.

Traditionally we associate sapphires with the colour blue. However, there is a rainbow of naturally occurring fancy coloured sapphires. From deep purples to vibrant yellows, some even shift from one colour to another! Fancy coloured sapphires therefore might be the best gemstone to showcase spring colours.

Sapphires are the second hardest gemstone after diamond and have been used in jewellery for centuries. They are part of the corundum family of gemstones comprised of aluminium oxide, of which the only other member is ruby. In its pure form corundum is colourless. However, colour is formed when certain impurities are present, these are known as trace elements. Blue sapphires are the result of the presence of iron and titanium, differing amounts of these produce the variations of blue. The whimsical fancy colours are caused by a mix of elements such as chromium, iron and titanium for purple or violet hues; iron for yellow sapphires; iron and chromium for orange; low chromium traces for pink; and a mixture of other elements for green, brown and black.

Most fancy coloured sapphires originate from the old mines of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), which are long since depleted. The rarest and therefore most prized of the fancy colours are Padparadscha sapphires. Natural and unenhanced Padparadscha sapphires are highly sought after today due to their fiery salmon colour which is a subtle mixture of pink and orange, resulting from the trace elements chromium, iron, and titanium. Their name is derived from the Singhalese word for lotus flower and we are very lucky to have two in our collection at present!

Today, the colour and intensity of a gemstone can be altered and created by various treatments. To see a naturally occurring and unenhanced sapphire in today's market is exceptionally rare. Celebrate the colours of nature this spring with a piece of antique or vintage jewellery set with a striking fancy coloured sapphire.

Ceylon pink sapphire and diamond ring berganza hatton garden
Pink Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1980.
Ref: 24871
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Updated 24/07/2024 at 5:00PM

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