sapphires in antique and vintage jewellery

Sapphire: The Birthstone of September

Birthstone for September sapphire

Thursday 3rd September 2020

The Berganza showroom in Hatton Garden has now re-opened after its annual summer closure. This month we are celebrating natural sapphires in all their splendour and those lucky enough to be born in September who have this extraordinary gem as their birthstone.

At Berganza, every sapphire is natural and unenhanced, no treatments have been applied. Today intensity of colour, optical phenomenon and even the actual colour hue can be altered and created by various treatments. To see a naturally occurring and unenhanced sapphire is becoming increasingly rare.

The most common colour of sapphire is blue; however, sapphires are found in an array of colours. These sapphires are known as fancy coloured and can be yellow, purple, green and pink to name a few which are all featured in the collection at Berganza. Three origins recognised for producing sapphires of exceptional quality are Burma (now known as Myanmar), Ceylon (now referred to as Sri Lanka) and Kashmir.

Sri Lanka is primarily known for its profusion of corundum gems including the highly sought after padparadscha sapphires. Ceylon sapphires from Sri Lanka are celebrated for their bright mid blue colour, often referred to as a distinctive ‘cornflower' blue hue. This attractive colour is typically a lighter shade of blue than sapphires from other mines across the world. Burma is also a historically important source of sapphires. These sapphires are celebrated for their intense, highly saturated, rich colour and exceptional quality. The term ‘Royal Blue', is reserved for sapphires of a pure and saturated blue hue and is usually associated with the finest of Burmese sapphires. Kashmir sapphires are most famous for their colour, which is unlike any other sapphire. It is described as an intense cornflower or cobalt blue with a fine velvety, milky softness. Within just six years, the old Kashmir sapphire mine was exhausted. Incredibly, all of the fine Kashmir sapphires in existence were mined between 1881 and 1887. To own a fine natural unenhanced Kashmir sapphire is to have a truly astonishing gemstone of immense rarity.

A star sapphire is a phenomenal gemstone which displays a shimmering six pointed star when viewed under a light source. The star effect or 'asterism' is caused by minute needle-like rutile inclusions within the gemstone. Natural, unenhanced star sapphires are very rare.

Celebrating a birthday for yourself or a loved one this month? At Berganza we have a range of sapphire set jewellery from the ancient, antique and vintage worlds. Choose from a wide selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants and brooches to secure a unique sapphire set jewellery piece today.

Antique star sapphire cufflinks berganza hatton garden
Antique star sapphire cufflinks, French, circa 1900.
Ref: 23700
Edwardian pink star sapphire cluster ring berganza hatton garden
Pink Ceylon star sapphire and diamond coronet cluster ring, English, circa 1905.
Ref: 25047
Medieval sapphire ring, circa 14th century. Hatton garden
Medieval sapphire ring, circa 14th century.
Ref: 26445
Art Deco sapphire and diamond bracelet berganza hatton garden
Art Deco sapphire and diamond bracelet, circa 1935.
Ref: 25253
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Updated 28/03/2023 at 4:00PM

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