As a contemporary Sydney jeweller, we have been seeing a trend of couples moving away from the traditional diamond as their engagement ring gemstone, towards coloured gemstone alternatives, which offer more individuality, versatility and value for money. Salt and pepper diamonds, grey spinel, morganite, aquamarine and sapphire are all beautiful choices, as well as the striking parti or bi colour sapphires, many of which hail from our own home country, Australia.
Now, Australia is blessed with some of the most unique and exotic gemstones in the world… precious black and white opal, yellow and pink diamonds well as unique and stunning parti sapphires.
When you think of a sapphire, the colour blue may immediately come to mind. However, this incredible gemstone is found in a wide array of colours, from black, to all shades of blue, to green, yellow, pink, white, orange, violet and purple. These colours, apart from red (known as ruby), blue or white, are referred to as fancy sapphires.
Sapphire is a gem quality corundum that is hard wearing, measuring 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it an ideal alternative to diamond in a piece of jewellery worn every day, such as an engagement ring.
Parti sapphires are multi coloured stones that feature colour zones of two or more colours: predominantly blues and yellows - and sometimes greens. The stones are so striking as the colours contrast so vividly, making them a delight for a jewellery designer. These gems are not seen in commercial, mass produced jewellery, where a manufacturer must bulk buy gems, that are carefully matched in size, colour and shape. As each parti sapphire is unique, it makes the piece of jewellery, eg an engagement ring, unique to each couple.
They are cut from sapphire crystals that display colour zones of two or more different colours, in such a way that the colours are accentuated and shown off in distinct colour zones, or blended into more even shades. The skill and artistry of the gem cutter is truly put to the test when it comes to cutting parti sapphires! They must first carefully examine the rough, to determine the best cut to transform it into a beautiful stone that shows off its unique colour properties.
The gemstones display different colours when viewed from different angles and in different light sources, making them ideal for people who appreciate gems with personality and individuality.
Australian sapphires are all from alkali-basalt related deposits and are very rich in iron content. Most of the stones are dark blue to bluish black due to the traces of iron. Due to varying concentrations of transition elements (e.g. iron and titanium) in the chemical make-up of the parent fluids (sapphire is essentially aluminium oxide) different colours result. The parti sapphires are so special as each stone has a unique combination of zoning and banding.
We love working with this beautiful, truly unique gemstone, especially, when it's selected for a bespoke engagement ring. We source a selection of sapphires for you to view in person, prior to making this important decision, and talk you through the design process.
To book a complimentary bespoke jewellery design consultation, please contact us via 02 9221 1900 or email, and we would be delighted to begin creating a unique engagement ring or piece of jewellery with you.
Image credit: https://geology.com/gemstones/fancy-sapphire/
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