At long last, we know the three words every girl wants to hear…
Sapphire. Engagement. Ring. There’s no other stone quite like the birthstone of September—the ever-so-elegant sapphire. A gemstone fit for a princess. Well… two princesses actually (Diana and would-be heir Kate). And with its regal connotations and diamond-like durability, it somehow manages to transcend the average proposal.
Is it a balance of austerity and modernity—or perhaps a deep-seated affiliation with the royal family? Whatever the case, sapphire engagement rings will carry their beauty forever. But what other qualities give this stone its spectacular high-brow status? Allow the engagement ring connoisseurs to explain:
Sapphire engagement rings are timeless
Its beauty lies in its longevity.
A show-stopping sapphire is a stone that steers away from traditional diamonds without going too left of field. It’s iconic, without being too common. A romantic style with a traditional feel. Proposing marriage with an adornment fit for a duchess—minis the global proclamation from Buckingham Palace—is the ultimate frosting for any grand romantic gesture. And sapphires have been treasured for thousands of years—the perfect choice for telling your loved one you’ll treasure them for an eternity.
Sapphires come in a variety of colours
With a rainbow of colour options, the stone’s no one-trick pony.
When it comes to engagement rings, gemstones are the new black. But above all the diamond alternatives on offer, the sapphire shines through with its unique pigment range. Although the stone is characterised by its classic, rich shade of blue, sapphires produce a whole manner of hues. Everything from the prettiest pinks and purples, to the warm sunset shades of yellow and orange.
Sapphires have unique rules for the 4 Cs
Grading and certification differs from that of a diamond
While the four Cs still apply to sapphires—gemmologists assign completely different colour, cut, clarity and carat grades to sapphires as they do to diamonds. What’s more is that one gemmologist's opinion may differ from another’s, and there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to assessing and determining the value in sapphires.
Contrary to popular culture, the name sapphire is applied to any form of purple, green, yellow, orange, pink, black or colourless corundum. Corundum is the second hardest rock-forming mineral after diamond, and all sapphires—with the exception of red corundum (ruby)—are classified as such.
The mineral crystals on the surface or within a sapphire (called inclusions) are seen often, which is why there are different principles are applied to this particular gemstone than with diamonds. These inclusions can give a sapphire an opaque appearance. As a general rule of thumb, the more visible the inclusions from the top-down, the lower the value of the stone. But there comes a higher price tag with an ability to emit colour and sparkle—which brings us to the importance of cut.
What’s the best cut for a sapphire? A skilled jeweller will look at the quality and colour of the gemstone in order to make an educated decision about the cut. There’s a range of ways in which a sapphire can be shaped and polished in order to reveal its unique value and beauty. Popular cuts include (but are certainly not limited to) oval, round, cushion and emerald.
Since sapphires are generally heavier than diamonds, a one-carat sapphire would appear smaller than a one-carat diamond. But value-per-carat is obviously dictated by the clarity of the stone and rareness of the type of sapphire.
Now that you’re schooled up—here are some of York’s latest duchess-worthy delights:
Oval shape ceylon sapphire and diamond trilogy engagement ring
Twinkle, twinkle little star. The velvety blue of a ceylon sapphire is as classic as it gets. Matched perfectly with two oval-cut diamonds on either side, this central stone is the key to the center of your prospective fiancé’s heart.
Unheated purple sapphire engagement ring with floral diamond halo
Delicate like a flower—this purple sapphire engagement ring is an enchanting alternative to your run-of-the-mill engagement ring. A romantic shade of purple, simply set in white gold and surrounded by a brilliant crown of flowers. What more could a girl ask for?
Yellow sapphire cushion-cut solitaire engagement ring with diamond band
Who knew sapphires could emit such golden rays of sunshine, like this yellow sapphire solitaire show-stopper? This champagne-drenched dream steals the show from all angles with its impressive cut and diamond-encrusted band.
Emerald cut sapphire with diamond halo and gold band
We love a good vintage-inspired beauty here at York Jewellers. Lovers of clean, geometric lines will swoon over this mesmeric blue light reflector. A high-quality stone with minimal inclusions is integral to the emerald-cut design.
Oval shape ceylon sapphire and brilliant cut diamond ring
Many a royal engagement ring has been characterised by a rather large diamond-ornamented gemstone. The ceylon sapphire is tradition in Buckingham Palace, and the halo-style offers a certain grandeur and sovereign presence.