Derived from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’, referring to the island of Sappherine in the Arabian sea (where sapphires were discovered in ancient Grecian times), the sapphire is a gemstone that has been cherished across the globe for thousands of years.

A popular choice with royalty, sapphires are one of the most sought-after gemstones when it comes to jewellery settings. So if you’re considering including a sapphire in your next jewellery piece, read on for all you’ll need to know about this unique and beautiful gemstone.

 

What Is A Sapphire?

Sapphires typically appear as blue gemstones, but may also appear in other natural tints, including colourless, yellow, orange, green and brown – which are called ‘fancy sapphires’.

Sapphires are quite tough gemstones, ranking a 9 on the Mohs scale. They are often treated by heat to improve colour or clarity, which leaves permanent results.

The biggest source of sapphires in the world is in Australia – particularly in Queensland and New South Wales. Australian sapphires are typically dark blue stones which have a slightly inky appearance.

One of the world’s most famous sapphires in recent years is the sapphire engagement ring first worn by Princess Diana, and now worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Prior to this, Queen Victoria’s Imperial State Crown of 1838 was another setting for a famous Royal sapphire; that now resides in the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

 

History Of Sapphires

The first sapphires were discovered in Kashmir in 1881, when a Himalayan landslide exposed a large pocket of smooth blue crystals. As more of these crystals were discovered, Kashmir’s reputation as one of the world’s most fruitful locations for sapphires was cemented.

Another area where sapphires are commonly found is in the Mogok area of Myanmar. In this region, sapphires are typically found along with ruby deposits. This is where the ‘Burmese’ sapphire was discovered; characterised by its rich and intense blue hue.

Today, Sri Lanka is one of the most renowned sources of sapphire gemstones. The island’s sapphires are a little whiter and appear milky, but are commonly treated by heat to become a rich, blue colour. Besides these three locations, sapphires are also found in Thailand, Cambodia and Bangkok.

There is an array of legends associated with the sapphire gemstone. The elite of ancient Rome and Greece believed a sapphire would protect its owner from harm, whereas religious leaders of the Middle Ages wore sapphires as they were believed to symbolise heaven. The French in the 13th century believed the sapphire could transform stupidity to wisdom.

 

What Are The Other Varieties Of Sapphires?

As mentioned above, there are plenty of colour varieties when it comes to sapphires. Pink, yellow and white sapphires are all popular choices for jewellery pieces, but there are more options to choose from if you’re after more than a different colour for your unique sapphire gemstone.

The star sapphire is black and has an incredibly unique earthy tone to it. Their special feature is dubbed ‘asterism’ (which refers to exhibiting a star-like reflection), and lends an added element of mysticism that is extremely popular and unique.

Another variety is the cabochon sapphire. Utilising the oldest method for cutting crystals, cabochon crystals have a timeless appeal and a raw, earthy beauty. Cabochon sapphires are most often blue, and don’t give any flashes of light reflection or ‘sparkle’. These incredibly pure gems are intended to be viewed and appreciated for their even distribution of rich, deep blue colour. These come in a few different shapes, including oval, round, cushion and the rare sugarloaf variety.

 

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How Did Sapphires Become The Birthstones For September?

Scholars can trace the original calendar of gemstones back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the Bible’s book of Exodus. The Breastplate was adorned with twelve gemstones that represented the tribes of Israel at the time – and based on this model, the modern birthstone list was created in 1912. It has since been defined by the National Association of Jewellers from the United States, and thus the sapphire’s association as the birthstone for September was set in stone.

As well as being the birthstone for September, sapphire is also gifted to commemorate 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

 

What Jewellery Pieces Does This September Birthstone Go Best With?

Because it’s a relatively tough gemstone, sapphire rings are popular jewellery types and are durable enough to suit daily wear. Engagement rings, in particular, are popular settings for sapphire gemstones.

Sapphire engagement rings represent loyalty and trust; notable characteristics for the long-lasting, committed relationship that marriage often requires. Sapphire engagement rings are also a unique option as diamond engagement rings are so popular – so it’s a creative way to make a statement about the one-of-a-kind nature of your future fiancée.

Other jewellery types that are popular for sapphire settings are earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces.

 

How To Keep Your Sapphire Jewellery In Good Condition

As sapphires are often treated by heat to improve colour or clarity, it’s important to be aware of how your sapphire gemstone was treated and by what method. Fractured sapphires can be damaged by the mildest of substances, such as lemon juice, so discussing your sapphire’s treatment method is a great way to understand how much care you’ll need to give it – and whether daily wear is suitable.

When it comes to cleaning your sapphire jewellery, use warm, soapy water. As above though, if your sapphire jewellery has visible fractures, only clean it lightly with a damp cloth.

Whether it’s a sapphire ring, pair of earrings or pendant, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of stunning sapphire jewellery pieces, is sure to suit all design preferences. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.

The ruby is one of the world’s most valuable and highly sought-after gemstones in the world. Derived from the Latin word ‘ruber’ meaning ‘red’, the ruby is a gemstone for those born in July, and is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species – which also includes the sapphire.

Rubies are often associated with wealth, prosperity, vitality and wisdom. So if you’re interested about the history, stones and styles of jewellery that best celebrate this precious red gemstone, read on for our complete guide to rubies.

What is a ruby?

Similar to other gemstones, rubies are graded based on colour, cut, clarity and carat. Rubies have a Mohs hardness of 9, and its red colour is formed by the trace element of chromium.

A ruby’s colour is its most important feature. Rubies are available in a wide range of hues, from blurish red to an orange-red. Burmese rubies are the brightest and most valuable ruby colours – reflecting a rich, full red colour that is often referred to as a ‘pigeon blood’ red. As the colour of a ruby is similar to the colour of blood, rubies are often associated with life and vitality.

Large rubies with strong clarity and colour are extremely rare, and therefore more valuable. Rubies that have inconsistencies or disruptions in colour are less valuable than their clear, richly-coloured counterparts.

History of rubies

Rubies have a rich historical significance to multiple countries and cultures across the world. And with this significance comes a host of myths and legends – originating when the gemstone was referenced four times in the Bible, and noted as the most precious of the 12 stones created by God.

In ancient India, the ruby was the “king of precious stones”, and was prized for its hardness, rarity, beauty and perceived mystical powers. In Burma (now called Myanmar), warriors would hold rubies to make them invincible in battle – and in some cases, rubies would be inserted into their flesh to make the gemstone ‘part’ of their bodies. Myanmar is one of the oldest recorded sources of fine rubies; as for more than five centuries, Myanmar’s Mogok area has produced some of the world’s most exquisite rubies.

Vietnam is another important region for rubies. The Luc Yen region in northern Vietnam produces an array of red to purplish rubies annually, and the Quy Chau district further south has also fielded precious rubies.

With the birth of the western world, rubies became one of the most sought-after gemstones of the upper classes and European royalty. Medieval Europeans also maintained that rubies bestowed health, wisdom and wealth – and similar ancient civilisations believed that rubies could relieve inflammation and heal wounds from battle.

Today, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is home to some of the world’s most famous rubies – notably, the Carmen Lucia Ruby that consists of 53 carats and a rich, ruby red colour. Another notable ruby display in this museum is Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz’. These iconic shoes are kept in fine condition in a temperature-controlled, alarm display case in the Gateway to American Culture wing of the museum, took over 200 hours to restore, and have as many as 2,400 ruby sequins on each shoe.

What are the different types of rubies?

As mentioned above, Burmese rubies are one of the highest quality rubies; renowned for their deep red colour. Other ruby types include African rubies, Thai rubies, Tanzania rubies, Madagascar rubies and Afghanistan rubies. Each of these types can be characterised by their unique colouring and premise of blemishes.

How did rubies become the birthstones for July?

Scholars can trace a gemstone-defined calendar back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the Bible’s book of Exodus. The Breastplate was adorned with twelve gemstones that represented the tribes of Israel at the time – and based on this model, the modern birthstone list was created in 1912. It has since been defined by the National Association of Jewellers from the United States, and forms the justification of the ruby’s association with the month of July.

In addition to representing the July birthstone, rubies are traditionally given for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

What jewellery pieces does this July birthstones go best with?

Rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets are popular options for ruby gemstone settings, as each option provides a vibrant pop of colour. They are particularly striking when set in diamond engagement rings, especially in three stone settings.

When it comes to metal selection, pairing rubies with white gold or platinum can evoke an air of style and sophistication. If you opt for a yellow gold, this can create a warm and unique piece, or if it’s a yellow gold you’d prefer, this can create a romantic statement.

No matter which jewellery style you choose, rubies are guaranteed to stand out in even the simplest stud or pendant because of its intense, vibrant colour.

How to keep your ruby jewellery in good condition

Caring for your ruby jewellery can be done with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Soaking your jewellery in this warm soapy water for a few hours will loosen dirt and oils. Next, use your soft brush (this can be a toothbrush) to clean the crevices of your jewellery piece, and then wipe the piece dry with a cloth. When cleaning, don’t forget to attend to the inner side of the piece as this is what comes in contact with your skin the most.

Whether it’s a ruby engagement ring, pendant or bracelet, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of ruby pieces, is sure to suit all design preferences. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.

Whilst not all men wear jewellery everyday, the trend of male-specific jewellery is on the rise in a big way in Australia. The metallic tones of jewellery can greatly complement a man’s suit, and serves to add a metallic embellishment to any outfit worn.

Here are four essential jewellery pieces every man should own.

 

Dress Rings

Though not all men would have worn one in their lifetime, dress rings are emerging as a jewellery must-have for both sexes. Rings are a great entry point into the large range of male-specific jewellery on the market, and aren’t solely restricted to your wedding finger anymore.

Three of the most common dress ring styles for men are wedding bands, signet rings and ‘fashion’ rings. Wedding band designs for men tend to be clean, simple and inward-facing, signet rings are often sealed with a crest or symbol, and ‘fashion’ rings make way for more creative, eccentric choices.

 

Cuff Links

Cuff links are one of the most functional pieces of jewellery on the market, tasked with clasping the front of a dress shirt in place – normally where buttons would sit. Metallic cuff links usually display simple yet formal designs, and are made from precious metals. However, like other male jewellery pieces, cuff links come in a large range of shapes, sizes, colours and materials. Some examples of cuff link styles include whale back cuff links, stud cuff links, knot cuff links, or even fabric cuff links.

 

Tie Bars

A tie bar is a more traditional male accessory. Designed for use with a tie, a tie bar is intended to secure your tie to your shirt. However, tie bars don’t always need to have a functional use. In fact, many tie bars are now being used as fashion statements or additional accessories.

Types of tie bars include tie tacks (which function similar to a pin), side clasp tie bars, hinged tie clips, skinny tie clips and think tie clips. For formal outfits, a minimal tie clip has a subtle, yet professional effect. In contrast, wearing a fun, statement tie clip with a smart casual outfit can make a fantastic fashion statement.

 

Gents’ Pendants

Pendants for men, typically found on necklaces, offer a rugged, natural appearance when worn in a casual setting. Like many other types of male jewellery, necklaces are highly customisable and can come in a variety of styles, materials and sizes.

A pendant-style necklace, however, rests a single ornament on a long chain. Pendants on men are usually tucked beneath a shirt, but may also be worn on the outside of casual t-shirts.

 

Where To Buy Men’s Jewellery In Perth

Whether it’s a dress ring, cuff links, a tie bar or a pendant, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of jewellery specifically tailored to men is sure to fit your stylistic needs. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide jewellery range for men.

A jewellery valuation provides an expert opinion on the value of a piece of jewellery and its place within the current market. Be it a family heirloom, wedding ring or another piece of seemingly valuable jewellery, a jewellery valuation will provide invaluable advice about the best course of action to take to retain the most value from your piece.

With an accurate, expert opinion, a jewellery valuation can clearly highlight the worth, ownership and value associated with a piece of your jewellery. Here are a few reasons why it pays to get a jewellery valuation.

 

Types of Valuations

1.      Insurance replacement

The most common type of jewellery valuation is for insurance replacement. If a piece of jewellery is damaged, lost or stolen, most insurance companies require a valuation to determine the item’s insurance value and any applicable premiums. When performed correctly, this type of valuation provides the jewellery owner with proof of ownership, detailed description and value – all pieces of information your insurance provider is likely to require (as per their PDS’).

 

2.      Estate jewellery valuations

A jewellery valuation will be able to clearly verify the value of someone’s estate for the lawyer’s benefit, making the will process as smooth and painless as possible. Within an estate valuation, the valuer will be cognisant of the types of metals or gems used in the piece of jewellery, the value of the item within the market, the condition of the piece and, if applicable, the certification of the jewellery’s stone against Australian standards.

The valuation process for estate jewellery is similar to that of a second-hand or private sale, in that these types of valuations rely heavily on the piece’s market value – whereas valuations for insurance purposes are less concerned with the jewellery’s situation in the modern market.

 

Valuation Approach

A jewellery valuation is an exact process that requires extensive experience, knowledge and concentration from your valuer. Professional jewellery valuations involve cleaning, weighing and photographing the piece of jewellery to provide the owner with a comprehensive valuation portfolio. This portfolio will include a detailed description and condition statement that complement an overarching estimation of the jewellery’s valuation within the current market – and, if applicable, qualification for the piece’s insurance claim requirements. Once you have your valuation, it is important to store it somewhere safe, and to have it updated every few years.

The cost of a jewellery valuation will depend on your jeweller’s fees. Jewellery valuers can charge based on time spent, or percentage worth per jewellery item.

 

Where To Get A Jewellery Valuation In Perth

For insurance purposes, it is extremely important to undergo a jewellery valuation in your primary city of residence. For Perth citizens, it’s a no-brainer – Allgem Jewellers has the expert knowledge and experience to provide detailed and accurate valuations of jewellery. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, our services involve the valuation of custom jewellery, gemstones and more. Contact our professional master jewellers to book in for your next jewellery valuation.