The magnificent gemstone was Princess Diana’s “favorite.” The sapphire, surrounded by a scattering of diamonds, was featured on Lady Di’s engagement ring. Now this most famous piece of jewelry in the world is worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Naturally, almost every girl dreams of such an accessory. And the dream may well become a reality: today jewelry with sapphires is available not only for representatives of royal dynasties, but is it accessible to the casual wearer? Can the stone affect the life of the owner? How do you properly wear jewelry with a precious gem? Before buying a piece, it is worth learning as much as possible about the “royal stone” and then you’ll be sure to fall in love with it once and for all.
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Getting to know the stone
Sapphires are a mineral from the corundum family. The richest deposits are found in Asia, Australia, India, and the United States. The properties and chemical composition of the stone resemble the characteristics of ruby. In terms of hardness, sapphire is second only to diamond.
Mineralogists originally called the “stone of kings” dark blue corundum. However, nature has not been stingy on colors for sapphire: the color of the stone can be very different. Fantasy shades are impressive: the whole range of blue, green, yellow; there are pink stones, orange, colorless and even black. The chemical formula of all sapphires is the same, but different impurities are responsible for the riot of colors.
Kashmir sapphires are considered to be the standard. They are the most valuable among other corundums. The blue-vasil color of the stones amazes with its richness. If you look closely at the gem, you can clearly see the structure of the mineral. Although the stone has little transparency, the parallel layers that form the crystal are clearly visible from a certain angle. Under different lighting, Kashmir sapphires do not change their hue: they are always bright blue-wasilk. The saturated color of the stones is provided by iron and titanium, which are combined in the molecular structure of the mineral.
Star sapphires are considered to be the rarest specimens. Due to the large number of impurities, titanium crystals accumulate in the stone. In shape, they resemble a needle. Usually there are several “needles” and they are arranged in such a way that they create a star with six rays. In nature there are blue, purple, green stones with a star effect. However, asterism is most often traced on blue minerals.
How to care for the “royal stone”
In order for sapphire jewelry to not lose its beauty over time, they need to be properly cared for. Although corundum is characterized by its durability, it can also be damaged. Remember three rules:
Accessories with sapphires should be stored in separate bags. The dense mineral rarely leaves scratches after coming into contact with other stones, but it can damage the rest of your jewelry. In addition, general storage can ruin the look of the metal framing the sapphire. The stone does not like temperature fluctuations. It should not be left in the sun for a long time, and then sent to a cool room. From such manipulations, the mineral can tarnish and even crack.
Take off in the household
Washing dishes, laundry, cooking, sports, relaxation in the bath – before any of these actions you need to remove the jewelry. Stones quickly become dirty if handled carelessly. Dust can get under the mount, from this it will loosen and the sapphire will fall out.
Once a week you should inspect your jewelry and clean it if necessary. It is not difficult to return the tantalizing shine to the sapphire. You need to dip the jewelry in a soapy solution. If the stone is very dirty, a couple of drops of ammonia are added to the solution: this way the cleaning effect is enhanced. After the “soap bath” jewelry is thoroughly rinsed and polished with a special soft cloth. Sapphire cannot be cleaned with ultrasound or steam.
How not to fall for a fake
Jewelry with natural stones is not a cheap pleasure. Choosing a piece of jewelry, it is important to make sure that the stone is of natural origin, and not “grown” in artificial conditions or (even worse) a worthless fake.
Natural and synthetic sapphires: how to tell the difference
Especially for those who are tight on budget, but want to touch the beautiful, artificial sapphires were created. The first such stone was synthesized in America in the middle of the 20th century. Since then, the production of synthetic corundum has exploded all over the world. Naturally, there are fraudsters who pass off “synthetics” for a natural precious mineral.
How to distinguish an artificial sapphire from a natural one?
Those who dream of a piece of jewelry with a natural “stone of kings” will have a difficult time. Often the origin of sapphire can be determined only by a professional jeweler. There are no natural inclusions in synthesized minerals, but there are artificial impurities. In an unnatural stone, the color lines are curved and gas bubbles are visible. However, you cannot see this with the naked eye – only under a microscope.
Synthetics can also be recognized by the greenish tint that appears when the stone is placed under an ultraviolet lamp. Natural corundum glows white in ultraviolet light. But the methods of mineral synthesis are improving so quickly that artificial stones today are as similar to natural stones as possible. It will be difficult to understand this issue without a specialist.
In conclusion, sapphire jewelry offers a touch of royal elegance and timeless beauty. Whether you aspire to own a piece once worn by royalty or desire a unique sapphire creation of your own, understanding the gemstone’s characteristics and proper care will ensure your admiration for the “royal stone” endures. Just remember, when choosing a sapphire, it’s wise to seek guidance from a reputable jeweler to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
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