NEW DIS­COV­ER­IES

Hong Kong Tatler - - Jewellery -

to­day. They’re famed for lighter colours— as well as, un­usu­ally, the dark en­gage­ment ring worn by both Diana Spencer and Kate Mid­dle­ton—and sap­phires of all other colours. Sri Lanka has been the source of fa­mously large stones, some­times even in the hun­dreds of carats.

Burma, fa­mous for its ru­bies, is also cel­e­brated for its sap­phires, the best spec­i­mens be­ing of a rich royal blue, the epit­ome of the per­fect deeper sap­phire blue.

WHEN BUY­ING A GEM, PER­SONAL PREF­ER­ENCE IS IM­POR­TANT, BUT YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT YOU’RE BUY­ING. IF YOU DON’T KNOW, FIND OUT

Africa joined the ranks of sap­phire pro­duc­ers more re­cently, with de­posits dis­cov­ered in the 20th and 21st cen­turies. Coun­tries such as Kenya and Tan­za­nia be­came im­por­tant sup­pli­ers, but the beau­ti­ful and di­verse In­dian Ocean is­land of Mada­gas­car has stolen the gem­stone show in the past 30 years, with high-qual­ity de­posits of sap­phires dis­cov­ered all over the coun­try.

In the 19th cen­tury, quite by chance, sap­phires were dis­cov­ered in the US and Aus­tralia. In both in­stances, the sap­phire strikes fol­lowed gold rushes. To­day, Aus­tralia can boast of be­ing the big­gest sap­phire pro­ducer in the world by vol­ume, although its stones can rarely match the colour and qual­ity of Kash­mir’s sap­phires.

Cool HUES

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