Sapphires are my best friend
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend right? Well not this girl! My gem stone of choice is corundum, more commonly known as sapphire and ruby. Yep you got it, sapphires and rubies are made of the same material, corundum. But when corundum is the colour red it is called a ruby, all the other colours are called sapphires. Another wonderful but little known fact about sapphires is that they come in every colour of the rainbow and every shade in between! Did you know they can be heated to temperatures higher then what gold melts at and will be fine? Also they are super hard and scratch resistant which makes them a perfect diamond alternative. For these reasons and more is why sapphires are hands down my favourite stones.
When you think of a sapphire you think of the colour blue. Everyone knows a sapphire is blue. Which is true, they can be blue. They can be all the different shades of blue, from almost black to a bright teal colour. But they can also be various shades of green, yellow, pink, purple, orange and yes, red. Except when a sapphire is red it is called a ruby. That is because back in the day they didn’t know that rubies and sapphires were chemically the same material. They called them different names thinking they were completely different stones. Actually they pretty much thought any red stone was a ruby!
Sapphires come from a few places in the world, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sir Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam. Just to name a few, yep that’s just a few. My favourites are Australian sapphires, I love the colours. The sapphires I use in my work come directly from Coolamon mine in QLD. I prefer to support Australian businesses over purchasing internationally, I am trying to do that with all of my gemstones.
Sapphires are super hard and scratch resistant, which makes them a great stone for an engagement ring or wedding band. A sapphire is the next hardest stone after a diamond, being a 9 on the Mohs hardness chart. They don’t chip, scratch or wear down as easily as other coloured stones. With the proper care they should last you and your children a life time. Another part of being a hard stone means it can take a lot of heat, and I mean a lot! I like to cast sapphires in place, which means I place sapphires inside of a mould and fill it with molten metal which encapsulated the stone holding it in place. The temperature gold melts at isn’t enough to bother a sapphire. And that makes my job so much easier when it comes to repairing jewellery with sapphires, because I don’t have to un set the stones if I work on it with heat. If a gemstone isn’t a ruby, sapphire or diamond then I will have to remove it from the piece of jewellery before I work on it.
As amazing and beautiful as faceted sapphires are I actually prefer them rough, uncut and natural. Just the way they are found. I use rough sapphires in my UnEarthed style, where I use the sand casting technique to cast in place rough stones. I also like to set rough stones in my Twig pieces, making each piece completely unique.
So next time you are thinking of placing a custom order, ask me about Australian gem stones or maybe consider a natural uncut sapphire.