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Sapphires: More than just the blues

Until recently, hearing the word sapphire conjured images in my mind of stones ranging from light cornflower blues to dark oceanic blues and all that lies in between. In fact I am lucky enough to wear a deep blue Burmese sapphire on my favourite piece of jewellery: my Victorian engagement ring. How wrong though I was to think only of the blues! In fact sapphires can be found in a s

pectacular rainbow of colours from dusky pink to fiery orange or from pastel yellow to teal green. They have more vibrant colour varieties than any other precious stone.

This startling variety is caused by traces of various elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium present during formation of the corundum (from which sapphires are made) in the ground. Not only can they be coloured differently but they can also change colour, most commonly shifting between purple and violet under different lighting conditions, but a few rare and exceptional sapphires can change dramatically–from grayish blue in daylight to brownish red in incandescent light.

Sapphires are far more durable and brilliant than other stones of the same colour, so make an excellent choice for jewellery. They rank 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness (with only Diamond above scoring 10) which makes them harder than glass and even steel. So where you might look down at your cherished emerald engagement ring and gasp at the sight of a huge unexplained crack (not to mention a whole load of small microscopic chips) one day... had he chosen a green sapphire this panic easily could have been evaded!

Expect to see some interesting coloured sapphires (we LOVE the orange ones) in future Margot & Mila collections.

Orange sapphires (source: A E Ward & Son Ltd, Hatton Garden)

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