Nature's palette never fails to amaze us with its array of colours. Among the treasures it offers, sapphires stand out as a captivating example of this remarkable diversity.
When we think of sapphires, the mind conjures up images of the deep blue gemstones that have adorned the crowns of kings and queens throughout history. However, sapphires are far more diverse than meets the eye, earning them the title of "the rainbow stone”.
One of the three main precious gemstones, alongside ruby and emerald, and the birthstone of September, these vibrant gems, known for their mesmerising colour, come in a whole spectrum of hues. Almost every colour of the rainbow, in fact, yet very few people are aware of this. Their colour is attributed to trace elements within the crystal structure. A blue sapphire, for example, consists of iron and titanium, while chromium creates a pink sapphire and extra iron a green or yellow sapphire.
After diamonds, sapphires - and their sister stone, the ruby, which is also a variety of the mineral corundum - are the hardest gemstone known to man, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes them the perfect choice for an engagement ring, or any jewel that you plan on wearing frequently. This is one of the many reasons why sapphires are one of Sophie’s favourite gemstones to work with.
“I love sapphires for their hardness and versatility, “ she says. “Gone are the days of dark blue sapphires being the top choice for an engagement ring. Instead, we use a range of teal, yellow, peach, pink, purple and green sapphires in our designs. My mother was an early adopter - she wears a shocking pink sapphire engagement ring.”Let’s delve into the multi-coloured world of sapphires and explore the attributes that make them the ultimate rainbow gemstone.
A kaleidoscope of different blues
Blue sapphires come in a whole range of hues and tones, from deep sea blue to light blue and beautiful teal blue. Within the spectrum of sapphires, it is deep blue sapphires that hold a special place, with their rich and intense blue colour the most coveted and prized. With an elegance and charm that has endured for centuries, blue sapphires have long been a classic choice for an engagement ring at Sophie Breitmeyer.
Teal blue sapphires are also incredibly popular with our clients. Ranging from dark green to grey-blue and everything in-between, bi-colour sapphires - where you see two tones in one stone, often an area of vivid green next to a deep blue - are an SB favourite.
We have lost count of the number of clients who have fallen in love with a teal sapphire at first sight. In fact, we have just said goodbye to a truly one of a kind sapphire that was a firm favourite in our collection. Reminiscent of an aquamarine, it is incredibly unusual to find a sapphire that is this pale blue/green in tone. Another large oval teal sapphire in our collection is an impressive stone and incredible value for money.
Padparadscha - the lotus flower of sapphires
With its difficult-to-pronounce name, which means “lotus blossom” in Sanskrit, the Padparadscha sapphire is the rarest of all sapphires. Glowing with the colours of the most brilliant sunset, its pinkish-orange colour is exquisite.
Primarily discovered in Sri Lanka and also certain regions of East Africa, in this era where individuality is highly valued, the desire for uniqueness has seen the popularity of Padparadscha sapphires soar in recent years. In 2018, Princess Eugenie fell for their charm when she revealed her stunning Padparadscha sapphire engagement ring, set with a coral-coloured centre stone surrounded by a cluster of diamonds.
With its peachy hue, a delicate blend of pink and orange, our One-Of-A-Kind octagonal Padparadscha sapphire ring is a real statement piece inspired by the Art Deco era.
The colour pink has long symbolised love, tenderness and affection. It's no wonder, then, that pink sapphires have become synonymous with romantic expression in the world of jewellery.
Their enchanting colour is a result of trace elements of chromium within the crystal structure. This same element also imparts the red hue to rubies, making pink sapphires and rubies close relatives in terms of chemistry.
From baby pink to hot pink, pink sapphires come in every tone. Lighter shades make a pretty, feminine centre stone in an engagement ring, while vivid pink stones are a brilliant choice for a cocktail ring.
We have several pink sapphire jewels on our website, including the One-Of-A-Kind Octagonal Pink Sapphire & Diamond Ring, the stacking rings and the Heritage gem disc.
Sapphire’s sunny shades of yellow
Capturing the warmth of the sun, yellow sapphires exude joy and positivity. From light lemony shades to deep golden tones, their radiant glow makes them a great alternative to a considerably more expensive yellow diamond.
Through the years we have designed plenty of vibrant yellow sapphire engagement rings for clients who are drawn to their warmth and radiance. Head to our Bespoke Engagement ring section for inspiration.
Sometimes, we also work with purple and green sapphires. Whether you’re drawn to the serenity of blue sapphires, the optimism of yellow sapphires or the rare beauty of a Padparadscha sapphire, each shade of sapphire is a reminder of the incredible diversity and depth these precious gemstones have to offer.