What is Kashmir Blue Sapphire?

What is Kashmir Blue Sapphire?

The star of kashmir

The star of Kashmir

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It was way back in the 1880’s that a landslide hit the obscure Padder region in Kashmir that exposed some blue stones. These were brought down by the wandering hill men who traded them for a few necessities they required. However, the word spread about something extraordinary being seen. Traders from Delhi and those as far as in Calcutta rushed to get what they could.

This was the legendary Kashmir blue sapphire.

Kashmir Blue sapphire is the most prized blue sapphire in the world. While the mining for it began with very primitive methods in the inhospitable region of Sumjam or Sungchang in the early 1880’s, the deposits reportedly now yield no more corundum. Now any piece of Kashmir blue sapphire that becomes available is from private resources. Kashmir blue sapphire is the richest, velvety toned cornflower blue. There is a lazy, saturated quality to the color blue in these gems.

However, what must be noted here is that Kashmir sapphires came in all ranges from the palest blues to the richest of Cornflower blues to almost blackish gems. It is the homogenous saturated cornflower blue color that fetches the best price. The sapphire Guru Richard Huges in his seminal book Ruby and Sapphire quotes Rajroop Tank’s description, “The sapphires of Kashmir form an exclusive class of their own…The color of these sapphires resembles the beautiful hue of the peacock’s neck. Even a small concentration of that fine color illuminates the entire structure of the gem.

Most of these gems are cut very carefully as sugarloaf cabochons to bring out the best color. The Kashmir sapphire rough used to pose a huge challenge for the cutter. While the quality was excellent, the rough occurred as spindle shaped hexagonal bipyramid, with color mostly on the outside and the remaining crystal being practically colorless. The problem intensified if the crystal had corroded and was covered with unrelenting kaolin clay! One can appreciate the gift that the lapidarist brings to the table, when he can fashion a fascinating, richly hued gem out of a rough that occurs thus.

Since the unavailability of the Kashmir blue sapphire hit markets, the Ceylon Blue sapphires have dominated the blue sapphire trade, with their clear lustrous crystal and beautiful water.

The Star of Kashmir ring

The Star of Kashmir ring

Take a look at this splendid ring that was auctioned at the Christies Magnificent Jewels event held at Geneva recently. The Star of Kashmir– a 19.88 carat Kashmir Blue Sapphire fetched a record breaking per carat price for a sapphire and fetched a whopping $3,484,142, nearly 20 crore in Indian rupees. The platinum ring has a cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing approximately 19.88 carats, flanked on either side with cushion-shaped diamonds, weighing approximately 3.02 and 2.72 carats, to the graduated diamond line shoulders and engraved sides.  

According to Christie’s, “The Star of Kashmir is part of the exclusive family of the rarest Kashmir sapphires ever to be offered at auction. This superb gemstone combines an exceptional size with a richly saturated and homogenous cornflower blue color that is highly desired in Kashmir gems.”

 

Selected Rings, Pendants and Talismans made available to Gemstoneuniverse.com patrons in May 2013

 

Gemstoneuniverse.com Table Natural Blue Sapphire Gemstone Facts

Gemstone

Natural Blue Sapphire

Weight

4.53 carats

Treatment

None. Fully Natural,

Origin

Srilanka

Planetary Energy

Saturn

Patron Location

Virginia, USA

All inclusive Price

$ 2563 / INR 139683.50

Comments

Featured today is a Premium Ceylon Blue sapphire of 4.53 carats set in 22 karat gold as a Saturn Talisman ring. The oval shaped blue sapphire has a rich sky blue color and fantastic clarity. The gemstone has great lustre too.

Natural Blue sapphire also known as neelam is the gemstone of Lord Saturn and is used to harness its energies if it happens to be a Yogkaraka for an individual.

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