Sapphires come in every conceivable colour and are all varieties of the mineral corundum. When the Sapphire however is red, it’s better known as a Ruby. A Ruby is actually a red Sapphire, since Ruby and Sapphire are identical in all properties except colour. It's trace amounts of other elements that cause the different colours in these gemstones. Corundum is the world’s hardest natural material, second only to Diamond.

Although Sapphires today are mined in many different countries and continents, it seems that they were first found, as described in ancient records, in the "Gem Island" of Serendip, near India which is now called Sri Lanka and formerly known as "Ceylon." Globally, Sapphire sources are very rare finds - much rarer then the Diamond, hence the market price for this stone is quick on the rise. Experts agree it's safe and sound to collect fine quality, untreated Sapphires as there's sure to be value added to this hard asset in due time. A natural, untreated Sapphire of fine quality and colour is something that both the keen precious gemstone collector and jewellery aficionado alike will surely keep in their collections.

The demand for Sapphires is overwhelming considering that current production is not nearly enough, bearing in mind that the most famous Sapphire mines are either depleted or unreliable. The Sapphires of Ceylon are second only to the world renowned Kashmir Sapphires. The mines of which have been more or less depleted since the 1920s - as new stones from the region are extremely rare. Chances are you'll only see a Kashmir Sapphire in a museum or a photograph. The best Kashmir specimens are highly valued because of their superb cornflower blue colour and their sleepy quality, resulting in their being described as "blue velvet".

In April 2007, a cushion cut 22.66 carat Kashmir Sapphire, set in a pendant surrounded by diamonds, was sold at Christie's auction for $3,064,000 to an anonymous bidder. Experts described the stone as, "a nice stone" indicating it was far from the finest Kashmir Sapphire. Rare blue Sapphires, as of most precious gems, are concentrated portable wealth. Among many people in the world with high and medium incomes, precious gems are the traditional means of transferring savings without oppressive taxes because precious gems are long considered timeless hard currency, not to mention - durable and beautiful.


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