Celebrate in style with the prettiest sapphires
With their royal blue colour, sapphires have been considered a symbol of divine grace, noble truth and heavenly protection since ancient times (indeed, their name is derived from the Greek sappheiros, meaning ‘blue stone’). Small wonder then, they hold a prominent place in the British Royal collection.
The Imperial State Crown, for example, features St Edward’s Sapphire in its top cross, an octagonal stone reputedly taken from Edward the Confessor’s ring in 1163, as well as the the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire set into its back.
Sapphires are also famously durable and long-lasting (they are the second-hardest gemstone after diamonds) and perhaps for this reason are a popular choice for tokens of love and engagement rings. Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a sapphire brooch on the eve of their wedding in 1840 (it is still worn by our current Queen), and the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring includes a 12-carat sapphire re-set from Princess Diana’s engagement ring, which was given to her by Prince Charles in 1981.
It’s not all about the blues, though. Sapphires can be found in a rainbow of shades (save for red, as red sapphires are actually rubies), from palest aqua to yellow, orange, pink, purple and even black.
Whichever colour you’re drawn to, they make a truly special birthday gift for a loved one (or for yourself). Here are the prettiest sapphires to select from…