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Details & Cataloguing

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

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Geneva

Sapphire and diamond ring, late 19th century
Claw-set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 5.34 carats, surrounded by similarly shaped diamonds, size 52.
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Accompanied by SSEF report no. 79922 and Gübelin report no. 15070126, each stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.

Provenance

This was an engagement ring to Louise Nathalie Legris de la Chaise d'Orival (1865-1954) from the General Gabriel Pauffin de Saint-Morel (1854-1927), who were married on 1 March 1886, thence by descent.

Catalogue Note

This sapphire was mined and then imported to France just after the discovery of the corundum mines in the Kashmir area. The deposit was discovered in 1881 and the stone was set in a ring around 1885. This sapphire displays the typical velvety blue of Kashmir sapphires, and is enhanced by the old-cut diamond mount from the end of the 19th century. 

"Since their discovery in 1881, the legendary sapphire deposits of Kashmir have acquired a reputation based on a mixture of fact and fantasy that is usually associated with the ancient gem mines of the world. [The locality is] situated in the high Himalaya Mountains of northwest India and described in early reports as “the region beyond the snows”. (…) Few gemmologists would dispute that a fine Kashmir stone displays a character that sets it apart in a world relatively abundant in corundum gems. Over the years, the term Kashmir has come to signify the most desirable and expensive of blue sapphires". 

David Atkinson and Rustam Z. Kothavala, “Kashmir Sapphire”, in Gems & Gemology, Summer 1983, pgs. 64-76.

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels

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Geneva