S apphire is the regal sister of ruby. Typically sapphire is blue, but it does occur in a rainbow of colors such as pink, green, yellow, purple and orange. Bulgari uses sapphires of all colors in their designs to great effect.
A sapphire of pinkish-orange hue may be called padparadscha. This name comes from Sanskrit and refers to the color of the sacred lotus blossom. Padparadscha sapphires are majestic and the rarest of the sapphire group. Tiffany & Co. and Cartier offer padparadscha sapphires, usually traditionally mounted to showcase the divine color of the stone.
Sapphires have been popular gifts among royals. This impressive sapphire brooch was given by the Princess Isabel de Croÿ, Archduchess Frédéric of Austria (1856–1931) to her daughter Archduchess Marie Anne of Austria (1882–1940) on the occasion of her wedding in 1903 to Prince Elie de Bourbon Parme (1880–1959).
Their incomparable color – often compared to that of cornflowers – surpasses that of all other sapphires and retains its luster in any light, further enhancing their appeal.
Kashmir sapphires also exhibit a somewhat intangible quality, an almost soft texture that is often compared to velvet. All this has contributed to Kashmir sapphires’ status as the most famous sapphires in the world. The world record price for a Kashmir sapphire was achieved at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2015.