Lot 142
  • 142


1,300,000 - 1,800,000 USD
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Set with a cushion-cut sapphire weighing 16.46 carats, flanked on either side by three marquise-shaped diamonds, size 8¼.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by AGL report no. 1087732 stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.Accompanied by SSEF report no. 101746 stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating, this color variety of sapphire may also be called 'royal blue' based on SSEF reference standards.

Accompanied by Gübelin report no. 17102109 stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.

It is one of nature’s most generous acts of serendipity, a story nearly one hundred and forty years old. Following a landslide, intensely blue crystals were revealed in a remote valley amidst the towering Himalayas. Though only active for a brief time, the cache of precious stones that was recovered would make their mark on history.  So momentous was this discovery that the region would become synonymous with the world’s finest sapphires: Kashmir.

At the root of their legendary status is the luxuriant, “velvet” nature of their blue color. This nearly ineffable quality results from a delicate, intricate interplay of its chemistry. Though all blue sapphires share the coloring agents of iron and titanium, the resulting hue can vary infinitely.  Only those scant examples with great strength of color stand out as true gems.  The treasured stones from Kashmir elevate this equation beyond just incredible color, introducing distinctive clarity characteristics.  Those familiar with the beauty of star sapphires know how rutile “silk” inclusions can manipulate light into a six-rayed display of asterism.  In a unique occurrence, Kashmir sapphires incorporate an extremely fine form of this “silk” in a layered effect within the crystal.  In the hands of a skilled lapidary, these eccentricities can produce a luminous ultramarine color prized for its depth and evenness.

The present stone should be noted with distinction for its combination of sought-after attributes. Precious at any size, the 16.46 carat weight of this sapphire places it in truly rarefied company. Unlike most large sapphires from any source, this cushion cut gem displays a remarkably high degree of clarity.  Perhaps its most desirable trait, the finely-cut proportions and inherent quality of the stone create an “open” yet intense color which is neither too deep nor too light.  Even amongst Kashmir sapphires, only a small selection achieve what the SSEF Laboratory noted as a “Royal Blue” hue. It truly embodies that rare culmination of all that makes Kashmir the benchmark of blue gems.