The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | London

The Weekly Edit: Fine Jewels | London

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 123. SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING.


Lot Closed

October 15, 03:03 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Lot Details



Claw-set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 4.31 carats, within a border of cushion-shaped diamonds, size K, indistinct maker's mark.

Accompanied by two gemmological reports.

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Kashmir sapphires herald from a remote part of the Himalaya Mountains known as the Zanskar range and were first discovered in the 1880s. Prized over other sapphires, they have a superior cornflower blue colour which can be best described as “blue velvet” They were so highly prized that when the Maharaja of Kashmir heard of the presence of these legendary sapphires, he posted Sepoy guards outside of the mines to protect them. The mine, is located high up in the Himalayas involving a perilous journey which begins by traveling over the Chinab and Wardwan River to cross a rope bridge which was elevated 11,550 ft in the mountains. The Chinab River runs through deep and narrow canyons making the journey even more dangerous. While the harsh climate only allows access during the Summer months. By 1888 a survey showed that the mine was nearing exhaustion with attention to focusing on mining the floor valley where some sapphire could still be found. In 1889 mining was halted until 1906 when the mines were leased to The Kashmir Mineral Company & C.M.P Wright who were able to excavate a small number of fine sapphires by reworking the placer deposits. This new area became known as the “New Mine” but by 1908 it too began to yield poor results. Sporadic mining continued in to the early 1920s however by now the mines had become nearly exhausted and by the late 1920s mining had all but ceased apart from a few local poachers.