Know Your Gems: Sapphires

When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, all eyes were on the engagement ring, and one thing’s for sure – it did not disappoint. The 18-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds once belonged to Princess Diana, but apart from its historical significance, the ring itself was breath-taking!

Sapphires are one the most popular gemstones to be worn and it’s clear why: the sparkles and imperfections that make the gem unique can cause both girls and grown women swoon. We speak to Mr Kean Ng, the Business Director of Aspial-Lee Hwa Jewellery to know more about this beautiful jewel.

Glam: What makes sapphire jewelleries so popular?
Kean: Gemstones like sapphires are getting increasingly popular for their intrinsic beauty and value. Furthermore, sapphires provide a dramatic contrast when paired with diamonds. They can easily add character and complete an ensemble. Regardless of colour, sapphires combine durability and beauty to last for generations.

Glam: Could you provide a step-by-step guide to choosing an ideal sapphire jewellery for a woman?
Kean: First, have a good idea of what you’d like to pair your sapphire jewellery with or the occasion that you are wearing it to. After choosing the design that they like, try it on. Not all designs suit all builds and proportions, so trying it on will help make sure it looks fantastic on you!

Similar to diamonds, the value of gemstones are judged based on their four Cs – Cut, Colour, Carat and Clarity. In certain cases, the emphasis is on the colour of the gemstone. The more intense the colour is, the more valuable the stone.

Lee Hwa Revelry ring 3059za

Glam: Speaking of colour, most of us are familiar with blue sapphires. What other colours are there and how rare are they?
Kean: Sapphires come in different colours including yellow, green, orange, and pink. It all depends on the trace elements in the stone. However, the blue sapphire is the most popular of all sapphires and is known for its medium to deep blue colour and strong saturation.

The most sought-after and most expensive sapphire is the orange sapphire, known as the padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the native language of Sri Lanka. This unique and rare fiery sapphire is found primarily in Sri Lanka, drawing prices higher than many of the finest blue sapphires.

Glam: What is one timeless sapphire piece from the Lee Hwa Jewellery collection that you think every woman should own.
Kean: Sapphire rings are the most popular because they’re classics. I would recommend the Resplendent Sapphire Ring 3106ZA. It’s a classic design that suits most women and is easy to style with.

Resplendant sapphire ring and Gallant Sapphire ring

Resplendant sapphire ring on left.

Glam: Are there easy ways for a non-expert to discern a fake from an authentic sapphire?
Kean: There are a few ways to determine a fake from an authentic sapphire. One way to know is to conduct the colour test. A real sapphire will exhibit different colours when viewed from different angles. A fake sapphire will exhibit only one tone and is usually lighter and brighter, whereas a real sapphire will show a richer and more intense colour.

That aside, all natural sapphires will have minor imperfections and if the stone is clear and perfect, it is most probably a fake. A genuine sapphire will also feel a bit waxy with some rough areas and are often heavier than their fake counterparts. They also have sharper and more defined facet edges.

Glam: How should we take care of sapphire jewellery?
Kean: Humidity and chemicals such as perfume can cause jewellery to discolour so keep them in their original boxes and store it separately with a cloth pouch for each individual piece. When it comes to earrings, the gems for each side should not be facing one another to prevent scratches. Lastly, wipe them clean with a soft cloth after use.



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