“Big Blue” – Our Spectacular Bespoke Azure Sapphire Diamond Ring

At Antique Jewellery Online we have been working with antique jewellery for over 50 years. During that time we’ve seen countless pieces from every conceivable period of history, so when we encountered the sapphire that sits at the heart of this ring we knew we had something very special.

A 7.12 carat sapphire is a rarity – stones of this size seldom cross our path, and when they do their colour is rarely as deep. Initially we were cautious, but after testing the stone thoroughly we discovered that it had not been subjected to any treatments or enhancements. Even high-level sapphires tend to have undergone some kind of heat treatment to improve their colour, but with the revelation that this stone hadn’t required it we were thrilled to have found it.

Unfortunately the stone was not without flaws. A minor scratch was the only problem, and with such a beautiful stone we knew that it would be wrong not to address this before sourcing the other elements to create a new piece of jewellery.

Our lapidary was extremely skilled, but whenever a stone is polished to remove a fracture it loses some of its weight. The stone was reduced to just below 7ct by the process, which was unfortunate, but a fair compromise in order to make it as close to perfect as possible. The challenge then was to find two diamonds to complement the central sapphire. This was a little more complicated than we anticipated.

The standard had been set with the quality of the sapphire, so we simply could not justify pairing it with anything but the best. The sheer size of the sapphire meant that the diamonds had to be substantial, and that meant that the cut had to be carefully chosen, and that the diamonds had to be proportioned to match the sapphire’s grandeur. It took over a year for us to source two emerald cut diamonds of exactly the right size – one 1.02ct and the other 1.05ct. The emerald cut provided perfect straight borders, drawing attention to the smooth, multifaceted oval cut of the sapphire without overwhelming it. Now all we needed was the gallery and shank.

With three stones of such exquisite quality it would have been a great shame to set it into any but the most precious of materials. We travelled to Hatton Garden, London’s famous jewellery quarter, and found an expert in the working of the most rare and treasured of precious metals; platinum. They were able to craft a three-section gallery with an integrated shank – complex enough to do justice to all three stones without diverting attention from the stones.

We purposely requested an open worked gallery which would allow light to flow through and bring out the fire and scintillation of both the diamonds and the sapphire. At the same time we knew that we needed it to hold the stones incredibly securely – the thought of its eventual owner losing one of the stones was simply too horrible to bear. Thankfully our faith in our jeweller’s skill was not misplaced, and the end result was a beautiful setting with exactly the right balance of ingenuity, strength and aesthetic appeal.

All told it took us 18 months of work involving a small team of extremely gifted professionals to create this ring, and we are incredibly proud of the end result of all this effort. The ring exemplifies many of the qualities which we have come to admire about the workmanship of ages past, whilst also incorporating elements of the modern jeweller’s craft to create the most beautiful piece possible.

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