Posts tagged sapphire
Visiting the Singapore International Jewelry Expo 2018

SIJE 2018 began a couple of days ago.

I was there to visit some dealer friends and to take in the general mood and atmosphere.

Most of the exhibitors were in the jewellery business and I found myself with relatively fewer stalls to visit for loose gemstones.

Nevertheless, there were some really beautiful pieces:

A selection of vibrant Burmese Spinels

A selection of vibrant Burmese Spinels

Star Sapphires

Star Sapphires

Lot of Unheated Blue Star Sapphires. Absolutely love the colour!

Lot of Unheated Blue Star Sapphires. Absolutely love the colour!

Lot of Faceted Sapphires of Multiple Colours

Lot of Faceted Sapphires of Multiple Colours

More updates coming up (after the last day)... :)

Birthstone For September - Sapphire

September rolls around and here's the birthstone of the month - sapphire! A member of the mineral family corundum, it's the counterpart of July's birthstone, the ruby. Though sapphire is most associated with the colour blue, it actually comes in every colour of the rainbow - from yellow to pink (is it a ruby, though?), green to orange, violet to colourless.

The most valued sapphire comes from the now-closed Kashmir mines. Today, sapphires are mined in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Australia, and some parts of Africa and America. 

Of these locations, Sri Lanka is one of the most prolific producers of fine sapphires. The Sri Lankan government's efforts to minimise large-scale mechanised mining seems to be working very well, as they keep mine ownership mainly to the locals. As a result, the gems come out of the ground slowly but steadily. 

With sapphires as good as these, the supply won't be able to keep up with the demand, ensuring ever-increasing prices, which is good for the economy over there.

Ceylon (the old name of Sri Lanka) sapphires are known for their depth of colour and low number of inclusions. Of course, they don't all start that way - many of them start as rather cloudy, light blue stones, known as geuda.

To get to the colours that are in demand, most of the sapphires from the mines are heated. Chemical treatments are sometimes used, which further lower the value of the stones, but they are used only on the poorer quality ones, which would be hard to sell anyway.

At the top end of the market are the high-quality unheated sapphires that are of good colour. Needless to say, these are very pricey, but still much sought-after, especially by the connoisseurs and the wealthy.

Sapphires are one of my favourite gemstones. I can never get enough of that rich, lustrous blue. Share your thoughts on sapphire with us! We'd love to hear from you.


A Visit To The Singapore International Jewelry Expo 2016

From 21 - 24 July, I attended the Singapore International Jewelry Expo (SIJE) 2016. Though my original intent was to visit some of my dealer friends from other countries, I ended up with quite a few more stones than I expected.

I got a blue 2.27-carat Burmese sapphire from my favourite Burmese dealer friends.

Unfortunately, they found the cost of attending the next show in Singapore too high and have declined to exhibit. It's alright. I'll just have to visit them in Yangon.


I got a really fiery 4.86 ct Welo opal with a thin dead zone on the side. 

I decided to buy it due to the wide fire and the fact that it encompasses every colour of the rainbow.

Due to the dead zone, the dealer was willing to sell it at a much lower price than what it would normally go for.


My favourite buy of all - a rare Burmese Jedi spinel. This isn't just red, it is a glowing, saturated, vibrant red!

Jedi spinels are so named because they have not been touched by 'the dark side' - especially darker secondary colours such as brown or grey.

Until I get all of these in my lightbox and photograph them with a proper DSLR, these photos from my Note 4 will have to suffice. ;)

I met a friend over a few days during the Expo as well, and assisted him in evaluating some gems that he was planning to buy. Always glad to be of service to a fellow gem buyer!