Oct 16, 2012

Sapphire Blue :: the most glamorous blue of them all ...

It's probably no surprise that blue is my favourite colour. 
(And, for an interior designer, it's hard to classify a "favourite".
I love all colour. )

Pale blue is delicate, navy is sophisticated. Aqua is forever summer.
But Sapphire Blue...ah...it's in a league of its own in the glamour stakes. 

So, despite the fact that we have left September behind,
and Halloween is bearing down upon us,
I can't bear to think that we have left September's birthstone out of our series,
so just before we honour the Opal of October,
let's revel in the utter glamour and beauty of the lustrously rich blue Sapphire....

After all, it's always a good month for a Bombay Sapphire martini or G & T...

Now, technically, a Sapphire doesn't have to be blue. 
It is composed of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide,
which gives the gemstone is superior hardness.
(After Diamonds, Sapphires have the same hardness as Rubies & Emeralds,
which is one of the reasons they are so popular for engagement rings.)

But the Sapphire's colour is the result of varying amounts of other minerals,
such as titanium, copper, chromium, iron or magnesium.
So the different combinations of these can create a Sapphire which is pink, 
yellow, purple, orange, green or blue,
like these beauties below from Tiffany...

They can even be colourless.
And perhaps the most extraordinary Sapphire is the colour-change variety, 
which reflect purple blue in some lights, and green blue in others.

But the most well-known, most valuable and probably well-loved Sapphire is blue,
and it's the colour we generally associate with the name. 

To complicate things further, a Blue Sapphire can have a secondary tone of purple or green,
which also effects its value.
The most valuable are of a medium to dark tone,
with a clear brightness, and a secondary tone of up to 15% violet or purple.
I think when we hear the name "Sapphire Blue" that's the exact tone
which springs to mind.

The largest Sapphire mines today are in Madagascar, 
but they are also mined in commercial quantities in Australia, 
Sri Lanka (which produces the beautiful paler blue Ceylon Sapphire),
Thailand, China and East Africa.

Blue Sapphires have been revered since ancient times, 
as have most of the birthstones.
The ancient Persians believed that the gorgeous blue colour of the sky
was the reflection of a huge Sapphire, 
on which the earth balanced. 
Now that would be worth a bit! 

The depth of rich dark blue, with its intensity and confidence,
works as beautifully in interiors as it does in gowns,
as these rooms by Greg Natale show.

And while it's a colour perceived to have a masculine edge, 
there are not too many women who don't seem to like blue either,
I have found throughout my career as a designer. 
Just one of those all round good guys.

So while it's the birthstone for September,
it's just too glorious a colour to be restricted to one month.
It's lively, a little mysterious, and deeply glamorous,
with an utterly timeless beauty.

Which, by my reckoning, means we can admire it in any month! 


  1. I love Sapphires! I always think of Princess Di's ring in those Womens Weekly souvenir magazines when I see a sapphire.x

    1. Oh yes, and what a beauty that ring was/is too! x

  2. I completely agree. I love sapphires and everything else you showed on this post. Good job!!

    1. Thank you dear Marsha! Is there any stone which you don't like, perchance??? x

  3. Sapphires are my favourite stone, the blue sapphire is my favourite colour and Bombay Sapphire is my favourite gin - sapphire is my birthstone. How lucky am I?

    1. ha, well now I am truly jealous!! You are lucky indeed.

      I think bombay sapphire is my favourite too. I disloyally experiment with other brands - but then always come back to it as the most delicious of them all. x

  4. I love Bombay Saphire but not for its gin quality but more for its design and colour. I think this colour is so regal and opulent, I have recently written a post about navy kitchens which showcased this colour beautifully. Love your blog.

    1. well now you make me wonder if I love bombay sapphire completely for the taste, or whether I am influenced by the design and colour too! Oh dear! Maybe I'm not as impartial as I figured....And navy kitchens, yum, sounds elegant. x

  5. An incredible post and thank you for the lesson on sapphires. My engagement ring is a sapphire and we got married the same year as Prince Charles and Diane (my ring is vintage, my late mother in laws - I think the Princess copied me!!! hee hee)

    The opening image of sapphire and brown gown has me dreaming. What I would not give for that?


    1. You're a stylish gal Helen, no surprises there. I bet your ring is beautiful. x

  6. This post is absolutely gorgeous. Sapphire Blue is one of my favorite shades. Thank you for the pretty inspiration, xx.

  7. On another blog recently, somehow it came up what color you thought was "you"--and yes, I chose a deep sapphire blue--to be specific the color of the evening sky when the sun has gone down but before it is really night, beyond the gloaming. :) Always my favorite time of day with so much promise. So of course, I loved all of this--thank you!

  8. Mel@Georgica Pond17/10/12 12:59 PM

    Blue is by far my favourite colours in every shade and hue. Can't go wrong with it. Lovely post.

  9. Yes sapphire earrings are on my list of things to own one day. Just love blue. How lucky to have it in your name! x

  10. Loved these images! Sapphire blue is my favourite colour as well. I've always loved Tanzanite and Ceylon Sapphire stones for that reason.
    Have just been in Paris and bought some deep blue silk taffeta from the famous fabric stores of Montmartre for an evening gown, but now that I've read your post, I think it's the wrong blue? It's a paler, almost denim blue shade, rather than true sapphire.
    Hope all is well in your house now.

    1. oh Janelle, in my book, there is no such thing as the wrong blue. They all have their own inherent beauty. But your description sounds quite enchanting a shade, more heading towards navy or royal blue. The French do blue better than any other culture, I reckon, but not really sure why. Being me, I have spent ages trying to work out why!!

      yes, all is fab in our house now - thank you for wondering. xx


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