Professional Jeweler Archive: Singing the Blues

June 2001

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products


Singing the Blues

Sapphire and tanzanite radiate beauty when surrounded by precious metal


The rich sapphire, the regal tanzanite – these hold center stage when consumers and designers turn their attention to blue gems. Here’s a primer to help you when customers come calling for the blues.

Sapphire has been adored for centuries as the ultimate blue gem. It’s the same material as ruby (corundum, one of the most durable gems) and the best qualities are found in Myanmar, Kashmir, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

The purer the blue, the greater the price: Top blue Kashmir sapphires in the 3-5-ct. range sell for up to $11,000 per carat wholesale. However, it’s not uncommon to find the same size sapphire in appealing qualities for $600 per carat wholesale.

Tanzanite, a vivid blue kissed by purple, was discovered in the mineral rich soil of Tanzania in Eastern Africa in 1967. That’s still the only source, however, and recent flooding and cave-ins slowed production, causing prices to rise. What once cost $300 per carat wholesale is now $650 or more.

Fashion Tip: Sapphire and tanzanite are striking contrasts to some of today’s most popular apparel colors, including orange, yellow, pink and some shades of green.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Sterling silver and tanzanite earrings are $175 suggested retail.

Wendy Tabb Jewelry, New York City; (212) 966-5104.

14k gold ring is set with 0.40 carat of princess-cut sapphires and diamond accents. Suggested retail, $5,038.

Fedra International, Rehoboth, MA; (508) 252-8000, fax (508) 252-4650.

White and yellow 18k gold ring features a 7mm-by-5mm oval tanzanite and 0.36 carat of round diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,850.

A. Jaffe, New York City; (800) 223-0553, fax (212) 779-1998.

Cut by Glenn Lehrer, this 15.24-ct. tanzanite centers a granulated 18k gold pendant accented with 1.15 carats of chrysacolla and 0.54 carat of D-F/VS-SI diamonds. Suggested retail, $36,250.

Kent Raible Jewelry, Nevada City, CA; (530) 477-6966, fax (530) 477-7551.

Platinum ring features a 7.10-ct. oval tanzanite and baguette diamonds totaling 1.89 carats. Suggested retail, $7,499.

CH Hakimi, New York City; (800) 999-8016 or (212) 869-2155, fax (212) 768-1865.

Pendant holds a 16.67-ct. pastel blue sapphire surrounded by 1.25 carats of diamonds.

JFA Designs, Irvine, CA; (949) 263-9909, fax (949) 263-9910, jfadesigns.com.

18k white gold Miranda Elle ring is set with a 7-ct. tanzanite, 3.54 carats of pink sapphires and 0.31 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $18,498.

LeVian® Corp., New York City; (212) 575-0318, fax (212) 944-7734, www.levian.com.

Platinum ring has a 5.94-ct. oval tanzanite and six brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.76 carat. Suggested retail, $11,500.

Kimberley Diamond Co., New York City; (800) 223-4104, fax (212) 791-7731.

Sapphire beads cascade from a 20k crown.

The Zurik Collection, Rockwall, TX; (972) 772-6928, fax (972) 771-0217, johnzurik@mindspring.com.

Platinum and sapphire rings are handmade. The sapphire at left features Cathy Carmendy’s signature carved cameo. At right is a carved spider intaglio.

Cathy Carmendy, Santa Monica, CA; (310) 396-3120, fax (310) 399-5902.

Bangle has 3.64 carats of square sapphires and 0.56 carat of diamonds in 14k or 18k white or yellow gold or in platinum. Also available with pink or yellow sapphires or green garnets. Matching ring, earrings and pendant are available.

Danwak Jewelry Inc., New York City; (800) 886-4540 or (212) 730-4541, fax (212) 730-4542.

18k gold ring is bezel-set with a 2-ct. oval tanzanite and channel set with 0.80 carat of square diamonds. Suggested retail, $2,750.

Cordova, Flushing, NY; (800) 221-0744 or (718) 961-1020, fax (718) 353-5753, cordovainc@aol.com.

Ring and pendant from the Dancer Jewelry Collection have movable 18k white gold ingots. Each is set with 49 pastel blue sapphires. Retail, $7,300 for the ring, $5,900 for the pendant.

Piaget, New York City; (800) 628-4344 or (212) 355-6444, fax (212) 909-4332.

14k gold hinged bangle features different shapes of sapphires. Suggested retail, $3,790. Matching earrings are $1,080. Photo by Daunis.

Daunis, Portland, ME; (207) 773-6011, fax (207) 773-3603, daunis@sprynet.com.

Sapphire and diamond rings hold an oval, cushion or heart-shaped Ceylon sapphire.

Precious Gem Resources Inc., New York City; (212) 688-6700, fax (212) 688-2747.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications