We offer the most premium of sapphires as a result of our long-standing relationships with our suppliers who always provide us with the right of first offer.
Types of Sapphire
Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide and its color is due to its typical traces of iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium. Therefore sapphires come in a wide range of colors from red (Ruby), blue, green, purple, pink, orange, etc depending on what transition metal is present. Corundum has a hardness of 9 on the Moh’s scale making it a very hard material, just below diamond with a hardness of 10.
The name “corundum” originates from the Tamil-Dravidian word Kurundam, as well as in sanskrit as Kuruvinda. This is where the name K.V. Gems is derived from.
Bangkok, Thailand is of the worlds biggest trading hubs for colored stones including, buying, selling, polishing and enhancement treatments. Thai locals are specialized in polishing colored stones with globally recognized and outstanding skills. Heat treatment for color and clarity enhancement was established in Thailand. Therefore, over 80% of rough gemstones from across the globe are imported to Thailand for quality enhancement.
“Nothing but blue skies from now on…” Elle Fitzgerald
The blue Corundum brother of the luscious red Ruby has enchanted the human soul since time immemorial. According to ancient Indian texts, the Blue Sapphire was the favoured jewel of the planet Saturn or “Shani” (the offspring of the Sun god). Since Saturn is considered the most powerful celestial body in Indian Astrology, only a select few are deemed worthy of wielding Sapphire’s immeasurable strength.
Harry Emanuel’s account published in his book “Diamonds and Precious stones” in the late 1800s, shares descriptions of various gems mentioned in the Bible. The report of the Sapphire, in particular, presents it as a gem of “great value and beauty”. It further states that legendary traditions assert that the tablets of the Ten Commandments were made of Sapphire. Superstitions of that time proclaim the Sapphire was, “a preserver of sight and could invigorate the frame as well as the soul”. In the west, during medieval times, the blue hue of the Sapphire was also equated to the sky and clergymen wore the gem as a symbol of heavenly blessings.
While there are many sources of Blue Sapphires globally, KV Gems is a specialist in primarily Sapphires from Sri Lanka and Madagascar with a select stock of Burma goods.
“Over the years, our company has developed a strict criterion concerning Blue Sapphires. We only acquire loupe-clean sapphires with no colour-zoning and an additional filter of no-heat. In our experience, the primary sources of top-grade Blue Sapphires are Sri Lanka and Madagascar. While the provenance of Burma is important, our reputation (built on a track-record of providing only quality material), delivers a minimal quantity of goods from Burma.” KV Gems
KV Gems provides a range of colours within Sapphires from light blue to the more sought-after cornflower blue, royal blue and the exotic peacock blue.
Sharing his views on Blue Sapphires, KV Gems founder and gem specialist Joe Belmont explains, “In my personal opinion, Blue Sapphires from Madagascar are currently a great buy. The examples of mistaken identity that have led certain gem labs to declare Madagascar Sapphires as ‘Kashmir origin’ exemplifies the nature of their beauty. At the moment, we have production coming from this new source. As with most things in life, once the supply dries up, I estimate market forces at play may push the price up.”
The name ‘Padparadscha’ hails from the Singhalese word ‘Padmaragya’ or ‘The Padma’ meaning Lotus and ‘raga’, colour. While most discussions regarding Padparadscha Sapphires start with this reference, they quickly switch gears leaving some unanswered questions. Why did ancient gemstone communities use the Lotus as a reference? Why not another flower or a fruit, displaying the colour of the stone?
To understand the reference, we need to understand the culture. The Lotus flower is a symbol of purity in Buddhism. In his teachings, Lord Buddha suggested, similar to the blossoming of the Lotus flower in stagnant waters of the pond, a person too should keep their heart and mind pure and beautiful, despite being surrounded by the negativity of the world.
Traditionalists believe only sapphires from Sri Lanka, conforming to a specific range of colour-combinations should be considered ‘Padparadschas’. From a scientific standpoint, this argument to ring-fence a gem category based on ancient lore doesn’t hold water. As we know, sapphires are part of the Corundum family of minerals. The differentiators between various sapphires and rubies are only the trace elements (colouring agents), such as Iron and Chromium with Padparadscha. The case further weakens when viewing top-grade sapphire material from other origins such as Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam.
From 1904 till 1983, forty-three different articles were published by various scientists, each with differing views on what constitutes a pure Padparadscha colour. An intense gemological moment came courtesy a detailed paper written by Robert Crowningshield (GIA), capturing the history of this argument and offering suggestions on a possible range. According to Crowningshield, “It is GIA’s opinion that this colour range should be limited to light to medium tones of pinkish-orange to orange-pink hues. Lacking delicacy, the dark brownish orange or even medium brownish orange tones of corundum from East Africa would not qualify under this definition. Deep orangey-red sapphires, likewise, would not qualify as fitting the term padparadscha.”
At KV Gems, we specialize in un-treated Padparadscha Sapphires, mainly from Sri Lanka and Madagascar. Few reasons why these gems have become one of the most sought after by connoisseurs are as follows:
- An unusual mix of colours – On top of the Dichroic nature of sapphires, Padparadscha are one of the most difficult to cut from rough. The gem holds value mainly because of its elusive mix of colours. To cut a sapphire, which can attain a lab report of ‘padparadscha’ requires a lapidary artist of great skill and experience.
- Rarity – While mother nature provides a diverse range of sapphire colours, roughs containing the trace elements required for a padparadscha are extremely rare. According to co-founder Joe Belmont, ” Padparadscha sapphires are the most exceptional among sapphires, even when we compare with untreated (no heat) Blue Sapphire or Ruby. Their rarity further increases in sizes above 4-5ct.
- No Heat – Since almost 90% of all gemstones undergo some form of treatment, to firstly find un-treated sapphires is a rare occasion. The additional filter of untreated padparadscha sapphire with their unique blend of colours makes the gem beyond exceptional.
- Unlike other sapphires, Padparadscha Sapphire is probably the most challenging gem to cut. The value of the gem lies in the fusion of the colours. Our master cutters are not just changing the form of the stone from rough to cut but also creating the elusive colour through their years of experience and skill.
Contact us to view some of the exceptional gems from our collection that meet our strict criteria.
The perfect combination of beauty with brains, multi-coloured sapphires are one of the most popular gemstones with designers and jewellery manufacturers.
While other gem families like Garnets, Spinels and Tourmalines also offer a rainbow of hues, they fall short when it comes to hardness. Sapphires are rated number nine on MOH’s hardness scale (Diamonds are 10), which makes them perfect for delicate setting techniques and for the most popular jewellery category: RINGS. The hardness of the material also means a higher intensity of polish, resulting in a beautiful sparkle with the finished product.
At KV Gems, we specialise in untreated multi-coloured sapphires from an array of deposits around the world. The bulk of our stock comes from Sri Lanka and Madagascar, with some rare varieties from Burma and Vietnam. It is said, that colour zoning and sapphires go hand-in-hand, but at KV we only select rough and faceted sapphires, which display no colour-zoning and are loupe-clean.
In ascertaining value within this category, we go back to the main principal of rarity and beauty. Purple and certain shades of Green Sapphires are the most prized. Due to the superior cut and polish of our workshop, we deliver gems in these colour categories with pleasing tones, cut to reflect light in a crisp and sharp fashion. Within this sub-segment, one of the rarest product offerings are pairs and layouts, which are extremely challenging to find (untreated).
The next segment of importance are the yellow and pink sapphires. Our focus with these two segments is again to deliver vibrant colours in a variety of sizes without resorting to any form of treatment. With each season the quantity of untreated gem material of top quality is shrinking. Due to this, we believe in the long-run, well-saturated gemstones, which are untreated, well-cut and polished will hold value. The market is also becoming discerning and moving towards this niche segment.