NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, pendant, or earring (click here for more information).
DETAIL: In the world of the ancient Mediterranean (including the various Indo-European Celtic tribes), priests and sorcerers honored the sapphire above all other gems, believing that sapphire enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Sapphires have been since ancient times one of the most highly valued of all gemstones, and references to the gemstone date back to about 800 B.C. Here's a stunning, gorgeous, vibrantly colored natural bright rose hued sapphire precious gemstone from the Ural Mountains of Russia. This precious gemstone was handcrafted into the sparkling precious gemstone you see by a 19th century Russian artisan. This particular gemstone was hand cut and faceted into a three-sided pyramid with a softly rounded base. It is a quite beautiful cut, forerunner and very close to today's "trilliant" cut. The color is absolutely incredible, a sparkling, gorgeous and vibrant hue of rose with subtle undertones of violet. This incredible gemstone has all of the brilliance of a diamond, sparkling under any light source literally shouting "see me, see me"! It is really a phenomenal gemstone, guaranteed to make some extremely excited. The color is a bit reminiscent of pink amethyst, except the color is much more intense almost "neon" §but with richer tones and with far greater lustre and sparkle than any amethyst. This incredibly vibrant hue imparts exceptional character and great visual appeal. The gemstone looks ever so much like a sparkling, rose-hued diamond. The gemstone is to the eye, virtually flawless. Even in these photo enlargements here (300%) it is impossible to discern any blemishes. This is really an exceptional precious gemstone - the color and quality both fabulous!
High quality rose colored sapphires such as these are increasingly difficult to acquire at anything approaching a reasonable price. Good quality uncommonly hued ("fancy color") sapphires are in high demand, and can be quite costly. Unfortunately most seemingly flawless, transparent "sapphires" sold even by the largest and most reputable retailers in the United States are synthetic (read the fine print; and the same is true of emeralds and rubies). However the Southern Ural Mountains of Russia have been producing good quality, natural sapphires for centuries. The trained eye will easily discern from the photo that the gemstone has been hand-faceted. The coarseness of the 19th century faceting is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment. Unlike today's computer controlled machine processes, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-faceted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.
This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent, but it is not absolutely without flaw. True, any blemishes it possesses are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". To the eye it is indeed flawless. Even magnified here in these photo enlargements there are no discernible blemishes. However if you magnify it at a high enough power (10 times); you might be able to pick out one or two slight imperfections within the gemstone, barely perceptible even at such high magnification, and as well occasional irregularities in the faceting and finish. Of course this may be said about most any gemstone. A truly flawless gemstone is very rare in nature - sooner or later blemishes will show up at higher levels of magnification. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.<
Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for minute blemishes which by and large, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification.
HISTORY: Sapphires have been since ancient times one of the most highly valued of all gemstones, and references to the gemstone date back to about 800 B.C. The name "sapphire" comes from the Latin "sapphirus" and the Greek "sappheiros", which translates to "blue" in both languages. The name sapphire is also a derivative of the ancient Hebrew and Persian word for "blue" as well. To the ancient Romans however, the word "sapphirus" actually referred to lapis lazuli, another blue gemstone. What the Romans called blue sapphire translates to "hyacinth"; the green sapphire was "emerald", and the purple sapphire was "amethyst". In the ancient Mediterranean world, priests and sorcerers honored the sapphire above all other gems. They believed that the sapphire enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future.
The ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on an enormous sapphire, and the sky reflected its beautiful color. They referred to the sapphire as "the gem of the heavens". As the centuries passed, European royalty came to favor sapphire believing the stone would provide protection from harm. Throughout Medieval Europe, the sapphire was thought to give the wearer strengthened vision, including visions of the future. Sapphire was regarded as an antidote to black magic and effects of evil spirits. It was held to be a symbol of truth and constancy. Sapphires are a member of the corundum family, and close relative to the ruby. In fact, a ruby is simply a red sapphire. The sapphire is considered one of the most valuable of precious stones. The principal contemporary sources of sapphire are Russia, Siam, Ceylon, Burma, Africa, and Australia.
Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site
). Canadian shipments are an extra $4.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $5.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.
We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).
We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset.
Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today.
Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing.
We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."
On May-11-13 at 01:26:30 PDT, seller added the following information:
We have a very simple, unconditional, unlimited, no-questions-asked return policy. If you are ever less than fully satisfied with your purchase, return it in its original condition for a complete refund of your purchase price (less our original shipping/insurance cost). Refunds for purchases made over 45 days prior are subject to reduction for eBay/PayPal fees charged.
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International purchasers DO NOT PAY, PLEASE WAIT for our email outlining shipping options. Multiple purchases, DO NOT PAY, PLEASE WAIT for combined email invoice (we DO offer HUGE combined purchase discounts, usually about $5 per item). Our shipments DO INCLUDE insurance and tracking or delivery confirmation, as REQUIRED by PayPal. We accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with.
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