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While most months are traditionally associated with one gemstone – September with sapphires, for example – October is one of the few that has two birthstones. Opal and tourmaline are two very different gems, offering those born in October a choice – over which speaks most to their unique tastes.

 

The Qualities Of Opal

Australian Opals
Image: gemstory.com.au

Iridescent and often with a milky tone, opals have been considered bringers of good luck since the Middle Ages.  Opal is the product of seasonal rains that drenched dry ground in regions such as Australia’s semi-desert “outback.”

Best known for its flashing rainbow colors called play-of-color, there are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opal displays play-of-color, common opal does not.  Opal hues can range across the spectrum; an opal might display a single color, two or three colors, or all the colors of the rainbow.

The colors each stone can reflect depend on how it was formed – what the temperature was, what type of rock it was surrounded by, etc. These conditions affect the internal structure of the gemstone, allowing it to reflect certain colors and saturations. Opal can appear in many colors, including white, blue, pink, green, yellow, brown and black.

Opal engagement rings and jewelry often appeal to those with vintage, somewhat quirky tastes. As an October birthstone, they are an ideal birthday gift at this time of year; however, they can suit almost anyone. Their unique reflections of color offer a wide range of precious gemstone jewelry, from oversized gemstone rings, to delicate and understated bracelets. An opal engagement ring is a stunning offering of love and commitment.

Famous Opals

Aurora Australis
Image: opalsdownunder.com.au

Aurora Australis

The “Aurora Australis” was found in 1938 at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia, and is considered the world’s most valuable black opal. The oval, cut and polished stone has a harlequin pattern with dominant red, green and blue colors against a black background, which clocks in at 180 carats.

 

 

Flame Queen Opal
Image: Gemselect.com

Flame Queen

“Flame Queen” Opal is the most famous and best-known example of “eye-of-opal,” an eye-like effect created when opal fills a cavity, which looks like a fried egg. The Flame Queen weighs 263.18 carats and was also discovered at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.  Like all opals, the Flame Queen changes color depending on the lighting and angle of view. In 2003, Flame Queen was put up for auction at Christie’s in New York for an estimated price of $250,000.

 

 

 

Other Famous Opals

 

 

The Beauty of Tourmaline

Tourmaline in various cuts, shapes and colors

A crystal mineral, tourmaline is formed in a wide variety of colors. Blue, green, and red tourmaline (also called rubellite) are the most popular types used in gemstone jewelry. The pink and red hue is often produced through natural irradiation, deepening their color to an appealingly romantic shade. Tourmaline is typically mined in Brazil and Africa, although it can be formed in countries from the US to Sri Lanka.

Tourmaline is the most colorful of all gemstones, occurring in various shades of virtually every hue. The most common colors of Tourmaline are chrome (green), cat’s eye (striped brown), paraiba (bright neon blue), schorl (black), dravite (yellows and browns) and watermelon (green on the outside and pink on the inside).

Watermelon Tourmalines
Image: saracura.com

Tourmalines grow in long, pencil-like crystals. Gem cutters aim to preserve as much of the rough stone as possible, often cut into long bars, octagons or baguettes. Tourmaline is highly sought after because combines good hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) with excellent durability.

Rubelite (red Tourmaline) is associated with compassion, comfort, safety and relaxation. Historically, it was believed to reflect kindness, tolerance and femininity. Tourmalines are also believed to be useful in relaxing the body and the mind, and to help in the treatment of many different diseases such as anxiety, blood poisoning, arthritis, and heart disease. Pink, of course, has long been associated with feminine style. If someone you love has a birthday in October, and adores the romantic look of pink and red gemstones, tourmaline is the right choice for a jewelry gift.

tourmaline

 

Varieties of Tourmalines

Tourmaline is actually a group of minerals and is a general term used for related gemstone varieties, which are typically classified according to their color. Here are a few commonly used tourmaline trade names:

Achroite – Very rare colourless or almost colourless tourmaline.
Dravite – Yellow-brown to dark-brown magnesium tourmaline. Intense, forest-green gems are also known as “chrome tourmaline” or “chrome dravite”.
Indicolite – Blue tourmaline.
Paraiba – Light-blue, blue-green, vivid blue or green copper tourmaline, named after the state in Brazil where it was found.
Rubellite – Intensely coloured, red, pinkish-red or violet tourmaline.
Schorl – Black iron tourmaline.
Siberite – Lilac to violet-blue tourmaline, named after a deposit in the Urals.
Verdelite – Green tourmaline.
Buergerite – Iron tourmaline named after an American academic.
Elbaite – Lithium tourmaline named after the island of Elba.
Liddicoatite – Calcium tourmaline named after an American gemologist.
Tsilaisite – Manganese tourmaline named after a place in Madagascar.
Uvite – Magnesium tourmaline named after a province of Sri Lanka.
Watermelon tourmaline – L Multicoloured tourmaline that exhibits interesting pink, green and white colour zones in the same crystal. When crystals are cut in cross section, a pink core with a white band and green edges can be clearly seen, just like a watermelon.
Cat’s eye tourmaline – A rare chatoyant variety of tourmaline. The chatoyancy is usually strongest in green and pink tourmaline.

Famous Tourmalines

Hamlin Necklace
Image: Google Cultural Institute

Hamlin Necklace

The Hamlin Necklace, designed by the discoverer of Maine tourmalines, is set with 70 Maine tourmalines (228.12 total carat weight). It is currently on display at the Mineralogical Museum at Harvard University.

 

 

 

 

Empress Anna Ionnovna Crown with Diamonds and Tourmaline
Image: Kreml.ru

Crown of Empress Anna Ivanovna

The Russian Crown of Empress Anna Ivanovna from 1730 was one of the first ornate crown of its kind for the Russians. The stunning openwork crown is made of silver and adorned with 2536 diamonds, 28 other gemstones and one giant 500 carat red tourmaline.
Fun fact: Many gemstones in the Russian Crown jewels from the 17th Century once thought to be rubies are in fact tourmalines.

 

 

 

 

Lily Safra Diamond and Tourmaline Brooch
Image: The Jewellry Editor

Lily Safra Brooch

A beautiful old-cut pear shape diamond sits in between a twisting vine of green tourmalines. The petals are carved from pinkish red tourmaline. The diamond and tourmaline poppy brooch owned by Lily Safra reached $1,273,320 at Christie’s Auction in 2012.

 

 

 

 

“PARAIBA STAR OF THE OCEAN JEWELS” — BY KAUFMANN DE SUISSE
Image: Kaufmann De Suisse

Paraiba Star of Ocean Jewels

The Kaufmann de Suisse “Paraiba Star of the Ocean Jewels” necklace features the Guinness Book of World Record’s largest cut Tourmaline; a flawless brilliant cut, oval 191.87 carat tourmaline center stone. This spectacular one-of-a-kind necklace is inspired by ocean life.

 

 

 


 

 

Which of the October birthstones is your favorite? Do you prefer the mysterious iridescence of opal, or the variety of tourmaline?

And lastly, Happy Birthday!

Adored by brides, halo engagement rings are a signature style of Ritani. Halo rings feature a central round stone surrounded by a “halo” of smaller diamonds or gemstones. This setting not only looks gorgeous, but it also offers benefits that many couples desire. For example, halo settings can make a center stone look up to half a carat larger, which means you can choose a smaller stone without sacrificing perceived size. Beyond its good looks, the halo engagement ring was inspired by architecture and art movements. Have you ever wondered the history of the halo engagement ring?

History of the Halo Ring

The halo engagement ring has exploded in popularity in recent years. Its origins can actually be traced as far back as the early Georgian era (1714-1837) in Europe, where round diamonds or pearls only slightly smaller than the center stone were used. Halo engagement rings saw an increase in popularity in the Victorian era (1837-1901), which often had a colored gem center stones to imitate flowers.

Ritani sapphire flower halo ring

What we consider to be the classic halo setting of today has its origins in the Art Deco Era of the 1920s. The Art Deco movement included an emphasis on symmetry and geometric patterns. The concentric circles surrounding a center stone were perfect for Art Deco aesthetics. Although the practice of surrounding a center stone with other stones has never gone out of style, the classic halo setting has gone in and out of fashion since its initial emergence in the 1920s.

Masterwork Cushion Halo Vaulted Milgrain engagement ring.

Like many fashion trends, engagement ring popularity ebbs and flows with the socio-economic tides. Opulence fell out of fashion during the Great Depression, and so too did the halo. The halo emerged during the Hollywood Glamour (1930s-1940s) period, but again dwindled in popularity as WWII began and resources grew scarce. Then, once again, the halo had a small resurgence in the 1960s when art deco engagement ring styles came back into popularity. Once more, the halo fell out of style: few halo styles existed throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

The Ritani Influence

As we know, the halo in its current incarnation has been around since the mid-1900s. Several other jewelers had versions of the halo in the early 20th century using larger stones around the center stone to create a flower motif.
In 1999, Ritani saw a need for something a little different. Ritani was one of the first jewelers to use 1mm to 1.5mm diamonds in the halo of engagement rings. This design created a look that highlighted the center stone and made it look larger, as opposed to resembling a flower like the vintage pieces of the past. Ritani currently holds a copyright on our signature halo setting.

Halo Engagement Rings Today

Ritani Double French-Set Halo diamond ring
Today, halos with smaller diamonds surrounding one large center stone have surged in popularity and can accommodate any diamond or gem shape a couple wants, still reminiscent of the original architectural designs of the Art Deco movement but with modern flair. Halos continue to evolve into bold shapes and asymmetrical patterns, including double-halos and our vintage-inspired engagement rings.
Ritani Halo rings are our most popular setting choice, and with good reason:

  • The halo is an easy way to make any center stone look larger
  • They offer bold and dramatic sparkle with the addition of pave stones
  • They complement a variety of diamond shapes
  • They offer a modern and timeless twist on a popular vintage engagement ring style

How to Select The Perfect Halo Engagement Ring

Ideal Round Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

When shopping for the perfect halo, there are a couple of important factors to consider. First, decide which halo shape is right for you. A round diamond, for example, will look different (bigger!) when set in a cushion-shaped halo. An angled shape, such as a hexagonal halo, will bring a more vintage finish to the ring. For an even more dramatic look, go for a double halo setting.

If a halo engagement ring is what your love wants, take a look at our halo engagement rings now.

Fall Jewelry Trends Ritani on the Runway

New York Fashion Week has barely wrapped and the industry is already buzzing about the latest designer showings, “it” models, the who’s-who of front-row attendees and of course the unveiling of the next big fashion trends.

This year’s Spring/Summer 2017 show was a presentation unlike any other. Non-traditional showings such as the Yeezy Season 4 and Tommy Hilfiger Tommy X Gigi presentation at Pier 16 at South Street Seaport broke the Bryant Park norm.

Among all this excitement, we saw several of fashion’s favorite supermodels sporting Ritani and the latest fashions trends. These are our favorite highlights and red carpet moments from the event:

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes @jastookes in Ritani diamond jewelry
Image: @jastookes

The Victoria’s Secret and IMG Worldwide model was a standout on the Harpers Bazaar Icon Party red carpet. Her Datari Austin silk crepe dress was right on trend in a rich, fall fashion forward Bordeaux color. She kept the look clean and elegant with a Ritani diamond bracelet.

Lais Ribiero

Lais Ribeiro in Ritani diamond jewelry
Image: @laisribeiro

The Victoria’s Secret Angel looked heaven-sent at the Harpers Bazaar Icons party in an ethereal white Cushnie et Ochs dress. Her tasteful Ritani diamond jewelry compliments the fresh silhouette and makes for a stunning style statement.

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams wearing Ritani diamond jewelry @justtnic
Image: @Justtnic

The E! Star looked right on trend sporting one of the season’s biggest movements to the Misha Collection fashion show: fringe. She paired her stylish black tasseled dress with Ritani diamond earrings and bracelet to complete her runway-ready look.

Nicole Williams @justtnic wearing Ritani diamond jewelry
Image: @Justtnic and @aevslife

Nicole Williams in Ritani Canary Diamond earrings
Image: @Justtnic

Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day? Williams stunned at the event wearing a lace mini-dress and accenting her look with one of the biggest trends of the season—colored diamonds! The canary color pop of Williams’ Ritani diamond earrings are a standout against her white dress and make this a major NYFW “Do”.

Get a head start on all of this season’s trends with our fall fashion collection and let us know which you are looking forward to wearing most!

Happy couple romantic proposal in city

Now that you’ve selected a ring, it’s time to pop the question. There are hundreds of ways to get down on one knee, but you only get one chance to come up with the perfect proposal. It’s important to consider ways to incorporate your own relationship and what your sweetheart likes to make it even more special for the two of you. Consider if she wants something intimate and private or an elaborate public proposal.

We’ve gathered a few ways to pop the question throughout each season and included “pro-tips” to up the ante even further and really impress her. Love is in the air!

Winter Proposal Ideas

Winter proposal
Winter is always romantic because it gives you an opportunity to snuggle up with your love. The holiday season is an excellent time of the year to propose marriage, with Christmas being one of the most popular days to propose, but there are plenty of ways to propose that don’t involve one of the winter holidays.

Christmas proposal
After she’s done opening the presents under the tree, say you have one more present for her and get down on one knee.
Pro-tip: Wrap the ring itself and present it to her as a gift. A wrapped small ring box is simple and classic, while placing the ring in a larger box packed with decoy items adds an element of surprise. Merry Christmas, indeed!

Romantic evening proposal
Turn off all the lights in your home and make a trail of candles that leads to a circle of candles positioned around the you and the ring.
Pro-tip: Have a dinner ready in the kitchen/dining room (cooked by you or a professional chef) with her favorite foods or food that reminds you of a date you went on.

Coffee shop proposal
Was your first date at a coffee shop? Take her back to your first date spot and pop the question over your favorite latte on a chilly winter day.
Pro-tip: Order a stencil that spells out “Marry Me?” Discreetly ask the barista to use the stencil by sprinkling cinnamon or chocolate powder over the stencil and surprise your coffee loving lady with the best latte of her life.

Super Bowl Proposal
Favorite NFL team participating in the Super Bowl? If you and your girl are die-hard football fans, then this proposal can be extra sentimental to your relationship. Make game day even more special by planning a proposal for half-time in front of your family and friends. This works for any major sporting event, not just the Super Bowl!
Pro-tip: Write out “will you marry me?” in the dip, or get her a custom NFL jersey with her future last name on it and present it when your team scores their first touchdown.

Spring Proposal Ideas

Couple in love for spring engagement
Spring is notoriously full of love and romance: flowers are blooming and the sun is shining, which makes it a perfect time for outside proposals and photo opportunities!

Scavenger hunt proposal
Send your unsuspecting fiancé-to-be on a treasure hunt that ends with your proposal. Start with a clue at home (a handwritten note or text message) that leads to a tour of your favorite spots all over town.
Pro-tip: Relate each clue to a part of your relationship or things she likes. Think back to your first date – is there anything you can use as a clue? Does she like handbags? Hide a clue in her favorite handbag. Does she like video games? Have a video game themed scavenger hunt.

Stadium proposal
Attend your favorite sporting event and arrange to propose on the big screen. Get in touch with the public relations department at the stadium in the week leading up to the big day. For a few hundred dollars, the stadium will post your message on the big screen and arrange a time for you. This proposal is definitely not for the shy – all eyes are on you!
Pro-tip: Make sure you get an aisle seat for enough room to get down on one knee!

Botanical garden proposal
There’s nothing quite like a garden in full bloom! Use this beautiful backdrop as a foreground for your intimate engagement.
Pro-tip: If you would rather surprise her, arrange in advance. Call the gardens and ask if you can set up a rose/flower petal path leading to a beautiful scene in the gardens. Ask family or friends to arrange to bring her. Have a photographer read to capture the romantic scene. She’ll know something’s up, but it will be extra special.

Summer Proposal Ideas

Summer romantic proposal holding hands
Ah, summer. You’re outside, the sunshine is warm, the days are long and you’re spending more time together. Many people use summer as an opportunity to travel and spend time outdoors, which gives you a wonderful backdrop for your proposal.

Destination proposal
Proposing on vacation is a unique way to make a getaway even more memorable. Plan a surprise romantic destination getaway. As you arrive at your gate, go to the customer service desk and explain your plan to propose once on-board. Ask them to help you with your proposal by signaling you or calling you to the front of the plane the loud speaker. You might even get your seats upgraded! Just make sure you have your speech planned ahead of time!
Pro-tip: Call the hotel you plan to stay at and tell them you’re getting engaged. Ask if there is anything they can do to help make the occasion more memorable. Hotels are known for aiming to provide excellent customer service, so they’ll likely throw in an upgrade or at least a bottle of bubbly to celebrate your engagement.

Tourist + Paparazzi proposal
Pick a tourist destination location that is special to the two of you or that you’ve always wanted to travel to (Disneyland, Golden Gate Bridge, Times Square). Find the perfect moment and pop the question. The memories of your vacation and proposal will last a lifetime.
Pro-tip: Hire a professional photographer to capture the moment from afar. When you reach your destination, get down on one knee. You’ll have pictures of this special moment forever and she’ll cherish having it to share with family and friends.

Romantic view proposal
Find a restaurant that offers dining on the water (or an equally picturesque backdrop) and plan to end the meal around sunset. As your dessert arrives and the sun hugs the horizon, get down on one knee.
Pro-tip: Call beforehand and get their advice on the best way to propose in their restaurant. For example, ask the pastry chef to write: “will you marry me?” around the rim of the dessert plate). Or, if there’s a beach nearby, sneak away to the beach and write your proposal out in the sand or rocks and go for a stroll after your romantic meal.

Star-Gazing Proposal
Warm summer nights are perfect for staying up late and star-gazing. Pack a late night picnic and cuddle up on a blanket to gaze at the stars. Pop the question as soon as the moment feels right!
Pro-tip: The Perseid meteor shower, the brightest of all annual meteor showers, occurs in mid-August, reaching peak activity around August 11-13. Tell her to make a wish on a falling star, and while her eyes are closed get down on knee.

Fall Proposal Ideas

fall-couple-romantic-proposal
As the air starts to turn crisp and the leaves begin to change colors, you and your sweetheart may have the urge to get even closer, which makes it the perfect time to propose. Plus, with the array of colorful foliage, autumn is a great season for engagement photos!

Pumpkin patch proposal
Celebrate fall with one of your favorite childhood activities: going to the pumpkin patch. Pretend you’ve found the perfect pumpkin, but instead get down on one knee (make sure it’s not too muddy!), and pop the question.
Pro-tip: Too muddy at the pumpkin patch? Take your perfect pumpkin home and opt for carving “will you marry me?” into your pumpkin instead.

Maze proposal
Arrange a daytime or evening date to your local corn maze. Get ahead of her and be ready to pop the question when she turns the corner.
Pro-tip: Plan ahead and invite your friends to be there to celebrate when you’re done!

Haunted house proposal
Does your love have a spooky side? Plan an evening near Halloween for a frightful festive proposal. Suggest that you dress up as bride and groom for Halloween so your proposal pictures are even cuter. This is even better if you’re a couple that does “couples costumes,” since she won’t suspect anything.
Pro-tip: Call the haunted house ahead of time and arrange for some of the ghouls and goblins to be in on the surprise – ask them to hold banners that say “will you marry me?”

No matter how you choose to get down on one knee, we know she’ll love her Ritani engagement ring!

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out some additional proposal ideas!

404 ct diamond rough
image courtesy of robbreport.com

Earlier this year, a 404-carat rough diamond worth about $14 million was found in the African country of Angola. The diamond, which was 7 centimeters long, and the largest ever found in the region, has since been split into hundreds of brilliant diamonds. It takes hours of cutting and polishing to turn a rough diamond into something sparkling and beautiful, but have you ever wondered how exactly a diamond is cut? Read on to discover what it takes to turn a rough stone into a precious cut, jewelry-worthy diamond.

The Actual Diamond Cutting Process

The process of how diamonds are cut and polished can be broken down into five steps: planning, cleaving (or sawing), bruting, polishing and inspecting. The goal is to cut a rough diamond in a way that minimizes waste and removes inclusions while creating as many precious diamonds as humanly possible. Not just anyone can cut a diamond – due to the extreme difficulty, diamond cutting requires very specialized knowledge, tools, equipment, techniques and years of practice. A highly trained diamond cutter inspects the diamond rough from all angles to determine which areas would create the best diamonds with the least possible waste. This intricate inspection can take weeks for even the most skilled diamond cutter: each piece of diamond rough is unique and can be cut to form any diamond shape, but a diamond cutter can’t start until they have a plan.

For example, a piece of rough that’s shaped like a ball might yield two very nice round cut diamonds. The cutter would cut the rough at an angle to make two rounds out of each half, like so:

Ideal cut rough diamond

On the other hand, a piece of rough that is flat-shaped is usually better for a step cut diamond such as an emerald or asscher, since cutting a round shaped diamond out of a flat piece of rough would waste a lot of the valuable pieces of the stone.

If the rough diamond is irregularly shaped, the cutter might cut one side as a round stone and the other as a modified brilliant fancy shape like princess or radiant. The diamond rough might also have natural inclusions that the cutter wants to dispose of while cutting the rough. Whatever the type of rough, it takes an expert to determine how to cut it in order to maximize its value. In most diamond cutting labs, this is a specialized person whose only job is to determine where and how to cut the rough. Sounds like they’re always under a lot of pressure! (that was a diamond joke, get it?)

Diamond cutting wheel

2 Ways to Cut a Diamond: Sawing vs. Cleaving

Sawing is just what you would think: A trained diamond cutter uses a diamond saw (which itself has thousands of small diamonds on the blade) to cut the rough diamond in a sawing motion. Today, some cutters also use lasers instead of a manual saw to cut the rough. This is more common with smaller pieces of diamond rough that are under 1 carat in weight.

Alternately, when using the cleaving process, the diamond cutter uses a rod and hammer to strike the rough diamond at a precise point, splitting it into two pieces. In this case, the diamond cutter creates a mold that holds the rough and a small indent is made where the diamond is to be struck. In some ways it’s similar to cutting a piece of wood with an ax — however, it needs to be done with one strike and without any mistakes to yield two perfect pieces.

Diamond rough planning and marking

Shine Bright Like a Diamond: Bruting and Polishing

After the initial cut of the rough is done, the diamond cutter moves on to a process called bruting, in which two diamonds are rubbed together on a specialized machine to chip away at the rough. This begins to form the shape of the diamond. The bruting process must be done slowly over several days, because moving too quickly could shatter one of the diamonds as they grind against each other.

Once bruting is complete and the diamond has its basic shape, the diamond is passed on to another highly skilled craftsman for polishing on a wheel. A diamond polishing wheel contains a heavy piece of rotating diamond “sandpaper.” The diamond polisher moves the diamond against the wheel to create facets or step cuts, depending on the desired shape. It takes years to master the technique of faceting a stone without destroying it on the wheel.

Woman analyzes Pear shaped diamond

Once the final polishing is done the diamond is inspected, usually by the head diamond cutter. Once it is approved the new diamond is sent out to either the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gemological Society (AGS) laboratory to be graded. After it is returned from the lab, the diamond is priced and ready to become a treasure to a lucky person.

Shop loose diamonds now

To learn more, check out our Advanced Diamond Education, where we teach you everything you need to know about the anatomy of a diamond and how they are graded by the GIA and AGS.

The September birthstone is the stunning and enigmatic sapphire. Traditionally signifying nobility, faithfulness and truth, today the gemstone is known for its unique blue hue and symbol of status.

A Gem Fit for Royalty

kate middleton sapphire ring

Sapphires have long been associated with royalty, appearing on the robes of dignitaries and clergy throughout history. From Helen of Troy to Queen Victoria and Apollo to Pope Innocent III, sapphires have traditionally served as a mark of power. Perhaps the most famous modern example is Kate Middleton, who wears the 18-carat sapphire ring once worn by her mother-in-law, Princess Diana. It is considered one of the most well-known heirloom gemstone engagement rings in history.

Sapphire Specs

blue sapphire

The sapphire falls in the corundum family, which is the same gemstone group as the ruby. In fact, these stones represent two different hues of the same mineral. Corundum gems are known for their density and compactness. With a rating of 9, sapphires rank as the third hardest mineral on the Mohs scale after diamonds (10) and moissanite (9.5). Some sapphires appear with asterisms, which are star-like shapes caused by tiny inclusions. These distinct stones are known as star sapphires and are truly spectacular to behold.

A Curious Case of Color

Sapphires are commonly recognized for their deep blue hue, however they also occur naturally in a rainbow of other colors. This is due to a phenomenon called pleochroism, which accounts for different colors seen in different crystal directions. These variations can include shades of:

  • Green
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Yellow

Red is the only color in which sapphires do not occur naturally.

Famous Sapphire Stones

The most expensive sapphire gemstone ever recorded is known as “The Blue Belle of Asia.” The jaw-dropping gemstone, an untreated Ceylon sapphire dripping from a diamond tassel pendant necklace, is cushion-cut and weighs in at an astounding 392.52 carats. The Blue Belle sold for over $17 million at auction at Christie’s Geneva in November 2014, setting a world record for the highest price ever paid for a sapphire at auction. The buyer is reported to be extremely private and remains anonymous to this day. Other famous sapphires include:

The Logan Sapphire. Image sourced from wikipedia.org.
  • The Logan Sapphire: one of the largest sapphires in the world at 422.99 carats, the gem was given to the Smithsonian in 1960 by Mrs. John A. Logan.
  • The Richelieu Sapphires: a pair of 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat sapphire earrings once given to Odile de Richelieu as a wedding gift, selling for $8.3 million at auction at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2013.
  • The Star of Bombay: a 182-carat star sapphire from Sri Lanka on display at the Smithsonian, once given to silent film star Mary Pickford by her husband.
  • The Rockefeller Sapphire: a rare, rectangular-cut Burmese sapphire once owned by the Rockefeller family, 62 carats in weight and selling for over $3 million at auction at Christie’s NYC.
  • Bismarck Sapphire Necklace: a 98.6-carat stone from Sri Lanka cast in a diamond and platinum Cartier-designed necklace, given to the Smithsonian in 1967 by Countess Mona Von Bismarck.
  • Maria Alexandrovna’s Sapphire Brooch: purchased by Russian Emperor Alexander II at the Great London Exhibition of 1862 for his wife, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the 260.37-carat stone is known for its unusual blend of cut, clarity, size and color.

While sapphires have long been associated with important historical figures, nowadays one only needs to be born in September to harness the deep blue gemstone’s mystique.

Learn more at Ritani’s Gemstone Education center, or shop our selection of sapphire rings and jewelry now.

Pick your haute holiday look.

We’ve got your jewelry game covered, however you plan to spend the long weekend. The Ritani fashion gurus have curated 5 glorious looks that will make your Labor Day style a spectacular send-off to summer.
last-chance-white

From left to right: Gold earring jackets with freshwater pearls; Round milky quartz charm pendant; Freshwater cultured pearl chain bracelet.

barbeque-cute

Left to right: Smooth domed stud earrings; Star and wishbone layer necklace; Gold triangle bracelet.
long-weekend-layerings

Left to right: Rose gold open disk threader earrings; Ritani signature octagon station necklace; Diamond oval bangle bracelet.
you're-on-a-boat

Left to right: Love knot stud earringsRitani signature sapphire octagon pendantWhite gold anchor bracelet.

fall-into-fab

Left to right: Diamond leaf stud earrings; Gold curved diamond pendant; Beaded diamond bangle bracelet.

Want more? Shop all jewelry collections at Ritani.com.

Jackie Kennedy with Caroline Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy Onassis is one of the most well known women in modern history. While most admirers remember her for her time as First Lady, many others were mesmerized by her fresh fashion sense. Whether she was sporting a pink pillbox suit or a chic black-and-white combo, Jackie O. inspired an entire generation with her mod and eclectic style. Besides her clothing, the former first lady also dazzled us with an extensive collection of unique and iconic jewelry, including two of the most expensive engagement rings in history.

Becoming Jackie Kennedy

When John F. Kennedy proposed to a blushing Jackie Bouvier, he did so with a jewel truly unlike any other. The future president knew his bride-to-be had a particular love for emeralds, and his choice in ring did not disappoint. Vintage art deco in style and worth over one million dollars in 1953, the iconic engagement ring featured a 2.88-carat diamond alongside a 2.84-carat emerald. Both gems are surrounded by clusters of tapered baguette diamonds. As if this spectacle weren’t scintillating enough to behold, an extra 2.12 carats of round and marquise cut diamonds were added to the ring in 1963. This brought Jackie O’s engagement ring up to a total of 8 carats. Today, it is still considered one of the most iconic pieces of jewelry of all time.

The Lesotho III

What do you give the woman who has owned it all? Greek shipping mogul Aristotle Onassis answered that question in 1968, when he proposed to Jackie with the 40.42-carat marquise-cut diamond known as the Lesotho III. It is one of only 18 pieces cut from the staggering 601-carat rough Lesotho Diamond sourced from South Africa. The VS2 L-color gem was so precious that the former first lady only wore it twice before locking it away in a New York City vault. The Lesotho III ultimately sold at her estate auction for $2.59 million.

Expanding Her Collection

Jackie Kennedy wearing pearl brooch

Not only has Jackie Kennedy Onassis owned two of the most expensive engagement rings in history, but also an equally impressive collection of fine jewelry. In fact, the former first lady was well known in the jewelry world. Many of the pieces she accumulated through the years went on to sell for prices fit for royalty at her estate sale in April 1996:

  • A 47-carat Kunzite gemstone haloed by 20 round-cut diamonds, which was a gift from President Kennedy, sold for $431,250
  • Two Cabochon diamond and ruby ear clips, wedding gifts from Aristotle Onassis, sold for $360,000
  • A 17.68-carat ruby and diamond ring, sold for $288,500
  • A Cabochon ruby necklace, sold for $247,500
  • A pear-shaped diamond ring, sold for $156,500
  • A Cabochon garnet flower brooch, sold for $145,000
  • Two simulated pearl necklaces and a pair of diamond and pearl ear clips, sold for $112,500
  • A double-strand black stone necklace, worn by Jackie when JFK announced his presidential candidacy and when she was photographed with French President Charles de Gaulle, sold for $101,5000
  • A pair of simulated pearl necklaces and gilt metal ear clips, sold for $85,000
  • An amethyst necklace, sold for $55,000
  • A pair of 18-carat yellow and white gold ear clips, sold for $37,375
  • A pair of red briolette and amethyst earrings, sold for $35,000

By the end of the auction, buyers from all over the world had spent more than $34 million to claim treasures from Camelot.

A Stylish and Lasting Influence

Whether she was stealing our hearts with her impeccable fashion sense or dazzling us with her array of precious gems, Jackie Kennedy Onassis remains one of the most influential style icons in modern history. Although it may be too late to buy Jackie O’s engagement ring, you can still channel the former first lady’s style with modern designs. Emerald-and-diamond replicas continue to sell today, with gemstone engagement rings remaining popular choices and everlasting tributes to Jackie O, a true American gem.