Kashmir Sapphire region

Kashmir Sapphire

Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayan region, Kashmir sapphires stand as a testament to nature's artistry and geological wonder. These fascinating gems have captured the hearts of collectors, connoisseurs, and jewellery enthusiasts for generations, with their intense blue hues and remarkable rarity.

In this exploration of Kashmir sapphires, we embark on a journey through their exceptional characteristics, captivating history, and the allure that has made them one of the most coveted gemstones in the world. Join us as we uncover the mystique, history, and sheer elegance that define the Kashmir sapphire, a gemstone that transcends time and tradition.

Gold Kashmir Ring

What is Kashmir Sapphire?

Many times rarer than the D Flawless Diamond, Kashmir sapphires are unrivalled in their quality and are coveted by gem collectors the world over. They are known for their exquisite velvety blue colour with a subtle hint of violet.

The allure of Kashmir sapphires lies not only in their captivating colour but also in their scarcity and historical significance, making them one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.

Distinctive Qualities

There are defining characteristics that distinguish Kashmir sapphires from other types of sapphires:

Velvety blue colour: They exhibit a unique, intense blue hue with a velvety texture and a subtle violet undertone.

Exceptional transparency: Kashmir sapphires often have exceptional clarity and transparency, enhancing their visual appeal.

Gold Kashmir Sapphire and diamond  Ring

Why are Kashmir Sapphires Blue?

Kashmir sapphires exhibit their distinct blue colour due to trace elements within the crystal structure of corundum, the mineral from which sapphires are composed. In the case of Kashmir sapphires, the presence of iron and titanium impurities gives rise to their deep blue hue.

Additionally, the specific geological conditions and unique environment of the Kashmir region, particularly in the Zanskar Range, play a crucial role in nurturing these sapphires with their exceptional and sought-after velvety blue colour.

History & Origin

Kashmir sapphires owe their name to the Himalayan state in northern India, where a landslide in the early 1800s laid bare a deposit of magnificent blue stones. In 1882, the Indian Museum confirmed that they were true sapphires, the mine was purchased by the Maharaja of Kashmir, and the remote valley was mined intensely until 1887, when the supply was exhausted and mining was officially halted.

Today, the remote area of the mine is heavily guarded by private police to deter thieves from entering and attempting to find one of these legendary gems. Kashmir sapphires set the standard for all sapphires, and to own one is to own a piece of history. Due to be being discovered only in the 1800s, Kashmir sapphires are often cut in an old mine cut style, with large open facets, which further enhances their velvety and ‘sleepy’ qualities and gives them an antique charm.

Despite many attempts over the centuries, gemmologists have been unable to discover another deposit in the area, making Kashmir sapphires all the more sought after. Sizeable Kashmir sapphires are exceptionally rare: only a handful of high quality stones over five carats exists in the world.

Kashmir Ring

The Irresistible Allure of Kashmir Sapphires

The irresistible allure of Kashmir sapphires transcends their rarity and origin, extending to their captivating presence when adorning jewellery. These sapphires' velvety blue colour adds an exquisite and timeless elegance to any piece, from rings and necklaces to earrings and bracelets.

The best cuts for Kashmir sapphires often include the classic round brilliant cut and the cushion cut, as these shapes enhance the gem's inherent brilliance while showcasing its unparalleled blue hue.

Kashmir sapphires infuse jewellery with an allure that is simply enchanting and impossible to resist.

Cartier Platinum Panther brooch with Kashmir Sapphire

Remarkable Moments in Kashmir Sapphires History

An impressive 152.35 carat Kashmir sapphire in a cabochon cut was used in a platinum panther brooch for jewellery collector Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor, in 1949. And in 2019, an exceptionally rare necklace featuring 21 Kashmir sapphires of 109.08 carat with diamonds was sold for nearly $14.9 million.

Kashmir Sapphires at Pragnell

Since its inception, Pragnell has sought out these rare gems for its discerning clients. Kashmir sapphires rarely appear on the market, but our gem buyers occasionally discover exquisite examples in Edwardian and Art Deco jewellery. We select the very best of these, prioritising brightness and richness of colour over the ‘velvetiness’ that can occasionally make the gems seem sleepy or hazy. Whether kept in their original jewel or re-set into a one-of-a-kind Pragnell Masterpiece, these 200-year-old Kashmir sapphires will be treasured for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. Should you want to find out more please feel free to contact us and begin your Pragnell experience.

Kashmir sapphires vary in price due to size, colour, and quality, typically ranging from thousands to tens of thousands per carat, with exceptional pieces fetching more.
Kashmir sapphires are highly valuable due to their rare, velvety blue colour, scarcity, and notable historical significance in the gemstone world.
To determine if your Kashmir sapphire is genuine, you can verify its authenticity by obtaining certification from a recognised gemological laboratory and consulting a certified gemologist or experienced jeweller.
To care for your Kashmir sapphire, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals and temperature changes. Clean it with a soft cloth, and store it separately to prevent scratches.
No, a sapphire must exhibit the distinct velvety blue colour and originate from the Kashmir region to be considered a Kashmir sapphire.

Discover More Rare Gemstones

Contact Us