February 24, 2021
Something Old, Something New
The beauty of modern blue engagement rings lives on today while embracing their past.
The unique colours of blue sapphires have captivated and mystified jewellery lovers for centuries. From old Persia lore, it was believed the sky was painted blue by the reflection of sapphire stones, and the ancient Greeks and Romans claimed that sapphires held powers of wisdom and health. In fact, the name sapphire comes from the Latin word ''saphirus'' and the Greek word '"sapheiros'', both meaning blue.
The popularity of blue sapphire engagement rings grew during the 13th century when Pope Innocent III instituted a mandatory waiting period “engagement” before marriage as it was widely believed that the colour of the sapphire in a ring would fade if it was worn by an impure or unfaithful person.
The belief that sapphires symbolised love, truth and commitment saw a resurgence of sapphire engagement rings among royal and wealthy families during the 14th and 15th centuries and then grew popular again during the Art Deco period.A blue sapphire ring is an expression of passion and honour and may look slightly different today than in the past but the message and intent remains the same.
The beautiful sapphire and diamond “toi et moi” ring that Napoleon presented to Josephine in 1795 featuring two tear-shaped stones that each weigh just under a carat could be considered a modern blue sapphire engagement ring for its time. The ring sold at auction in 2013 for $1.17 million.
Photo: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images
Josephine and Napoleon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The “Toi et Moi” ring has two main gemstones sitting side by side symbolising the union of two people - “You and Me”. This sentiment can be seen in the modern interpretation of a paired princess-cut diamond with an off-kilter pear-shaped diamond worn by Emily Ratajkowski.
The 12 carat blue sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring given to Catherine Middleton when Prince William proposed became a famous royal heirloom as it was once worn by his mother, Princess Diana, and is now valued at more than $500,000. A modern ring concept as it had been featured in the jeweller's catalogue, so anyone could have bought it (as long as they had $60,000 to spend on a replica).
The encircling of round, marquise and pear shaped diamonds scintillate with light and draw your eye to the central softer 3 carat blue sapphire of this exquisite modern halo ring.
Blue sapphires come in many shades of blue from a velvety deep royal blue hue, to the fine crisp clarity cornflower blue to softer sky-blue coloured stones. Each are scintillating and mesmerising in their own way. Along with their exceptional hardness the uniqueness of sapphires will inspire your imagination to create the perfect modern sapphire engagement ring or jewel that may become your heirloom from the past for future generations.