THE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTOR
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Sapphires have always held great signifiance to the connoisseur of fine gems. To the gemstone collector and the jeweller, the name Kashmir in reference to sapphires has only one meaning: the most magnificent blue colour and the most sought after and valuable of all the shades and tones in which the stone is found. Among true connoisseurs, the Kashmir sapphire has no rival.
The source of these exceptional stones was a remote corner of the northwestern Himalayas where a rock slide in 1881 revealed sapphire-bearing rock. By 1882, the area was crowded with labourers and miners, all looking for the most beautiful sapphires ever to be found. Upon hearing of the superb gems, the Maharajah of Kashmir sent his own regiment to take possession of the mine and all private enterprise was forbidden. Extensive and productive mining went on for the next five years under his control and within a decade the sapphire rush slowed down as the mines offered less gems. By the 1930s, most of the mines were exhausted.
Kashmir sapphires command a much higher price premium than all other sapphires, not only for their rarity, especially those above 10 carats, but also for their rich, cornflower blue or velvety blue colour that have a mesmerizing sleepy quality. A result of numerous inclusions, sometimes known as “silk”, that can refract and diffuse the light entering the sapphire, giving the stone an overall soft appearance.
This extraordinary collection boasts six Kashmir sapphires in total, of various shapes. They all display the distinctive qualities most sought after in a Kashmir sapphire, as well as being of impressive size, weighing between 14.65 and 5.72 carats each.