|Gemstones and Other Materials||0.88ct 'Royal Blue' oval Burma sapphire, no heat - with certificate|
0.75ct 'Pigeon's Blood' oval Burma ruby, no heat - with certificate
|Setting||22ct yellow gold with maker's mark and London assay marks|
|Weight description||18.44 grams|
|Dimensions||UK finger size R, US finger size 8.5|
Band: 4.89mm (centre back)
Historically, the term ‘pigeon’s blood’ has been used to describe the most beautiful and coveted colour for rubies, allegedly due to its similarity in colour to the blood of a pigeon. Opinions differ as to the exact origin of the term with some saying it came from the Burmese, others that it was first used by the Chinese who had previously owned the area where the Burmese ruby mines were discovered and yet others sighting it as having Hindustani origins where lapidaries compared the colour to the blood red of a pigeon’s eye. Whatever the truth, one thing everyone agreed on is that only rubies of the finest vivid red colour with deep saturation and which showed a soft red fluorescence in daylight were referred to this way. Today rubies from both Burma and Mozambique can show this coveted colour and be certified as such.
Whilst rubies from Burma are justifiably revered around the world, their sibling sapphires were, for many years, somewhat overlooked. The Victorian London jeweller Edwin Streeter described them as being overly dark and, despite this not being the case, his opinion was repeated by others and seemed to stick. It took decades to reverse this but today Burmese sapphires are recognised for the wonderful gems they are, indeed many view them as surpassed only by sapphires from Kashmir. Burmese sapphires are found predominantly in alluvial deposits in the Mogok area in close proximity to rubies. Whilst rubies account for the majority of the gem output, sapphires forming only 10-20%, it is the sapphires that occur in larger sizes with rough weighing 40/50/60/cts not uncommon. Burma is also now known for producing excellent star sapphires, these rare gems appear to have a bright six rayed star floating just under the surface and are very beautiful. The best Burmese sapphires, like this one here, possess a rich, desirable intense blue with excellent saturation however they also occur in lighter shades as well as in purple, yellow and green.