Lot 5 is a pair of early 20th century unheated certified Burmese and Ceylon sapphire and diamond earrings, the sapphires totalling 5.60ct.

Origin, no heat treatment and antique: Sapphires ‘literally glowed’ at Lichfield valuation

SAPPHIRES have captivated the world for centuries, with their beauty, rarity and natural perfection, writes Georgina Southam.

Over the past few years, sapphires of notified origin, together with evidence of no heat treatment have demanded a premium price; when you also factor in that the sapphires are antique the results can be record-breaking.

Origin, no heat treatment and antique. It is these three factors that contribute to the current high demands of high-quality coloured gemstones.

One busy valuation day here at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, I was presented with two antique jewellery boxes – one a ring box, the other an earring box.

I always relish the anticipation on a valuation day as you never quite know what you are going to find inside.

To my delight intense blue coloured stones shone back at me, each surrounded by bright and lively diamonds.

Lot 6 is an early 20th century unheated certified 4.16ct Burmese sapphire and diamond ring.
Lot 6 is an unheated certified 4.16ct Burmese sapphire and diamond ring.

As if this was not enough to please the eye, I immediately knew the sapphires were of fine quality. They literally glowed. The intense vivid colour and inclusions visible within indicated to me that the sapphires were possibly to be of an historically important origin and were also more than likely a natural colour.

However, it can be very difficult to tell.

The next step was to send the jewellery to a gemmological laboratory. So off they went to AnchorCert GemLab in Birmingham, where it was established the sapphire in the ring was Myanmar (Burmese) with no evidence of heat treatment. The sapphire was estimated to be 4.16ct and assessed as a vivid blue colour.

The two sapphires to the earrings were also of notified origin, one sapphire Myanmar (Burmese) and the other Sri Lanka (Ceylon), estimated total sapphire weight 5.60ct, colour also assessed as vivid blue.

I thought they were glowing back at me for a reason.

Georgina Southam MIRV, FGA DGA BA (Hons) is an independent jewellery and watch valuer and consultant with Richard Winterton Auctioneers. Book a free auction estimate now via jewellery@richardwinterton.co.uk or telephone 01543 251081 and ask about our professional services including probate and insurance valuations.

The sapphire earrings and ring are Lots 5 and 6 respectively in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques & Home Sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre on Monday, March 27, starting at 9.30am. The catalogue will be online a week before the sale via our Auction Dates page.

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