PLATINUM UNHEATED AUSTRALIAN SAPPHIRE EARRINGS

3.9 tcw Unheated Australian Sapphire 1.27 tcw Santa Maria Aquamarine 0.34 tcw White Diamonds

Sapphire is my birthstone. During my 35th birthday in September 2013, I was just beginning to learn about gemstones. I went to Inverell, New South Wales, Australia -- a town nicknamed the Sapphire City. My hometown of Grinnell, Iowa is the Jewel of the Prairie, so I felt drawn to this kindred community.

A GIA survey estimated as many as 98% of all sapphires have been heated -- torched at jet engine temperatures to burn out impurities, making them appear less imperfect than they form in nature. I decided the best way to acquire rare, natural, unheated sapphires was to dig and cut my own from scratch. Australian Sapphire comes in a wide range of azure tones, but the darkest, royal blues are VERY hard to find. After faceting and sorting, only 16 violet-blues were made from an entire kilogram of mine-run rough!

At the top of each earring lies three white 2mm diamonds. Below that, a perfect aquamarine oval rests on three richly-saturated Santa Maria Aquamarine Princess cuts. Deep hues in Aquamarine are incredibly rare and difficult to find in melee sizes. For tiny little aquas, these babies are DARK!

Yet even the sky-blue sapphires one step down are darker. A smaller round with better clarity and saturation follows, then a break with a 2.5mm round diamond. A matching pair of perfect blues is second-to-the bottom, with the heaviest-colored anchors (5.75mm, 1ct+ ea) hanging at the lowest point.

The bottom right is brilliant with flawless color, while the other full-carat (bottom left) has a small touch of yellow. The extra tint adds a hint of blue-green ocean shades…but because the color zone is present, the gem is known to be unheated, since thermal enhancement destroys multiple tones, creating a uniform hue.

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$6,000 USD 3.45 oz Gold / 220 oz Silver 0.15 BTC