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Umbra Sapphire & Garnet Necklace 001

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$242.00
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Product Description

This necklace is made with untreated Umbra Sapphire and deep red Garnet gemstones.  The Umbra Sapphires are roughly 12mm by 14mm and I used PMC Paper Clay for the bezel settings and traditional chain mail techniques to join each bezel so the necklace bends and moves freely. The necklace measures 18 inches in length but is adjustable up to 21 inches.

Umba sapphire is a unique type of sapphire discovered in 1962 in the Gerevi Hills, north of the Umba River in the Umba Valley of Tanzania. Umba sapphires exhibit coloration not common to sapphires sourced from other parts of the world, and are recovered from the alluvial deposits of the Umba River. The sapphires I used to create this necklace are un-heated and appear in color as they would when found in the soil.  I have faceted the stones, but nothing else.

Sapphire Gemstone

In earlier times, some people believed that the firmament was an enormous blue sapphire in which the Earth was embedded. Could there be a more apt image to describe the beauty of an immaculate sapphire? And yet this gem comes not in one but in all the blue shades of that firmament, from the deep blue of the evening sky to the shining mid-blue of a lovely summer's day which casts its spell over us. However, this magnificent gemstone also comes in many other colors: not only in the transparent grayish-blue of a distant horizon but also in the gloriously colorful play of light in a sunset – in yellow, pink, orange and purple. Sapphires really are gems of the sky, although they are found in the hard ground of our 'blue planet'.

Blue is the main color of the sapphire. Blue is also the favorite color of some 50 per cent of all people, men and women alike. We associate this color, strongly linked to the sapphire as it is, with feelings of sympathy and harmony, friendship and loyalty: feelings which belong to qualities that prove their worth in the long term – feelings in which it is not so much effervescent passion that is to the fore, but rather composure, mutual understanding and indestructible trust. Thus the blue of the sapphire has become a color which fits in with everything that is constant and reliable. That is one of the reasons why women in many countries wish for a sapphire ring on their engagement. The sapphire symbolizes loyalty, but at the same time it gives expression to people's love and longing. Perhaps the most famous example of this blue is to be found in music, in George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". And the blue of the sapphire even appears where nothing at all counts except clear-sightedness and concentrated mental effort. The first computer which succeeded in defeating a world chess champion bore the remarkable name 'Deep Blue'.

Scientific properties                                             

Its beauty, its magnificent colors, its transparency, but also its constancy and durability are qualities associated with this gemstone by gemstone lovers and specialists alike. (This does not only apply to the blue sapphire, but more of that later on). The sapphire belongs to the corundum group, the members of which are characterized by their excellent hardness (9 on the Mohs scale). Indeed their hardness is exceeded only by that of the diamond – and the diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth! Thanks to that hardness, sapphires are easy to look after, requiring no more than the usual care on the part of the wearer.

The gemstones in the corundum group consist of pure aluminum oxide which crystallized into wonderful gemstones a long time ago as a result of pressure and heat at a great depth. The presence of small amounts of other elements, especially iron and chrome, are responsible for the coloring, turning a crystal that was basically white into a blue, red, yellow, pink or greenish sapphire. However, this does not mean that every corundum is also a sapphire. For centuries there were differences of opinion among the specialists as to which stones deserved to be called sapphires. Finally, it was agreed that the ruby-red ones, colored by chrome, should be called 'rubies' and all those which were not ruby-red 'sapphires'.

If there is talk of the sapphire, most gemstone aficionados think immediately of a velvety blue. It's a versatile color that becomes many wearers. A blue sapphire fits in best with a well balanced lifestyle in which reliability and temperament run together and there is always a readiness to encounter things new – as with the woman who wears it. The fact that this magnificent gemstone also comes in a large number of other colors was known for a long time almost only to insiders. In the trade, sapphires which are not blue are referred to as 'fancies'. In order to make it easier to differentiate between them, they are referred to not only by their gemstone name but also by a description of their color. In other words, fancy sapphires are described as yellow, purple, pink, green or white sapphires. Fancy sapphires are pure individualism and are just made for lovers of individualistic colored stone jewelry. They are currently available in a positively enchanting variety of designs - as ring stones, necklace pendants or ear jewelry, as solitaires, strung elegantly together or as sparkling pavée.

However, the sapphire has yet more surprises in store. For example there is an orange variety with a fine pink undertone which bears the poetic name 'padparadscha', which means something like 'lotus flower'. The star sapphires are another rarity, half-dome-cut sapphires with a star-like light effect which seems to glide across the surface of the stone when it is moved. There are said to have been gemstone lovers who fell in love with these sapphire rarities for all time. And indeed the permanence of relationships is one of the features that are said to belong to this gemstone.

Grading

Sapphires, call them gemstones of the sky though we may, lie well hidden in just a few places, and first have to be brought to light through hard work. Sapphires are found in India, Burma, Ceylon, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil and Africa. From the gemstone mines, the raw crystals are first taken to the cutting-centers where they are turned into sparkling gemstones by skilled hands. When cutting a sapphire, indeed, the cutter has to muster all his skill, for these gemstones are not only hard. Depending on the angle from which you look at them they also have different colors and intensities of color. So it is the job of the cutter to orientate the raw crystals in such a way that the color is brought out to its best advantage.

Depending on where they were found, the color intensity and hue of the cut stones vary, which means, later on, that the wearer is rather spoilt for choice. Should she perhaps go for a mid-blue stone which will remind her even on rainy days of that shining summer sky? Or should she prefer a lighter blue because it will continue to sparkle vivaciously when evening falls? The bright light of day makes most sapphires shine more vividly than the more subdued artificial light of evening. So in fact it is not, as is often claimed, the darkest tone that is the most coveted color of the blue sapphire, but an intense, rich, full blue which still looks blue in poor artificial light.

Specialists and connoisseurs regard the Kashmir color with its velvety shine as the most beautiful and most valuable blue. These magnificent gemstones from Kashmir, found in 1880 after a landslide at an altitude of 16,000 feet and mined intensively over a period of eight years, were to have a lasting influence on people's idea of the color of a first-class sapphire. Typical of the Kashmir color is a pure, intense blue with a very subtle violet undertone, which is intensified yet more by a fine, silky shine. It is said that this hue does not change in artificial light. But the Burmese color is also regarded as particularly valuable. It ranges from a rich, full royal blue to a deep cornflower blue.

The oldest sapphire finds are in Ceylon, or Sri Lanka as it is known today. There, people were already digging for gemstones in ancient times. The specialist recognizes Ceylon sapphires by the luminosity of their light to mid-blue colors. Having said that, most blue sapphires come either from Australia or from Thailand.

Their value depends on their size, color and transparency. With stones of very fine quality, these are, however, not the only main criteria, the origin of the gem also playing a major role. Neither is the color itself necessarily a function of the geographical origin of a sapphire, which explains the great differences in price between the various qualities. The most valuable are genuine Kashmir stones. Burmese sapphires are valued almost as highly, and then come the sapphires from Ceylon. The possibility of the gemstone's having undergone some treatment or other is also a factor in determining the price, since gemstones which can be guaranteed untreated are becoming more and more sought-after in this age of gemstone cosmetics. And if the stone selected then also happens to be a genuine, certificated Kashmir or Burmese, the price will probably reflect the enthusiasm of the true gemstone lover.

It is not often that daring pioneers discover gemstones on a scale such as was the case on Madagascar a few years ago, when a gemstone deposit covering an area of several miles was found in the south-east of the island. Since then, not only have there been enough blue sapphires in the trade, but also some splendid pink and yellow sapphires of great beauty and transparency. Meanwhile, experts in Tanzania have also found initial evidence of two large-scale gemstone deposits in the form of some good, if not very large sapphire crystals colored blue, green, yellow and orange. And the third country to register new finds recently was Brazil, where sapphires ranging from blue to purple and pink have been discovered. So lovers of the sapphire need not worry: there will, in future, be enough of these 'heavenly' gems with the fine color spectrum. Top-quality sapphires, however, remain extremely rare in all the gemstone mines of the world.

Care guide

Put your jewelry on last and take it off first. Complete your make-up before putting on your jewelry, so that the chemicals in hairspray and makeup won't damage the piece and you will have to clean it less often.


Remove your jewelry before doing any strenuous activities, housework or yard work to prevent the possibility of breakage. Although more durable than many other gemstones, sapphire can be shattered with one blow if struck hard enough.

Avoid exposing your sapphires to harsh chemicals, such as chlorine bleach, that can damage the setting.

Pour warm water into a basin and test it for temperature with your fingers. It should be a comfortable temperature, not hot and never boiling. Add mild dishwashing liquid to the water.

Place the sapphire jewelry in the solution. Soak from 10 to 20 minutes, depending to how dirty the stone is.

Remove the jewelry from the cleaning solution and clean the stones with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Rinse the jewelry with warm water and pat it dry.

Wrap each piece of sapphire jewelry in its own cloth to keep it from touching other pieces.

Place each piece in its own compartment in your jewelry box, separate from other gemstones, because harder stones will scratch softer ones. Only diamonds are harder than sapphires, while rubies are as hard as sapphires. All other gemstones are softer and will be scratched by sapphire.

Store your jewelry in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Avoid sudden temperature changes, which can crack the sapphire.


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