An outstanding sapphire.
“PEOPLE [WHO ARE] LOOKING FOR A TRULY UNIQUE STONE ARE SIMILAR TO A CONNOISSEUR”
A little country off the coast of India is home to some of the most remarkable treasures of our planet. A sapphire from Sri Lanka comes in many colors, not just blue. Depending on trace elements contained, a sapphire can show yellow, green, or orange variations. This is not an exhausted list. What it shows’, though is a glimpse of the varieties that exist. But what makes a sapphire an outstanding piece? “Several factors come to mind”, Stefan Kreis explains, “such as intensity of color, how well cut the gem is, size, origin, clarity, and treatment.”
These are the six factors taking influence on a gem’s price. With a customer base which is more and more educated, simply having a sapphire, emerald or ruby isn’t enough. Asked about the clientele, Alexander Kreis responds that “people [who are] looking for a truly unique stone are similar to a connoisseur. They value the process as much as the finished sculpture or jewelry.”
THE APPROACH TO CUTTING
“I LIKE TO PLAY WITH WHAT NATURE HAS GIVEN ME”
Many of the gems found are often cut in such a way, as to preserve as much weight as possible. Keeping an eye on the right proportions is neglected. As a result, many of the stones do not reflect the light “properly”. This leads to a stone with not as many reflections, or richness of color it could have.
Asked about Alexander’s cutting, he had to say this: “I like to play with what nature has given me. One of the fascinating facts about a gem is that it is always a reflection of its origin. If I have a sapphire with a rich, deep sunflower like yellow, I want to encapsulate its natural beauty and bring out the best in it. I take my time to find an individual approach for each rough-stone, because no stone is the same. Forcing them into a standardized cut would almost certainly waste a lot of its potential.”
IT’S THE COMBINATION
“INFORMATION AND SECURITY”
In the end, it is the combination of all six factors that shape a sapphire into a special piece, worthy to be handed to the next generation. But some stones are being treated to reach a more desirable color, and thus are not as valuable. Size, too, can help to achieve a deep color. Sapphires from Burma or Sri Lanka tend to depict a more beautiful color. As a matter of fact, the name Padparadscha was originally reserved for stones from Sri Lanka, with a color reminiscent of a lotus flower. However, a bigger size usually makes a stone more prone for inclusions and impairs their clarity. Finding a stone of unusual clarity and size makes a gem that more special.
“We like to provide our clients with the same details, information and thus security as if the roles were reversed. This is why we also work with institutions of higher learning, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)”, says Vanessa Kreis.