A customer wanted to have Mitsuko to design a sapphire ring for his wife. Since we have some
lively green sapphires in our collection, I was quite happy to show these lovely green gems. Mitsuko had been waiting for
a chance to make a design featuring these beautiful sapphires.
"These are beauties," I commented
as I showed him the sapphires, the rich green of the sapphire being accented by bluish tints in these eye catching gemstones
which, being dichroic, displayed two colors.
However, our long time customer was not as enthusiastic,
even though his wife had a collection of Mitsuko's designs. His eyes clouded. He raised his eyebrows and protested,
"These are not sapphires. Sapphires are blue."
I have reflected on that incident for
several days. Of course, sapphires can be an enchanting blue. For instance, one could get lost in the depth of the blue of
a Kashmir Sapphire for hours at a time. However, as beautiful as a sapphire blue is, sapphires are not limited to just one
color. Often, though, when people speak of sapphires they are thinking of blue gemstones. Be that as it may, this gem of
the heavens can be found in more colors than we can see in the arch of a splendid rainbow - every color, that is, except red.
You see, sapphires are varieties of a family of gemstones called "corundum." If the corundum is
red, it is known as "ruby." If it is another color it is called "sapphire." While the term 'corundum"
is useful for us gemologists as we identify and evaluate gemstones. I always tell my friends I am wearing a ruby or a sapphire,
not a corundum - a rather utilitarian word, one with little elan.
As to our customer, he left Shinjyu Jewelry
Company still secure in his world in which sapphires are always blue and roses are always red. But I must thank him for our
exchange: one learns from every encounter. I remember these days to make the distinction with customers between varieties
of gemstones and varieties of color.
As you might know, the ancients looked upon the sapphire as providing
a correct solution to a challenging obstacle. I have found a good solution to this corundrum conundrum. One that goes beyond
I shall let that traditional wisdom inform my delight as I befriend a wonderful purplish-blue Tanzanite,
a deep blue Indicolite, or a sea-blue Aquamarine, putting to the back of my mind for the moment that I am looking,as a gemologist,
at a Zoasite, a Tourmaline, or a Beryl.
Shinjyu Jewelry Company