Kings Plains Sapphire is a beautiful, rare, blue gemstone from Kings Plains in the Australian state of New South Wales. Kings Plains Sapphire embodies a gem’s quintessential ideals: genuine rarity, breathtaking beauty and everyday durability; making it one of the world’s most coveted gemstones.
Few people realize that Australia is actually one of the world’s major Sapphire sources. Kings Plains Sapphire comes in beautiful, rich royal blues whose finest examples can rival Sapphires from renowned localities with an historic pedigree, such as Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Expert cutting is absolutely critical for Kings Plains Sapphire and every gem is carefully faceted by experienced lapidaries in a manner that doesn’t sacrifice brilliance for weight. Kings Plains Sapphire is finished eye-clean, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones, with a superior polish that results in a beautiful luster.
Ranging from pastel through to midnight blue, approximately 90 percent of Australian Sapphires are blue, with the majority displaying rich royal to midnight blues. The second most prevalent color are greenish blues, followed by greens and yellows. Occasionally color change (Alexandrite-esque and greenish yellow to orangey pink), mauve, orange, pink, purple, and star (black or bronze very similar to those from Bang Kha Cha in Thailand’s Chanthaburi Province as well blue, blue-gray, gold, and green) Sapphires are found, but they are extremely rare. Color banding is very common in Australian Sapphires and this feature is actually more prevalent and better developed than in Sapphires from other deposits. Coarse to very coarse banding of blues, greens and yellows results in the uniquely beautiful Particolored Sapphire. The most attractive of all Particolored Sapphires and one of the most beautiful gems of the entire Corundum family, is the Wattle Sapphire, whose blend of green and gold are reminiscent of Australia’s national flower the Wattle (Mimosa).
The birthstone for September, Sapphire is a truly mesmerizing gemstone with a rich history, potent symbolism, and a popularity spanning over 2,500 years. Ruby and Sapphire are color varieties of the mineral Corundum (crystalline aluminum oxide), which derives its name from the Sanskrit word for Rubies and Sapphires, ‘kuruvinda’. Trace amounts of elements such as chromium, iron and titanium as well as color centers are responsible for producing Corundum’s rainbow of colors.
Discovered in 1854, the Kings Plains Sapphire deposit is an ancient dry riverbed located northeast of the town of Inverell in the Australian state of New South Wales. Our Kings Plains Sapphire is sourced from the Wilson Gems Mine, a fourth generation mine to market family operation; the principal miner, John Wilson, has been working Australian Sapphire fields for 50 years. While the Kings Plains deposit is one of the richest Sapphire fields ever mined, less than 50 percent are of a rich royal blue color and for every one ton of earth processed only 6-8 carats of finished gems are extracted. Most Sapphire crystals mined range in size from a grain of sand to the size of a pea, which typically yields small accent gems to two carat gemstones. Larger gems are rarely found.
With mined land reclaimed into lush pastures replanted with native vegetation, the Wilson Gems Mine is environmentally friendly. As gullies and eroded areas are filled-in, the reclaimed pastures are actually more productive. The Australian Department of Mineral Resources actually wants every miner in the state of New South Wales to review the excellent rehabilitation processes at the Wilson Gems Mine.
During the late 80s, Australia was the leading producer of Sapphires supplying 70 percent of the world market, with the New South Wales gem fields accounting for more than half of this production. Although this has decreased in recent years, Sapphire production in New South Wales remains significant.
Durability & Care
One of the world’s hardest gemstones (Mohs’ Hardness: 9), Kings Plains Sapphire is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Kings Plains Sapphire should always be stored carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.