|28.18ct Kashmir sapphire sold at Sotheby's for $5.1M in April, 2014|
Sapphires are a beloved precious stone. Britain's queen-in-waiting Kate's engagement ring is a sapphire and diamond creation. And it's not even the most coveted sapphire type, since those from Kashmir are considered the most valuable and rarest in the world.
Kate's ring is a valuable one of course, owing to its quality and provenance. Prince Charles paid about $45,000 US for the ultra blue sparkler in 1981. Princess Diana’s dazzling sapphire engagement ring now graces the finger of daughter-in-law Duchess Kate of Cambridge, and is worth about $480,000 US today, more than 10 times of its original purchase price.
WHAT, WHY & WHERE OF KASHMIR
But all things being equal, serious collectors go long for Kashmir sapphires which are all but mined out today. They originated in super high altitudes at mines deep within remotely accessed Jammu and Kashmir region at the northernmost tip of India.
|Red area show Jammu and Kashmir atop India|
|Micro-image of rutile silk in sapphire Courtesy GIA|