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The third, and final, installment in Gemfields’ series of coffee-table books dedicated to the “big three” gemstones, is scheduled to be released on October 5. Titled Sapphire: A Celebration of Color, the lavishly illustrated, 328-page book by Joanna Hardy takes the reader on a journey from early trade along the Silk Route to the jewelry collections of the great royal houses of Europe and the finest designers at work today.
As in her previous two books — Emerald: Twenty-One Centuries of Jeweled Opulence (2014) and Ruby: The King of Gems (2017) — the gemologist and jewelry historian leaves no stones unturned.
“Few things on our planet blend wonder, magic and mysticism quite like the ‘Holy Trinity’ of colored gemstones,” noted Gemfields CEO Sean Gilbertson. “They chart the history, heritage and legacy of humankind across millennia in a unique and captivating manner. Ten minutes spent browsing the marvelous photos on these pages will cheer any soul. Gemfields is truly honored to have played a small role in bringing these three works to life in a project that has now spanned almost a decade.”
In Sapphire, Hardy charts the enduring popularity of this mesmerizing blue gem, from the 4th century BCE to the present day. She also explores sapphire’s spiritual connection with the planet Saturn in Hindu astrology and its imputed ability to protect against disease and impart friendship, peace and wisdom.
Hardy also dives into sapphire’s famous associations, from Elizabeth Taylor, who wore sapphires copiously, to Queen Victoria, who was given one by Prince Albert on the eve of their wedding.
“Sapphire is an unassuming gem,” stated the author. “It has been overshadowed by diamonds, rubies and emeralds for decades, but ignore it at your peril, for sapphire is a titan of the gemstone world.”
Featuring a rich, royal-blue silk cover with gold-foil blocking, Sapphire: A Celebration of Color will be published by Thames & Hudson in association with Violette Editions. The cover price is £85 ($125).
Credits: Images courtesy of Gemfields.