Hill's Kashmir Sapphire

  • According to Afrojack the 19.88-carat, cushion-shaped, Star of Kashmir Sapphire is the most expensive Kashmir sapphire in the world, having sold for US$ 3,484,102, a world record price, for a whole stone and price-per-carat, ever paid for a blue sapphire. However, I am sorry to say, that Afrojack is probably mistaken, as he might not have been aware of another Christie's Magnificent Sale held in Hong Kong in November 2011, at which another cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire weighing 26.41 carats and set as the centerpiece of a sapphire and diamond brooch, sold for a whopping US$ 3,838,508 or US$ 145,342 per carat. According to the renowned gemologist Richard W. Wise's blog, - "The GemWise Blog" - the price realized by the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire is a new world record for a Kashmir sapphire both for single stone and price-per-carat, pushing the 22.66-carat, Hill's Kashmir Sapphire that held the previous record of US$ 3,064,000 to second place.

    The price of US$ 3,484,102 is the second highest price realized for a Kashmir sapphire, and hence the 19.88-carat "Star of Kashmir Sapphire" is actually the second most expensive Kashmir sapphire in the world, followed by the Hill's Kashmir sapphire which occupies the 3rd place and the Rockefeller sapphire occupying the 4th place.

    Two images of the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire, the current world record holder for the most expensive sapphire, is attached to this post.

  • Thanks Mary for your update. Your contribution has indeed helped us a lot in setting the record straight on the most expensive Kashmir blue sapphire in the world.

    Hence it follows that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd most expensive blue sapphires in the world are all Kashmir sapphires followed by a Burma (Mogok) sapphire - the Rockefeller Sapphire - which occupies the 4th place. The order of the most expensive blue sapphires still conform to the Richard W. Hughes market ranking of blue sapphires based on origin, viz. Kashmir-Burma (Mogok)- Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and everything else.

  • As a contribution to the on-going discussion on Kashmir blue sapphires, I am uploading the following image of a natural, untreated Kashmir blue sapphire weighing 11.15 carats, with a cushion shape and a modified brilliant-cut crown and modified step-cut pavilion, measuring 13.70 x 9.54 x 8.49 mm, with geographic origin certified as Kashmir that appeared at a saffronart online auction of fine jewels and watches held on October 30 & 31, 2012. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 137,255 - 156,865 was placed on the sapphire which eventually sold for US$ 133,623, just below the lower estimate. The sapphire was certified natural, untreated and originating from Kashmir by two renowned laboratories the GIA (Gemological institute of America) and GRS (Gem Research Swisslab).

  • I am afraid that the list of most expensive blue sapphires in the world needs further revision after the stunning performance of some exceptionally beautiful Kashmir blue sapphires at the Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels Geneva Sale held on November 13, 2013. The two lots that did creditably well are :- Lot 332 - A Very Fine Sapphire Ring - set with a cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire weighing 21.42 carats, accompanied by SSEF and GGL reports stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating, with a highly attractive and saturated blue color - poetically also referred to as 'royal blue'- and an outstanding purity. A pre-sale estimate of USD 741,139 - USD 991,819 was placed on the lot, but the lot was sold for a stunning USD 3,231,584, which was 4 times the lower estimate and 3 times the upper estimate.
    The price realized makes the 21.42-carat Kashmir blue sapphire the 3rd most expensive blue sapphire in the world after the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire that sold for US$ 3,838,508 at the Christie's Hong Kong Sale in November 2011 and the 19.88-carat, cushion-shaped, Star of Kashmir Sapphire that sold for US$ 3,484,102 at the Christie's Geneva Sale on May 15, 2013. This pushes the 22.66-carat Hill's Kashmir Sapphire that sold for US$ 3,064,000 from the 3rd-place to the 4th-place, and the 62.02-carat Rockefeller Burma Sapphire that sold for US$ 3,031,000 to the 5th-place.

  • The other lot containing Kashmir blue sapphires that did extremely well at the same Sotheby's auction was Lot No. 371, titled THE RICHELIEU SAPPHIRES, A PAIR OF RARE AND MAGNIFICENT SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND EARRINGS. Each of the earrings is set with a cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire one weighing 26.66 carats and the other 20.88 carats, suspended from a star surmount set with a cushion- and pear-shaped diamonds. A pre-sale estimate of USD 2,506,793 - 4,577,622 was placed on the pair of earrings, from the Collection of Odile de Richelieu, Countess Gabriel de La Rochefoucauld, Princess de La Rochefoucauld (1879-1974). The lot is accompanied by reports from SSEF and GGL stating that the sapphires are of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating. A note accompanying the SSEF report is very informative and interesting :- "The two gemstones form a perfectly matching pair in size and shape, combined with an attractive velvety blue colour and a fine purity. The inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of sapphires from the reputed historic deposit in Kashmir, located in a remote part of the Himalayan Mountains in India. The velvety blue of these sapphires is due to very fine and subtle inclusions and a combination of well-balanced trace elements in these gemstones, typical and characteristic for the finest sapphires of Kashmir. In addition to these qualities, these sapphires have been spared exposure to heat treatment and their clarity and colour are thus all natural. A matching pair of natural sapphires from Kashmir of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional."
    The lot was eventually sold for a whopping USD 8,358,520 which was 3 times the lower estimate and almost 2 times the upper estimate. The price realized undoubtedly sets the world record for a matching pair of Kashmir blue sapphires set in a pair of earrings, but being a pair, does not interfere with the rankings of the most expensive single Kashmir blue sapphires given above.

  • Thanks Mary for your latest updates on the Kashmir blue sapphires. It is not surprising that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most expensive single blue sapphires sold at auctions are all Kashmir blue sapphires, given the premium value attached to these sapphires and the top place given to Kashmir blue sapphires in the market-ranking based on origin, viz. Kashmir - Burma - Ceylon - everything else, as stated by Richard W. Hughes in his authoritative book "Ruby & Sapphire."
    With regard to the Richelieu Sapphires that sold for a staggering USD 8,358,520, given the fact that the sapphires were sold as a pair, one weighing 26.66 carats and the other 20.88 carats, they may not interfere with the ranking of the most expensive single sapphires just given. However, disregarding the weight differences of the two sapphires, and dividing the total value realized by the pair of sapphires by two, you obtain the figure USD 4,179,260. Thus, if we assign half the total value of the two sapphires to each of the sapphires in the pair irrespective of their carat weight, the value of USD 4,179,260 obtained for each sapphire is still greater than the value of USD 3,838,508, the highest price realized by the most expensive blue sapphire in the world, the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire that sold for US$ 3,838,508 at the Christie's Hong Kong Sale in November 2011.
    Hence, one might argue that any one of these two Kashmir blue sapphires with a value of USD 4,179,260 might be considered as the most expensive single blue sapphire in the world !!!
    The price-per-carat value of the Richelieu Sapphires taken as a whole is USD 8,358,520/26.66+20.88. This works out to USD 175,821, the highest price-per-carat value realized by any sapphire at an auction.

  • Hi everybody ! I think I have stumbled upon another Kashmir sapphire, perhaps the largest of such sapphires, weighing 42.28 carats, a cushion-shaped stone mounted on an 18k white-gold ring with half-moon diamond shoulders, that sold for US$ 3,458,420 at Christie's Geneva Sale 1359, JEWELS: THE GENEVA SALE held on November 20, 2008. The lot was accompanied by three reports, one by the SSEF, another by GGL and a third report by C.Dunaigre Consulting GmbH, all confirming that the sapphire is a natural Kashmir blue sapphire, with no indications of heating. I am sure this finding will undoubtedly have a bearing on the list of most expensive Kashmir blue sapphires. An image of the blue sapphire ring is uploaded below for the benefit of participants in this discussion.

  • Thanks Peter for your update. I think this thread on the Hill's Kashmir Sapphire had generated a lively and informative discussion on blue sapphires in general and the rare and exceptional Kashmir blue sapphires in particular. It has also helped to bring out information on exceptional Kashmir blue sapphires that had performed very well at public auctions conducted by leading auction houses, such as this 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped stone which you helped to highlight. In fact the auction of this gemstone had taken place in Geneva on November 20, 2008 just an year- and-a-half after the sale of the Hill's Kashmir Sapphire at Christie's New York City on April 25, 2007.
    The Hill's Kashmir Sapphire was sold for US$ 3,064,000, setting a new world record price, for price per carat, and whole stone, ever paid for a blue sapphire and this record seems to have been broken at least for a whole stone on November 20, 2008 just one-and-half years after it was set, by the 42.28-carat Kashmir sapphire selling for US$ 3,458,420.
    Let me now list the sapphires we have dealt with so far in the chronological order in which they were sold at public auctions.
    1) Rockefeller Sapphire - 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Burma (Mogok) blue sapphire; sold at Christie’s New York, in April 2001 for US$ 3,031,000; price-per-carat - US$ 48,871
    2) Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - 22.66-carat, cushion-cut; sold at Christie's New York on April 25, 2007 for US$ $ 3,064,000; price-per-carat- US$ 135,216
    3) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire; sold at Christie's Geneva on November 20, 2008 for US$ 3,458,420; price-per-carat - US$ 81,798
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire; sold at Christie's Hong Kong Sale in November 2011 for US$ 3,838,508; price-per-carat - US$ 145,342
    5) "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - 19.88-carat, cushion-cut; sold at Christie's Geneva Sale on May 15, 2013 for US$ 3,484,102; price-per-carat - US$ 175,256
    6) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire; sold at Sotheby's Geneva Sale on November 13, 2013 for USD 3,231,584; price-per-carat - US$ 150,867
    7) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires; sold at Sotheby's Geneva on November 13, 2013 for USD 8,358,520; price-per-carat - USD 175,821


    If these blue sapphires are arranged in descending order of their whole stone prices we have the following list :-
    1)26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - US$ 8,358,520 - November 2013
    2) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,838,508 - November 2011
    3) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - US$ 3,484,102 - May 2013
    4) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,458,420 - November 2008
    5) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,231,584 - November 2013
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - US$ $ 3,064,000 - April 2007
    7) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - US$ 3,031,000 (Mogok sapphire) - April 2001
    Hence, the world record price for whole stone since November 2013 is held by the 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat Richelieu Sapphires that sold for US$ 8,358,520 at Sotheby's Geneva in November 2013.


    If these blue sapphires are arranged in descending order of their price-per-carat values we have the following list :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    5) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    6) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    7) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001
    Hence, the world record price for price-per-carat among blue sapphires is held by the 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphire since November 13, 2013
    [/align]

  • Another Kashmir blue sapphire, not so significant in terms of its size but with all the exceptional qualities of Kashmir sapphires such as its lovely saturated velvety-blue color, mounted on a platinum ring by Tiffany & Co. with diamond shoulders, appears to have set a record-breaking price-per-carat value at Christie's New York in December 2012. The cushion-cut velvety-blue sapphire weighing 8.91 carats sold for a stunning US$ 1.37 million, which was 5.5 times the lower estimate of of US$ 250,000 and almost 4 times the upper estimate of US$ 350,000. The price-per-carat achieved by this sapphire was US$ 153,759,considered by Christie's as a new world record for price-per-carat for a Kashmir sapphire. I do not know where in the list given above would this Kashmir sapphire fit in ?

  • Even though the Kashmir sapphire is only 8.91 carats, the color and cut of the stone are indeed outstanding !!! Moreover, Tiffany's ring setting highlighting the unique characteristics of this sapphire, has made this an outstanding piece of jewelry. Hence, the stunning performance of this ring at the auctions, going for over a million dollars. Thanks rashid for your valuable contribution.

  • The 8.91-carat Kashmir sapphire highlighted by rashid occupies the second place in the 2nd-list above reflecting blue sapphires registering highest price-per-carat values. Hence, as of now this sapphire has registered the second highest price-per-carat value for any blue sapphire sold at public auction in the world. However, in December 2012 it set a record-breaking price-per-carat value of US$ 153,759, pushing the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire with a price-per-carat value of US$ 145,342 registered in November 2011, to second place.
    It is important to note that mathematically highest price-per-carat values are usually registered by gemstones that have lower carat weights but still register very high prices at auctions, due to their exceptional qualities. The present record holder for price-per-carat value, the 19.88-carat "Star of Kashmir" sapphire is one such gemstone.

  • The 8.91-carat Kashmir sapphire highlighted by rashid occupies the third place in the 2nd-list above reflecting blue sapphires registering highest price-per-carat values. Hence, as of now this sapphire has registered the third highest price-per-carat value for any blue sapphire sold at public auction in the world. However, in December 2012 it set a record-breaking price-per-carat value of US$ 153,759, pushing the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire with a price-per-carat value of US$ 145,342 registered in November 2011, to second place.
    It is important to note that mathematically highest price-per-carat values are usually registered by gemstones that have lower carat weights but still register very high prices at auctions, due to their exceptional qualities.


    Accordingly, the revised highest price-per-carat list for Kashmir sapphires runs as follows :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    8) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001

  • I have found at least three more Kashmir sapphires that appeared at Public auctions but not listed above. One of these with a unique cabochon-cut, weighing 31.53 carats mounted in a gold and platinum ring and within a circular-cut diamond surround, was sold at the Christie's New York sale in April 2012 and fetched a price of US$2,658,500.
    The other two appeared at Sotheby's Geneva Sale in May 2013. One of this was an 11.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire set in a ring that was sold for US$1,110,370 and the other a 6.90-carat Kashmir sapphire also set in a ring with marquise-cut diamond shoulders that sold for US$444,775.

  • Thanks AnitaP for your update. The images of the Kashmir blue sapphires you uploaded are indeed very stunning. In the light of the information provided by you, I am trying to figure out whether the lists provided earlier needs further revision. You have joined in our discussion after a long period of silence. Hope everything is fine. We are eagerly looking forward for more contributions from you.

  • In the list of blue sapphires registering very high whole-stone prices, all the blue sapphires listed had recorded prices above dollars three million. None of the three Kashmir blue sapphires mentioned by AnitaP come within this range, and hence will not alter the list of six blue sapphires given above. If at all they are added to the list it has to be after the 6th blue sapphire in the list.
    However, if price-per-carat (PPC) values of the three sapphires are considered, they may find a place in the list of blue sapphires registering high price-per-carat values.
    The PPC values of the three blue sapphires are as follows :-
    1) 31.53-carat, Cabochon-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - Whole Stone Price (WSP) - US$2,658,500; PPC - US$84,316
    2) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP - US$1,110,370; PPC - US$94,822
    3) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP - US$444,775; PPC - US$64,460


    Accordingly, the revised highest price-per-carat list for Kashmir sapphires shall run as follows :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$94,822 - May 2013
    8) 31.53-carat, cabochon-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$84,316 - April 2012
    9) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    10) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$64,460 - May 2013
    11) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001

  • Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2013, featured seven blue sapphires from the main sources countries Ceylon,Burma and Kashmir, set mainly in rings and at least one set as the centerpiece of a brooch. At least one of these blue sapphires fetched over a million dollars, two sapphires between half-a-million to one-million dollars and the remaining four sapphires between US$100,000 to US$500,000.
    The List of blue sapphires and the prices fetched by them are given below :-
    1) 25.51-carat, step-cut, Burmese sapphire set in a ring - USD 695,943
    2) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir sapphire set in a ring - USD 1,110,370
    3) 43.27-carat, pear-shaped, Burmese or Ceylon sapphire set as the centerpiece of a pendant/brooch, surrounded by collet-set cushion-cut and circular-cut diamonds - USD 545,243
    4) 30.52-carat, rectangular step-cut Ceylon blue sapphire set in a ring, with baguette diamond shoulders - USD 168,492
    5) 6.90-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir blue sapphire set in a Bulgari ring with marquise-cut diamond shoulders - USD 444,775 ppc
    6) 28.21-carat, oval-cut Ceylon blue sapphire set in a ring by Graff, with triangular diamond shoulders - USD 344,309
    7) 13.57-carat, rectangular step-cut, Burma blue sapphire set in a ring surrounded by a double row of brilliant-cut diamonds - USD 231,284

  • Thanks AnitaP for all the trouble you have taken in fishing out this valuable information about blue sapphires that appeared at Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2013. The images you have uploaded are indeed very stunning and give an insight into the beauty of blue sapphires originating from the main source countries of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Burma and Kashmir. The much-valued cornflower blue color appears to be common to all the blue sapphires you have highlighted, irrespective of the source country.
    Since the sale of the seven blue sapphires you have highlighted took place at the same Sotheby's auction held on May 14, 2013, we can use the prices achieved by them at these auctions, to compare the prices achieved by blue sapphires from different sources and make appropriate conclusions. However, as the weight of the sapphires vary from 6.90 carats to 43.27 carats no direct comparison could be made. The ideal method of comparing prices achieved, would be to calculate the price-per-carat achieved by each stone and then comparing the price-per-carat values.
    The price-per-carat achieved by each blue sapphire you have listed in the same order given by you are as follows :-
    1) 25.51-carat, step-cut, Burmese blue sapphire - WSP US$695,943; PPC - US$27,281
    2) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP US$1,110,370; PPC - US$94,822
    3) 43.27-carat, pear-shaped, Burmese or Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$545,243; PPC - US$12,600
    4) 30.52-carat, cut-cornered rectangular step-cut Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$168,492; PPC - US$5,520
    5) 6.90-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP US$444,775; PPC - US$64,460
    6) 28.21-carat, oval-cut Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$344,309; PPC - 12,205
    7) 13.57-carat, cut-cornered rectangular step-cut, Burma blue sapphire - WSP US$231,284 ; PPC - US$17,043


    Let us now arrange the PPC values in descending order from the highest to the lowest and indicate against them the source of the stone :-
    1) US$94,822 - Kashmir blue sapphire
    2) US$64,460 - Kashmir blue sapphire
    3) US$27,281 - Burma blue sapphire
    4) US$17,043 - Burma blue sapphire
    5) US$12,600 - Burma or Ceylon blue sapphire
    6) US$12,205 - Ceylon blue sapphire
    7) US$5,520 - Ceylon blue sapphire


    The above analysis shows that the highest PPC is registered by Kashmir blue sapphires, followed by Burma blue sapphires and then Sri Lankan blue sapphires. In other words there is a definite grading in prices of blue sapphires based on origin, which Richard Hughes in his book "Ruby & Sapphire" referred to as a market ranking based on origin, which according to him unfolds as follows :-
    1. Kashmir
    2. Burma
    3) Ceylon
    4) Everything Else


    Our analysis above provides statistical proof for Richard Hughes contention, based on actual auction performance of blue sapphires from the three main sources at an auction conducted by Sotheby's.

  • Two lots containing blue sapphires performed quite well at the Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite Spring Sale 2014, held on April 7, 2014. These are Lot 1760 - An Exceptional Sapphire and Diamond Ring and Lot 1766 - An Impressive and Rare Sapphire and Diamond Necklace.
    Lot 1760 set with a 20.04-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir Sapphire sold for US$ 2,614,701 equivalent to US$ 130,474 per-carat.
    Lot 1766 - whose centerpiece was a top-quality, cushion-cut Sri Lanka sapphire, with a saturated even blue color and extraordinary clarity, weighing 102.61 carats, sold for US$ 4,203,118 equivalent to price-per-carat value of US$ 40,962

  • A single unmounted Burma blue sapphire, oval-cut and weighing 114.73 carats seem to have broken the world record for a sapphire whole stone in November 2013, when it sold for USD 7,137,821 at the Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale. This works out to a price-per-carat value of USD 62,214. It appears that the sale of this blue sapphire had not entered this discussion, and the list of highest whole stone prices achieved for blue sapphires might need further revision. I am uploading an image of this sapphire as it would be relevant to the discussion

  • Thanks Anitap and Sunil for your updates. We are mainly dependent on your updates to carry on this discussion. In the context of the increase in demand for natural blue sapphires around the world, I think it is worthwhile carrying on this discussion, so that our readers would be well informed of the market trends for high-quality natural blue sapphires, arising from different sources. I really do not know how we missed such a significant Burma/Mogok sapphire weighing 114.73 carats that sold for US$ 7,137,821 at the Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held in November 2013. As you have rightly pointed out this Burma sapphire had broken the world record for a sapphire whole stone in November 2013, but in terms of price-per-carat of US$ 62,214 it is not significant, but still falls within the range for Burma sapphires. In any case this Burma Sapphire can now claim to be the most expensive Burma sapphire ever sold at an auction.

    The Sri Lanka sapphire highlighted by AnitaP with a weight of 102.61 carats that sold for US$ 4,203,118 is also significant in terms of its whole stone price, now occupying the 3rd-position in the list of Blue sapphires registering highest whole stone prices, but insignificant in terms of price-per-carat. The ppc of US$ 40,962, though not significant when compared to Kashmir blue sapphires is one of the highest ppc recorded for a Sri Lanka sapphire at an auction. Apart from that this blue sapphire is the most expensive Sri Lanka blue sapphire ever sold at an auction.


    The revised list of blue sapphires that recorded the highest whole stone prices at public auctions is given below :-


    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - US$ 8,358,520 - November 2013- Most expensive Kashmir blue sapphire sold at an auction
    2) 114.73-carat, oval-cut Burma blue sapphire - US$ 7,137,821 - November 2013 - Most expensive Burma blue sapphire sold at an auction.
    3) 102.61-carat, cushion-cut Sri Lanka blue sapphire - US$ 4,203,118 - April 2014 - Most expensive Sri Lanka blue sapphire sold at an auction.
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,838,508 - November 2011
    5) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - US$ 3,484,102 - May 2013
    6) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,458,420 - November 2008
    7) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,231,584 - November 2013
    8) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - US$ $ 3,064,000 - April 2007
    9) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - US$ 3,031,000 (Mogok sapphire) - April 2001


    The revised highest price-per-carat list for blue sapphires is given below :-


    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 20.04-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 130,474 - April 2014
    8) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$94,822 - May 2013
    9) 31.53-carat, cabochon-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$84,316 - April 2012
    10) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    11) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$64,460 - May 2013
    12) 114.73-carat, oval-cut, Burma blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 62,214 - November 2013
    13) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001
    14) 102.61-carat, cushion-cut Sri Lanka sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 40,962 - April 2014


    A study of the two lists above clearly shows that there is a definite grading in prices of blue sapphires based on origin - Kashmir, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) - as suggested by Richard Hughes in his book "Ruby & Sapphire". This grading is seen both for the whole stone prices and price-per-carat values. The first, second and third most expensive blue sapphires in the world are the Richelieu Kashmir sapphires, the 114.73-carat Burma blue sapphire and the 102.61-carat Sri Lanka blue sapphire that sold for USD 8,358,520, USD 7,137,821 and USD 4,203,118 respectively.
    The price-per-carat list also shows that the ppc of sapphires 1 to 11 varying from USD 175,821 to USD 64,460 all belong to Kashmir blue sapphires. PPC of 12 and 13 equal to USD 62,214 and USD 48,871 belong to Burma sapphires and PPC of 14 equal to USD 40,962 belongs to a Sri Lanka Sapphire.