|The most famous sapphires in the world are from Kashmir, and they are extraordinarily rare.|
New sapphires are rarely discovered in Kashmir today, and most of the material that exists was discovered more than 100 years ago. Kashmir sapphires are highly valued because the best specimens have a superb cornflower blue colour and a sleepy quality (due to rutile inclusions) that has been described as "blue velvet."
|Between 1882 and 1887 the mine was very productive, yielding sapphire crystals of exceptional quality and size. By 1887 declining production led the Maharajah of Kashmir to request geological assistance from the government of British India, in the hope of finding more material. The British geologist found the original mine to be exhausted.|
Exploration failed to uncover new sapphire. Geological surveys were undertaken, but the marvels that came out of the original mine were never matched.
Sapphire earrings with sapphires of 26.66 and 20.88 carats; $8,372,094 ($176,106 per carat) at Sotheby's Geneva November 2013 sale.
Star of Kashmir
Cushion-shaped sapphire of 19.88 carats set in a diamond ring; $3,483,017 ($175,202 per carat) at Christie's Geneva May 2013 sale.
A 42.28-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring - $3,458,420.
A cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire ring of 8.91 carats, by Tiffany & Co.
A 26.41-carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch sold for $3,838,508 in November 2011.