Sapphires have few rivals in the world of gemstones. They belong to the corundum group of minerals, classified as a 9 on the Mohs scale: only diamonds are harder than sapphires. While this gem is largely cherished for its beauty today, it was often used in the making of axes and other sharp tools in China as early as 4000 BCE. Perhaps this durability has lead many to attach the sapphire to attributes such as truth, faithfulness, and permanence.
It is perhaps the blue sapphire that is the most sought-after form of corundum. Sapphires come in a range of colors, including pink, orange, yellow and even clear to black, depending on the presence of certain minerals contained in the corundum crystal. While blue sapphires have small amounts of titanium and iron, a corundum crystal with chromium is red, and is called a ruby.
Blue sapphires can be found in as many shades of blue that grace the sky, from the near-black of a moonless night, to the smoky pale blue of the horizon on a summer day. In fact, the ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant blue sapphire, its brilliant color reflecting up into the sky.
Yuko Matsumura loves sea food, ice cream, and traveling. Although she aspired to be a piano teacher as a child growing up in Japan, Yuko now creates her own line of jewelry in a Brooklyn, New York, studio where her designs begin as a sketch on paper.
Yuko got her start creating silver jewelry in Japan, eventually becoming a certified instructor in 2002. She came to New York in order to attend a jewelry school to learn how to work with precious metals and gemstones.
When asked about the factors that have shaped Yuko’s unique designs, she lists her spiritual upbringing in Tokyo as well as the volcanic origins of both Japan and Iceland, her husband’s home country. “Landscapes that have been shaped by the flow of lava are a big inspiration to me,” says Yuko. “I try to express that force of nature in my jewelry.”
- 14k yellow gold
- set with 5.5-6mm rose cut Sapphire, 8mm bezel setting
- 1.5mm band
- TLC for your gold and precious gemstone jewelry