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Nov 08, 2016

Is it Sappharine or Saphiret?

Saphiret is a unique type of glass often used in vintage costume jewelry. It was first created in the late 1800s by melting gold and mixing it with sapphire-colored glass. This was first done in Gablonz, Czechoslovalia. The technique creates a red-brownish coating, which reflects blue on its surface in the light and because it is glass material, it has an opaque style and particular weight different from other gem stones.

Saphiret jewelry decreased in popularity after the increase in the value of gold, making the materials used to create the jewelry not as cost effective. Eventually, production of saphiret glass went away, which in turn makes the remaining pieces quite rare and more valuable for jewelry collectors. Versions of the glass which use less gold tend to have a bluer coloring, distinguishing themselves from early production of saphiret. Because of its niche market, there tends to be more collectors of the glass than there is saphiret jewelry available, giving authentic pieces a premium price.

Perhaps the best way to gauge saphiret authenticity is by photographing it. Because of the way it is made, light refracts, making photography difficult. Depending on the angle, viewers will see two completely different colors: blue or brown!

The mocha look to the jewels gives a rustic appeal, one that melds well with a variety of fashionable looks ranging from formal to casual, complementing newer and unique outfits alike. The natural hue also screams vintage and suggests a mature and rare stone.

Saphiret vintage costume jewelry is often labeled interchangeably with Sappharine stone, but old time collectors make a distinction between the two. Sappharine is a more modern version (typically post-1940) and has a paler hue and different cut from the original. Saphiret is often used in conjunction with many pieces, creating intricate necklaces, pendants and rings. The rarity of the stone due to the gold means that collectors sometimes have to go out of their way to find authentic pieces.

So if you’re looking for a piece of jewelry that contains history, that is rare and that still reflects elegance without being overbearing, then saphiret is a fine material to check out and add to your vintage costume jewelry collection.


(photo credit)

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