Spring's Stones - Sapphire, Opal and Topaz
Spring birthdays are the perfect occasions for jewellery presents. While we’re happy to turn our backs on another long winter and look forward to summer, just around the corner, spring offers just the right season to put a bit of sparkle back in our lives.
Fortunately, the three birthstones most associated with spring – sapphire for September, opal for October, and topaz for November – all offer just the right combination of dazzle, vibrancy and colour meaning that whatever type of setting you choose, you’re bound to make a good impression with your gift.
Second only to diamonds in terms of hardness, sapphires have been admired for millennia for their colour and transparency. They are associated with harmony, friendship, trust and loyalty, meaning that they’re the perfect present for a loved one or close friend.
Walker & Hall have a huge variety of sapphire jewellery including necklaces, rings, pendants and earrings to suit all price ranges and also including New Zealand designers such as Nick von K and Karen Walker.
Traditionally sapphires have always been famed for their deep blue colour, which makes them the perfect stone to offset the scintillation of a diamond, but, for those who don’t particularly like wearing blue or who like a brighter gemstone, they are now recognised to come in a wide spectrum including green, pink, yellow, orange and purple. You’ll find yellow, pink and golden sapphires among our collection.
Because of sapphire’s association with trust, reliability and loyalty, the stone has become a popular choice for engagement rings where it can, again, add a striking note to the traditional diamond setting. If you’re looking for an engagement ring for someone who’s born in September, or if you’re looking to propose during September, then choosing a sapphire-set ring is not only a stylish option but also a choice which is backed by symbolism and meaning.
Sapphire is also the traditional stone for a 45th wedding anniversary, but is a wonderful gift to mark any special anniversary because of its inherent message of friendship and loyalty.
This unique stone combines both an organic softness and a fiery intensity and has recently been linked by Vogue magazine to jewellery featured by trend-setting stars such as Rihanna, Cate Blanchett and Emma Watson.
As October’s birthstone, jewellery featuring an opal makes an ideal gift to mark a special anniversary or event for someone whose birthday falls in that month, or a birthday present to mark the day itself.
The vast majority of opal is mined in Australia, making it a stone with close ties to this part of the world. But, because opal is formed differently from most gemstones – its brilliant, fiery, flecked rainbow appearance is caused by silica spheres diffracting light and most stones can contain between 6% and 10% water – it makes up jewellery which tends to be bold and makes a striking statement.
Precious opals frequently feature flecks of white, orange, green, blue, yellow and red with black opals – which have a dark background against which the fiery colours are displayed – the rarest and most expensive varieties.
Walker & Hall’s opal collections often feature opals in white gold settings to highlight the stone’s intensity and range from large dress rings and pendants to elegant stud earrings.
Although topaz is traditionally associated with the golden hue of sunlight – from which it was believed by ancient Romans and Egyptians to derive its protective powers when worn as an amulet – it’s most commonly worn form as jewellery is a pale blue stone.
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge – has cemented its popularity as a modern, fashionable stone thanks to her blue topaz and diamond earrings, but its versatility and gentle tone makes topaz a perfect stone for stud or drop earrings, pendants, cocktail rings, pendants and necklaces.
Topaz is November’s birthstone and Walker & Hall have a great range of jewellery featuring the stone including New Zealand designer pieces from Karen Walker, Boh Runga and Meadowlark.
Topaz jewellery makes a great gift for a loved one or friend – but is equally as good if you want to brighten up your day or week with a special present all for yourself.