Kashmir Sapphires in India is set to capitalize on the international sapphire craze that has been sparked by Kate Middleton’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Prince William.
Demand for sapphires and replicas of the royal ring hit the U.S. and U.K. instantly, before finally increasing demand in India and as far as Hong Kong.
Preparing to benefit from the increase in popularity, J&K Minerals Limited, a state run mining company in Paddar, India has invited interest parties to bid for mining rights in a 6.65 square kilometer area.
“This step has been initiated to ensure competitive bidding at a large scale with utmost transparency,” Surjeet Singh Salthia, state minister for industries and commerce, told reporters.
The company claims that extreme geographical conditions and a lack of resources have limited commercial exploitation, something they are hoping to turn around with the recent increase in global demand.
Kashmir Sapphires are renowned for their clarity, transparency and unique peacock blue color. They are also usually used for high-value jewelry, and this level of demand for sapphires has not happened since the early 1980’s when Prince William’s parents became engaged.
In 1981 Prince Charles proposed to Diana Spencer without an engagement ring, but rather left it up to her to choose once she accepted his proposal. And in unusual Royal fashion, Diana opted for the oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which now sits on Middleton’s finger, from a jeweler’s catalog rather than a custom ring.
The world went crazy for sapphires then, just as they have now that Prince William used his mother’s ring to propose to his longtime girlfriend, marking one of the most anticipated engagements of the century.
And Verragio has not been spared the demand, with custom orders requesting sapphires pouring in since the royal announcement in November. Our Insignia 7005, for example, was custom made to feature a square center sapphire, surrounded by a halo of smaller round cut diamonds, in a geometric version of Middleton’s ring.
But for a subtle blue hue, the Couture 0410LR was ordered with the classic Round cut diamond center, but instead of having a band adorned with diamonds, this model instead was set with smaller Round cut sapphires on the band.