Original Sins

At Christie's Magnificent Jewels auction on April 25, a beautiful 22.66 ct. blue cushion oval brilliant sapphire was sold for just over $3 million, the highest price ever paid for a natural-color sapphire. The stone was accompanied by a Gübelin Gem Lab report noting that the stone had “characteristics consistent with those of sapphires originating from Kashmir,” and an AGTA report stating “probable geographic origin is Kashmir.” Neither report mentions quality. This event raises a number of questions: Is the stone from Kashmir? (Note that wording on the reports—characteristics consistent with and probable geographic origin—indicate not quite 100 percent certainty.) If it is from Kashmir, does it look like a Kashmir sapphire is supposed to? (Remember, neither report discussed quality, i.e., degree of excellence.) Is origin important? Burmese ruby, Kashmir sapphire, and Co

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