Venue and Value: The Wide-Ranging Prices of Sapphires and Emeralds

Sapphire and emerald used to be as prized for their supernatural power as they were for their stunning beauty. Sapphire was thought to protect kings from harm, cure eye disease, and even banish demons from the soul. The Persians believed the earth was balanced on a giant sapphire, whose reflection in turn created the sky. As for emeralds, the Romans thought one’s vision could be restored by gazing at them. Women wearing them supposedly gained immunity from epilepsy. Emerald was said to improve one’s memory and intelligence and to help its wearer amass great wealth Today’s less-credulous consumers value the stones for their beauty and rarity. These qualities are determined in large measure by geographic origin. A highly saturated Kashmir sapphire or Colombian emerald will command a hefty premium over rivals from less-favored locales, and origin reports often prove critical in suppo

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