Sapphire – The Stone Fit For Royalty
Sapphire is one of the most recognized gemstones in the world along with Diamond, Ruby and Emerald.
It has been a source of fascination and inspiration for as long as there are records of its existence and it has decorated the robes and jewelry of royalty for centuries.
Sapphire is a particular favorite for the British and other European Royal families. Ancient kings and queens of Greece and Rome believed that Sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm and in the Middle Ages, Sapphires were often worn by royalty as amulets to ward off evil.
Did it work?
We don’t know, but what is known is that Sapphires have the power to bring extraordinary feelings of aristocracy and eminence, an air of elegance and purity, and probably the reason why Prince William proposed to Kate with his mother Diana’s Blue Sapphire and Diamond engagement ring.
Every girl dreams of owning that pure royal blue stone, thats why….
Walter S. Arnstein, began importing sapphires into the United States in 1939.
He had a great passion for the natural beauty of sapphires. In 1939, gemstone enhancements and synthetic stones had not yet been invented; so Walter dealt only with natural untreated sapphires.
In the early 1900’s, diamond engagement rings became popular in the US with the emergence of the immigrant middle class. However, many people still could not afford the high price of a diamond and looked for alternative gemstones. This created a burgeoning market for diamond substitutes.
White quartz and other colorless gemstones could not be used for engagement rings as they were too soft and brittle to survive everyday wear. White sapphires, however, were extremely durable and became the best alternative to a diamond. Walter Arnstein recognized the potential in white sapphires and specialized in this unique market.
Walter knew about mining, gemstones, and gold. The family roots in gem cutting and mining go back to Germany in the mid-1800’s. Walter’s parents arrived in New York in the late 1870’s and soon went out west to prospect. Samuel Arnstein, Walter’s father, settled in Leadville, Colorado during a mining boom in 1880.
Samuel Arnstein prospected for gold, silver, and copper in New Mexico, Colorado and Montana before returning to New York where he raised a family. Samuel’s son, Walter, became our founding president and continued the family trade of mining and selling gold and precious gemstones.
Gemstone and gold mining was a popular family business venture in the New World, and Walter Arnstein developed an early interest in investing in gemstones and mining.
The gemstone trade proved to be a lucrative business prospect. There was little competition at the time and the jewelry trade in America was growing rapidly. Walter Arnstein narrowed the company’s focus to buying and selling sapphires and other precious gemstones.
During the latter half of the 20th century, white sapphires were the most popular alternative stone for an engagement ring. Walter Arnstein successfully applied for and obtained patents on marketing white sapphires under various trade names.
Cubic zirconias eventually took over the white sapphire market in the 1970’s when Russian scientists discovered how to synthetically create them. But, white sapphires have seen a resurgence in popularity in the past few years and continue to own a fair share of the engagement ring market.
Running the business was a family affair and Walter’s wife, Janette, worked side by side with Walter for over 50 years. She assisted with marketing, sales and was a meticulous bookkeeper.
Seymour Arnstein, Walter’s son, joined the Natural Sapphire company in the early 1970’s and continued the family tradition of working with natural sapphires. While stock markets have fluctuated, the value of our sapphires has always endured. We continued to expand our business as the demand for natural untreated sapphires grew during the past 25 years.
Michael Arnstein, our 3rd generation president, began working at the company in the mid-1990’s and was the driving force behind creating our e-commerce website.
Now, after 80 years in business, we continue to lead the industry. We are a team of gemologists, designers, jewelers, CAD engineers and craftsmen, dedicated to preserving the company’s roots and offering the best selection of rare and beautiful natural sapphires.