When was the last time that you laid your eyes on a beautiful sapphire? A gemstone with interesting properties, sapphires have set several record sale prices at auction. In fact, the Rockefeller Sapphire, an incredibly rare Burmese sapphire, has made headlines for breaking a record sale price for a sapphire not just once but twice at $3,031,000 in 2001.

Sapphires over the years have captivated the world, not only with its grace and beauty but also with its almost natural perfection. It is why at auctions they are more likely to fare well than diamonds and rubies. Just to prove it and also for the curious amongst you, we have compiled the 10 best sapphires that have graced the leading auction houses around the world.

  1. 392.52-carat Blue Belle of Asia - $17,305,996

    The "Blue Belle of Asia" is the most popular blue Ceylon sapphire of all time. Apart from being the world's 4th largest faceted blue sapphire, it also claims the highest price achieved by a Ceylon blue sapphire at auction at a sweet price of $17,305,996. The Blue Belle of Asia holds the world record for any sapphire sold at an auction. And not only that! It was the first time that a blue sapphire/coloured gemstone lot had topped the sale at a public auction and it was no surprise for such a spectacular blue gemstone. This 392.52 carat, cushion-cut Ceylon sapphire brought Christie's Geneva auction last November 2014 to extra fame and increased the value of Ceylon sapphires in the market.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  2. The Richelieu Sapphires - $8,358,520

    In November 2013 Sotheby's Geneva auction declared this Kashmir cushion-shaped sapphire as the highest priced sapphire jewel in an auction. Weighing 26.66 and 20.88 carats respectively, the price per carat of this rare velvety blue stone is a whopping $175,821. Each stone shows no indications of heating and is supported with Gubelin and SSEF reports. According to the Swiss Gemmological Institute, the matching pair of natural sapphires from Kashmir of this size and quality is very rare and expensive. Being well-deserved of what it claims to be the "Finest Sapphires of Kashmir", the Richelieu sapphires auction price was set at $8,358,520.

    Photo Credit: Sotheby's

  3. 35.09-carat Kashmir Blue Sapphire Ring - $7,357,999

    An exceptional 35.09-carat Kashmir blue sapphire ring sold for $7,357,999 at Christie's Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels on May 2015. The sale which was almost 8 million in total, has established a new record price at auction for a Kashmir sapphire. According to the auction house Christie's, the ring ended up to a private anonymous Asian buyer at $200,000 per carat. The cushion-shaped sapphire ring is set with triangular-cut diamond shoulders and baguette-cut diamonds mounted in gold. The sapphire is of the notable velvety hue often compared to the colour of a peacock's neck feathers.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  4. 114.74-carat Unmounted Burmese Sapphire - $7,223,285

    What is so special with this oval Burmese sapphire? Apart from selling for an amazing price of $7,223,285 at Sotheby's Geneva auction in November 2013, this exceptional royal blue sapphire holds the world's auction record for the sale of a Burmese sapphire. Accompanied by SSEF and Gubelin reports, this sapphire with Burmese origin shows no indication of heat and is noted to have been perfectly cut from the rough crystal to show the finest royal blue colour.

    Photo Credit: The Natural Sapphire Company

  5. 130.50-carat Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Brooch - $7,127,453

    The Christie's Geneva auction in May 2011 caught the world's eye when this cushion-cut Burmese sapphire of 130.50 carats achieved a world record price of $7,127,453 until it was broken last November. The blue gemstone is the centrepiece of the rose-cut diamond and collet-set old-cut diamond frame, making a complete beautiful brooch. The SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute described the stone as rare with no indications of heating and exhibits an outstanding purity.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  6. 27.68-carat The Jewel of Kashmir - $6,700,000

    27.68 carat of pure awesomeness, this is what this gemstone is about. Kashmir sapphire took the centre stage again when a 27.68-carat Kashmir sapphire sold at a price of $6.7 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale last May 2015. The extremely rare sapphire exhibits an important size and said to display a highly attractive, saturated blue colour and outstanding purity, making it well-deserved of the price. According to its SSEF report, the sapphire's well-proportioned cutting style results in vivid blue hues with no heat treatment. Clarity and colour are all natural thus, the gemstone has been named "The Jewel of Kashmir".

    Photo Credit: Sotheby's

  7. Amazing Deep Blue 28.18-carat Kashmir Sapphire - $5,093,000

    This sweet 28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring sold for $5,093,000 at Sotheby's NYC in April of 2014. An anonymous buyer paid $180,731 per carat, a new auction world record for price per carat for any sapphire. The spectacular, unheated deep blue gem is encircled by 32 tapered baguette diamonds in a ballerina setting with a mounting by Oscar Heyman & Brothers. The setting, like a ballerina's tutu, draws your eye to the deep velvety blue of this prized gemstone. It is described by the American Gemological Laboratories as "a gem of singular importance."

    Photo Credit: Sotheby’s

  8. Sapphire and Multi-Gem 'Cote d Azur' Brooch - $4,569,684

    Anna Hu made the perfect sapphire masterpiece with her display of this brooch that features a 58.29 Burmese sapphire during the Christie's Geneva auction in November 2013. Sold at an eye-popping price of $4,569,684, this rare cushion-shaped sapphire pushed Anna Hu to fame as it gained the highest auction price per carat for a Burmese sapphire at $78,396 per carat. The blue large stone is adorned with diamond floral branch with moonstones, tsavorites, tourmalines, spinel, coloured diamonds and drop-shaped emeralds. As based from the report of SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute, the sapphire is of Burmese origin with no indications of heating.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  9. Impressive and Rare Sapphire and Diamond Necklace - $4,206,378

    One of the most beautiful sapphires from Sri Lanka took the centre stage during the last April 2014 Sotheby's Hong Kong auction in a form of this gorgeous necklace. The 102.61 carats Ceylon sapphire is surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds and fixed by a double-strand necklace set with brilliant-cut diamonds ends into a jaw-dropping price of $4,206,378, bringing Sotheby's another gemstone to remember. Accompanied by AGL and SSEF reports, the exceptional sapphire is natural with no indications of heating. AGL report also states that the sapphire has "unusual combination of size, provenance and absence of treatment."

    Photo Credit: Sotheby's

  10. 26.41-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Brooch - $3,838,508

    How do you like a rare large sapphire surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds all in one brooch? This 26.41 carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch combines a sapphire's elegance and diamond's brilliance. Sold for a massive price of $3,838,508 in November 2011 at Christie's Hong Kong auction, the supersize sapphire is wrapped inside two tiers of old European-cut diamonds mounted in 18K white, rose and yellow gold. Graded by SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute as rare without heat treatment and is of Kashmir origin.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  11. 47.15-carat Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Brooch - $3,648,894

    A sapphire brooch, no matter the size and shape, has always something magical to give and in May 2012 Christie's Geneva auction proved that sapphire brooches are total queens. Previously owning the record price per carat for a Burmese sapphire at $77,390, this 47.15 carat sapphire and diamond brooch by Mellerio is set in an old-mine cut diamond frame with single and brilliant-cut diamonds in ribbon detail. It was graded by SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute as rare with no indications of heating, making it well-deserved of the selling price of $3,648,894.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  12. The Star of Kashmir - $3,484,142

    The world is seriously not getting enough of sapphires as another sapphire ring wowed the auction house of Christie's last May 2013. The Star of Kashmir is a cushion-shape sapphire of 19.88 carats. It previously held the world auction record price per carat for a sapphire at $175,259. The two cushion-shaped diamonds flanked on each side weigh 3.02 and 2.72 carats, making the ring extra powerful-looking. SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute identified the sapphire to be extremely rare and a very exceptional treasure.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  13. 42.28-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring - $3,458,420

    Another cushion-shape sapphire has set fire during the 2008 Christie's Geneva auction. This 42.28 carat Kashmir sapphire is said to have an extraordinary story behind and highly desired by a lot of gem collectors due to its very unique variety. Rare and large, the sapphire is set in between half-moon diamond shoulders, mounted in 18k white gold. It held the world auction record with an amazing price of $3,458,420. The ring is gorgeous on the first look and identified to be of Kashmir origin with no indications of heating.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  14. 21.42-carat Kashmir Sapphire Ring - $3,231,584

    Sotheby's always never fail to give the most exciting auction results ever. When this 21.42 carat Kashmir sapphire was set to sell for auction in November 2013, a lot of auction goers have anticipated that this gemstone would sell at a high price. And it did! Coming from the Estate of a European Royal Princess, this fine Kashmir sapphire ring sold at a golden price of $3,231,584. Referred to as 'royal blue', this stone has an outstanding purity. It is accompanied with a Gubelin report stating that the stone is of Kashmir origin with no heat treatments.

    Photo Credit: Sotheby's

  15. Antique 22.66-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Pendant - $3,064,000

    What could go wrong for an old $3,064,000 sapphire pendant? As Christie's 2007 New York sale sets this Kashmir sapphire and diamond pendant as one of their highlights, auction goers have high hopes to claiming this almost-perfect piece of jewellery. Apart from being antique (the sapphire and diamond pendant it is believed to be circa 128 years old), the overall design and setting of the pendant is surreal. Surrounding the cushion-cut sapphire weighing approximately 22.66 carats are old-European cut diamonds mounted in gold. It gained attention when it owned the world auction record for a sapphire for a price per carat of $135,000 that year. The report from Gubelin Gemmological Laboratory states that the sapphire is free from heat treatments and is of Kashmir origin.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

  16. 62.02-carat The Rockfeller Sapphire Ring - $3,031,000

    The last of the list but never the least is the The Rockefeller Sapphire. Displaying so much brilliance, this 62.02-carat rectangular-cut natural unheated and untreated sapphire is mounted in platinum and flanked by diamonds. It sold for $3,031,000 at Christie's NYC in April 2011. The sleek and modern design once owned by the Rockefeller family, was created by Tiffany & Co. Its colour is classified as deep intense blue, characteristics of an exceptional Burmese Sapphire. Gubelin report showed that the sapphire is of Burmese origin and extremely rare.

    Photo Credit: Christie's

Sapphires have all the fascinating features you could imagine in a gemstone. And if you are contemplating having a sapphire ring, necklace or set of earrings made for you, check our collection of treated and non-treated sapphires to find your inspiration.

Meanwhile, here's a beautiful combination of dark blue, Kanchan sapphires with a pair of round medium blue Sri Lankan sapphires from us at Haruni Fine Gems.