Decoding Sapphires

The blue sapphire is one of the most enticing precious stones on the planet. It lights up a piece of jewellery with a radiance that only an experienced craftsperson can give it. We speak to the founder of heritage Mumbai jewellery brand Anmol, who tells us about combining sapphires with other stones to get a colour-blocked look, and the stone’s rising popularity in India.

Lifestyle Insider Cuff by Anmol crafted in 18 k gold and set with blue sapphires and diamonds (Meraki Collection)

For three decades, Mumbai-based jewellery maison Anmol has been dressing up Bollywood actors, industrialist wives and daughters, and lovers of fine beautifully crafted jewellery. It’s one of the go-to brands for the glamorous set when it comes to wedding jewellery. In fact, Bollywood stars like Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Lara Dutta Bhupathi, have chosen to wear Anmol for their wedding day. An Anmol trademark is artfully combining various precious stones with diamonds to create rich, refined pieces. Anmol’s founder Ishu Datwani tells us about the vivid-hued and majestic sapphire that is widely used in his various collections, such as the new ‘Meraki’ line for 2020, which blends blue sapphires and tanzanites.

Are the sapphire pieces part of a special collection?

Sapphires are a mainstay of our contemporary cocktail and bridal jewellery collection.

Lifestyle Insider Earrings by Anmol crafted in 18 k gold and set with blue sapphires, pearls, and uncut diamonds Lifestyle Insider Ishu Datwani, Founder, Anmol

What is special about using sapphires in fine jewellery-making? Is it easy to work with?

Sapphires add much-needed colour to jewellery, and make it vibrant. It is not a very hard stone to work with. Our craftsmen are of good calibre and have a lot of experience, so they don’t find it difficult to work with the sapphires.

Where do you source your sapphires from?

We source our sapphires from Mumbai itself, and the cutting and polishing of the stones is done in Jaipur. The origin of sapphires is multifarious. The best-quality blue sapphires actually are from Kashmir. Sri Lanka is well known for the fine quality and broad range of colours of the sapphires found there, predominantly yellow sapphires and blue sapphires.

Lifestyle Insider Bracelet by Anmol crafted in 18 k gold and set with coloured gemstones, rosecut and round brilliant diamonds (Meraki Collection)

What are the best determining factors of a sapphire's purity?

The colour is the most important factor for determining the purity and value of a sapphire – the more intense and uniform the colour, the more valuable it is.

Do you use yellow and pink sapphires – where are these from?

Yes, we use yellow and pink sapphires in our jewellery. Pink sapphires are found in Madagascar and Sri Lanka, and yellow sapphires are found in Sri Lanka.

What are the other stones that go well with sapphires, such as citirines and yellow diamonds?

We never use citrines with sapphires. We do a lot of interesting jewellery with multicoloured sapphires.

Lifestyle Insider Pendant set collection by Anmol crafted in 18 k gold and set with blue sapphires, emeralds, rosecut diamonds, and round brilliant diamonds (Wisteria Collection)

It's unusual to see blue sapphires and emeralds together in one piece – as in the necklace and the 'Wisteria' pendant set – what made you use these together?

We thought of using the concept of colour blocking with contrasting hues of emeralds and blue sapphires to add a unique dimension to the design.

Who designs the pieces – how big is your design team – and where are the pieces made?

We have an inhouse design team which comprises of two jewellery designers, and most of our jewellery pieces are manufactured in our workshop. I personally like to supervise each and every design and jewellery piece which goes into production.

Lifestyle Insider Ring by Anmol crafted in 18 k gold and set with blue sapphires, yellow diamonds, and marquise cut diamonds (Meraki Collection)

Do you think blue sapphires are becoming more popular in India?

Although blue sapphires are gradually becoming popular in India, unfortunately some people are wary of buying blue sapphires because of its perceived astrological significance. A lot of people still have a superstitious belief that blue sapphires don’t suit everybody, but compared to earlier times, there is a better acceptance of blue sapphires nowadays.

How do you do the pricing for a blue sapphire?

The price of a blue sapphire depends on the size and the quality. The smaller blue sapphires can be quite inexpensive if they are normal average quality. But if you go for bigger sizes and gem-quality Kashmir sapphires, the prices can be astronomical. Kashmir sapphires are avidly sought by collectors who are paying almost an astronomical price for it.

Which are your most popular blue sapphire pieces?

The contemporary blue sapphire jewellery pieces from our latest ‘Meraki’ collection are our most popular pieces.

Lifestyle Insider Necklace set crafted in 18 k gold with emeralds, diamonds, and yellow sapphires by Anmol


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

Contact Us

Mail us @