When I attended the AGTA Spectrum Awards editor event last month, a certain fireball of a sapphire ring caught my eye.
Featuring a sunburst design with an 11.35-ct. oval orange sapphire surrounded by yellow diamond sun rays set in richly textured 22k yellow gold, it’s the work of Michael Endlich, owner and chief designer at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design, a store-cum-workshop-cum- showroom with locations in Oakland and Berkeley.
Turns out, there’s a lot more where that came from.
Not surprisingly, sapphires are a stone Endlich and his team are particularly passionate about. “They occur in every color of the rainbow, which is amazing, but just as importantly, they’re a hard and durable stone, making them a great choice for everyday wear,” says Endlich.
Naturally, the current inventory contains many a gorgeous blue sapphire, but other colors are emerging as new favorites. For example, Endlich reports an uptick in the demand for padparadscha and other shades of peachy-pink sapphires. “These are beautiful, feminine colors, colors we see in nature, particularly in lotus flowers,” says Endlich. “But this color family has always been desirable and will undoubtedly continue to be.”
To source the majority of their sapphires, the team works with an elite group of gem dealers who make regular buying trips to Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and other parts of Africa, as well as Vietnam. “Our skill is being able to pick the cherries from their carefully curated collections,” says Endlich. “The key is building relationships with the dealers who find the best gemstones.” It’s a practice he’s made a priority since founding Pavé in 1983, and, paired with his distinctive, hand-hewn aesthetic, it’s something that’s helped him win innumerable awards and distinctionsover the years.
At the moment, Endlich reports that a number of one-of-a-kind sapphire rings are currently in the works—about 30 will be ready by December, just in time for holiday proposals. He’s especially excited about a new marquise orange sapphire ring (you can take peek at the wax model in the photo below).
And now, a look at some of the other sapphire stunners, straight from the vault.
Triangular Ring featuring a 1.36 ct. prong-set trillion-cut padparadscha sapphire surrounded by 0.25 ct. tw. diamonds set in platinum with a matte redwood bark finish, $10,995; Michael Endlich at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design
Diamond Shape Ring featuring a 3.07 ct. hot pink sapphire center stone accented with 0.20 ct. tw. pink diamonds set in platinum with a matte redwood bark finish, $23,500; Michael Endlich at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design
Three-stone ring featuring a half-bezel set 2.03 ct. cushion-cut blue sapphire flanked by 0.38 ct. tw. bezel-set marquise diamonds in platinum, $12,750; Michael Endlich at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design
Four-Prong Ring featuring a 5.73 ct. oval faceted orangey-pink sapphire flanked by 0.44 ct. tw. round brilliant diamonds set in platinum, $39,450; Michael Endlich at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design
Prong-Set Ring featuring a 2.52-ct. yellow oval sapphire center stone surrounded by 0.80 ct. tw. round brilliant green diamonds set in platinum, $12,450; Michael Endlich at Pavé Fine Jewelry Design