Gemstones, Birthstones, Gemstone Jewelry

 

Sapphire

September Birthstone - History and Lore

September Birthstone Sapphire The beauty of sapphire is beyond words. A gorgeous blue sapphire set in fine white gold or platinum makes a brilliant piece of jewelry. Sapphires are one of the most desired gemstones for fine jewelry especially engagement rings and wedding bands. So what makes these gems so special? Why they are so famous, and a ‘must-have’ for jewelry lovers and gem collectors?

To get the answers to these and many such questions we should go back and start from the inception. Let us rediscover the history and beauty of sapphires to know the reasons of its unbeatable popularity.

Sapphire History

Sapphires have a well-versed history, which is full of lore, legends, myths and beliefs. The gem was considered a symbol of truth, nobility, wisdom and faithfulness. It was one of the favorite gems of royals and clergy for centuries. Derived its name from Greek word ‘sappheiros’, meaning blue, this gem is greatly used as an anniversary present for 5th and 45th anniversaries.

Sapphire was considered a sacred stone. Ancient people believe that the tablets containing the Ten Commandments were made of sapphire. These tablets were so strong that they could smash a hammer swung against them into pieces. Not only that, it was also a belief of ancient Persians that the earth rests on a giant sapphire, the reflection of which gives the sky its distinctive blue color.

The birthstone of September, this royal and sacred gem was a part of High Priest Aaron’s breastplate. The stone is very popular for its mystical and healing properties.

The kings and queens in ancient Greece and Rome consider the stone a protector against harm and envy. The clergy in the Middle Ages was convinced that wearing blue sapphires brings the heavenly blessings that protects against envy and harm. It was also known as a stone to protect chastity, bring good fortune, and make peace between enemies.

The gemstone was highly valued by royalty across the globe, who wore the stone as a symbol of wisdom, virtue and power. It was also used as a traditional engagement ring stone because the gem symbolizes strong bonding, love and eternal commitment. Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and Princess Anne have received sapphire engagement rings. The Crown Jewels of many royal houses are full of unique blue sapphire jewelry and to this date, the heirloom pieces are enticing the world with their mesmerizing beauty.

Sapphire Science and Mystery:

Sapphire is a member of corundum family and share the family with ruby (the red member of corundum). Sapphire can be found in a rainbow of colors except red. The major component of the stone is aluminum oxide and the trace elements like iron, titanium, copper, chromium or magnesium are responsible for the color of the gem.

With a hardness of 9 on moh’s scale, sapphire is the second hardest gemstone on the planet. This property of the stone along with its hexagonal pyramidal structure makes it a perfect stone to be cut into any shape.

Sapphires, in natural form, contain inclusions and flaws. These flaws often affect the value of the gem. When the stone has symmetrical needle-like rutile inclusions called star, it becomes very valuable. However, if the inclusions are not symmetrical and highly visible they can greatly reduce the value of the stone. Therefore, sapphires are often heat treated to enhance the clarity and color. The treatment is permanent and does not cause any harm to the stone.

Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, North America, India, Africa and Thailand have significant sapphire deposits. The Kashmir sapphires from India and Ceylon sapphires from Sri Lanka are the most valued sapphire varieties. Kanchanaburi sapphires from Thailand are another popular variety of this corundum.

Sapphire is considered as the ‘stone of heaven’. This precious gem is also called the ‘stone of destiny’. Symbolizing loyalty, love, sincerity and reliability, this gem is a perfect gift for marking a relationship. It is also believed as a good healer for ailments of nervous systems.

Sapphire Jewelry:

In ancient days, kings often wear bold sapphire statement rings, as it was believed that the stone helps in making wise decisions.

Due to its timeless beauty, brilliance and lovely symbolism, the stone is often used in engagement rings. British royal history has a long list of sapphire engagement rings, the most prominent of which is the sapphire and diamond engagement ring of Princess Diana.

Antique sapphire necklaces, tiaras, earrings, pendants, brooches, bracelets and many other significant pieces of sapphires contribute significantly to the royal jewels of many nations.

Alike royalty, celebrities also have a charm for this beautiful stone. No red carpet event is complete without welcoming few sapphire baubles.

Elizabeth Taylor’s love for sapphire jewelry is world famous.

Today, sapphire jewelry is one of the prominent choices of jewelry lovers. These days, fashionistas across the globe are looking for unique and classic sapphire jewelry. From proposal rings to designer earrings and pendants, everything set with sapphire is a hot trend.

Now that you know the varying factors that directly and indirectly contribute towards the popularity of these precious gems, your next sapphire purchase will become more meaningful.