September Birthstone - Sapphire
Zodiac – Libra
Traditional stone for 5th, 45th and 70th Anniversaries
Custom Steven Kretchmer ring with bi-color sapphire
The name sapphire is derived from the Latin word ““saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue.
A Holy History
Blue sapphires were a holy stone to the Catholic Church and to ancient Persians, who believed sapphires made the sky blue with their reflections. To some religions, the blue color of the sapphire represents the heavens.
Papal Ring of Heinrich circa, 1100
Kings wore sapphires around their necks as a powerful defense from harm. They preserved the wearer from envy and attracted divine favor. In the 12th Century, the sapphire was known as the most appropriate stone for ecclesiastical rings. The Singhalese believed that the star sapphire served as protection and a guard against witchcraft.
The sapphire has for a long time, been identified with chastity, piety, and repentance. It brings wisdom and truth, increases perception and the understanding of justice. It helps find peace of mind and serenity and promotes a life of sincerity, helping preserve one’s innocence while learning life’s truths. Sapphires also are associated with romantic love, representing fidelity and romantic devotion. It also used for a quest to increase one’s faith, hope, and joy, and to keep thoughts pure and heavenly.
Sapphires Around the World
The word sapphire represents the non-red variety of corundum. Red corundum is called ruby; all other colors are sapphire. Sapphires come from several sources and in various tones, hues and saturations. When not blue, the stone is identified with the color as in pink sapphire. Blue is the most popular color but the Padparadscha sapphire, which is equal amounts of orange and pink, will warrant a higher price due to the rarity. Padparadscha is Singhalese for lotus flower and is held in high regard in Sri Lanka.
Kashmir has produced some of the finest quality stones but is more of a historical source since no significant production has come out for over a half century. The color can be intense with a velvety or sleepy appearance caused by tiny inclusions scattering light.
Burmese sapphires from Myanmar have a rich royal blue color.
Sapphires from Sri Lanka tend to be a little lighter and more brilliant.
Sapphires from Montana can have more of a green – gray added to the blue but the famous Montana Yogo sapphires from Yogo Gulch are naturally a coveted cornflower blue.
Yogo Sapphires Montana Sapphires
The majority of sapphires on the market have been heat treated to improve their color and, possibly, their clarity. The treatment is stable and often detectable by a trained gemologist.
Sapphires are 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, making them durable enough for everyday wear. Sapphires have been popular center stones for engagement rings since 1981, when Prince Charles gave Lady Diana Spencer a sapphire engagement ring (now on Duchess Kate’s finger).
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