All You Need To Know About Sapphires 

prr3507spcThe name of the brilliant blue gemstone that is September’s birthstone is sapphire, which comes from the Greek word sappheiros and the Latin word saphirus, both meaning blue. Many people believe that the name derives from the stone’s association with the planet Saturn, and in fact the name is translated “dear to Saturn” in many languages.

tension-set-pink-topaz-ring-white-gold-enr7807ptcTradition has it that the sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity and faithfulness. Ancient Grecians and Romans believed that blue sapphires protected their wearers from envy and harm. Clergy wore sapphires during the Middle Ages as a symbol of Heaven, and the laymen thought that it imparted heavenly blessings upon the owner. Still others believed sapphires had the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, reveal the secrets of oracles, and influence spirits.

Although many people think that sapphires are always blue, that is, in fact, not true. The rare padparadschas is a special orangy pink sapphire. Padparadscha means lotus flower in Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. Though blue is by far the most popular color, the sapphire can be almost any color, including yellow, green, white, colorless, pink, orange, brown, and purple. Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum (the red variety is the ruby). On the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphire is the second hardest natural mineral at 9.0.

Inclusions of tiny, rutile needles create an optical property in the sapphire called asterism. This is what jewelers refer to as a star sapphire, usually only seen in cabochon cuts.

Although unusual, instead of the common six ray star, some star sapphires exhibit 12 ray stars. Even more rarely seen is the cat’s eye effect, where a thin band of light down the center of the stone is known as chatoyancy.

prp8027spA color changing sapphire shows different colors in different light, being blue in natural light and violet in artificial light. Heating colorless and very pale blue sapphires gives them an intense blue color and improves the clarity of the stones.

The sapphire was adopted as the official birthstone for the month of September by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. Traditionally given as a gem for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversaries, a star sapphire is given on the 65th wedding anniversary.


Category: Birthstone Jewelry, Sapphire Jewelry and Rings

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