One of the most sought after gemstone is sapphire. This beautiful gem has a long history and myth behind it. Worn by royalty, clergy, and more; it truly has an amazing history. Since it's the month of September, we are going to dive into learning more about sapphire, September's birthstone. It is also the gemstone given for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries. Let's take a closer look at this amazing and colorful gemstone.
Sapphires are mined all over the world. They are most notably known as a blue gem. However, sapphire does come in a range of colors. Just like ruby, sapphire is part of the corundum mineral family and has a hardness close to diamond on the Mohs scale, which is 9.0 Mohs. The more iron the corundum mineral has the darker blue you will see in sapphire. Traces of iron and titanium cause the blue color. Corundum in the purest state is actually colorless, like a white sapphire. For blue sapphires, the sapphires from Kashmir set the standard because the color is usually intensely saturated, velvety, and most desired.
In the 1990s, sapphires discovered in East Africa and Madagascar were colorful and increased the popularity of fancy colored sapphires. One of the most desired colorful sapphires is the Padparadscha sapphire, which is a pinkish-orange sapphire and rarer compared to other sapphires. The name comes from Sinhalese for "lotus blossom". There are also color-changing sapphires which will change under different lighting. Another type of phenomenon found in sapphires (as well as rubies) is called asterism (star-effect). The star effect happens when small numerous needle like inclusions reflect from white light on a cabochon-cut stones.
The more interesting side of this gemstone is what people believed sapphires had as a power. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed people who wore sapphires were protected from envy and harm. In the Middle Ages, the clergy wore sapphires as a symbol of the heavens. Other beliefs in wearing sapphire included:
- Guarded chastity
- Make peace between enemies
- Influence spirits
- Reveal the secrets the oracles
Throughout the years, sapphire has always symbolized nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. This is a reason many people will use sapphire in engagement rings. One of the most famous engagement rings using sapphire is Princess Diana's & now Kate Middleton's blue sapphire engagement ring. Another famous sapphire is the most recent mining of the largest sapphire in the world, which was discovered in 2015 in a Sri Lanka mine. This blue sapphire weighs at 1,404 carats and has an estimated value of over $300 million.
If you're looking to have a colored gemstone in your engagement ring, sapphire would be the best option because the hardness is closest to a diamond. And you will be sure of the longevity of the stone. That's the beauty of this stone, you can use fancy colored sapphires to create a colored gemstone engagement ring. Need a little sapphire inspiration, check out some of our sapphire jewelry!