We’re now firmly into September and it’s time to recognize this month’s gorgeous birthstone! The sapphire is an iconic gemstone, best known for its deep blue hue. You probably think of your birthstone as blue, but it comes in a variety of other colors as well! Sapphire can be found in white, pink, purple, and various shades of these colors. It’s a luxurious gemstone that can work in plenty of styles and colors.
The history of sapphire
The word “sapphire” is literally Latin for “blue,” even though the gem comes in many different colors. It comes in shades of blue, from light to so dark that it almost looks black. This gem has been incredibly popular for thousands of years; in Rome, Persia, and even the Middle Ages when kings frequently wore them - this popularity has followed it into modern-day as well. Napoleon presented his wife with an engagement ring made from sapphires and diamonds; in 2013, the ring sold for nearly a million dollars. However, the most famous sapphire is likely the engagement ring that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana. That ring has since been passed on to Prince William and was given to his wife, Kate Middleton, as her engagement ring.
Myths surrounding sapphire
Many cultures revere sapphires and attribute a wide variety of myths and superstitions to the gem. In the Middle Ages, people believed that the gem could protect you from enemies, which led to royalty wearing sapphire jewelry. Sapphires were also believed to protect people from poison and be able to heal eye conditions; even popes have worn sapphires and claimed they held some kind of healing properties!
Ancient civilizations believed that the world sat on a sapphire, which reflected its gorgeous blue color onto the sky to make it blue.
How is the color of sapphires created?
Sapphires are made out of the mineral corundum and their color comes from other elements that make their way into this mineral. Blue sapphires gain their color from titanium and iron, while pinkish and red shades are caused by chromium. The rarest color of sapphire is the pinkish-orange shade that can be found in Sri Lankan rivers.
Sapphires do not come in true red; if the mineral does become red, it’s then called a ruby.
You’ll find that sapphires are often found in oval shapes and with inclusions; it’s very rare to find blue sapphires with high clarity. One of the most common inclusions in a sapphire is known as a needle inclusion, which creates a jagged star shape on the top of the gem.
Other facts about sapphire
Diamonds might be the hardest gemstone, but sapphires are pretty close. They score a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only naturally occurring material that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond! The material is so difficult to scratch that some versions of the Apple Watch include it on the screen to help prevent scratches and cracks.
While we might be focusing on sapphire’s role as the September birthstone, it is also traditionally the gemstone of 5th and 45th anniversaries. Sapphire is a wonderful gem to use to commemorate special occasions, especially because it is symbolic of sincerity and faithfulness.
If you’re looking for a piece of sapphire jewelry this season, whether for a birthday, anniversary, or just because, we can help you at Vanscoy, Maurer & Bash Diamond Jewelers in Lancaster, PA! You can call us at 717-299-4283 with any questions or to make an appointment or you can simply stop by during our open hours.