Truth, nobility, sincerity, and faithfulness; this is the modern symbolism behind September’s birthstone, the Sapphire. Associated with royalty and romance, the most popular piece of sapphire jewelry was Princess Diana’s 18 carat sapphire engagement ring which has now been passed along to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Like the ruby, sapphire belongs to the corundum family. However, rubies only come in shades of red while sapphires can come in every other color.
Traditionally, sapphires are a vivid, saturated blue that looks like it is lit from within. Since the early 1990’s, however, “fancy” sapphires came into the picture, introducing a rainbow assortment of colors. Padparadscha, an orange-pinksapphire, is the most valuable of them all. Named after a lotus blossom, this type of sapphire is very rare to find, and as you can imagine, very expensive. Some sapphires have an “asterism,” which is a star effect created from light refracting to create a six pointed star shape. They are commonly called “Star Sapphires.” Like the ruby, sapphires are the second hardest substance on Earth to diamonds and because of it’s durability, synthetic sapphire isplaced in objects that require a lot of protection; for example, a nice Swiss watch crystal or the windows of a space ship.
Sapphires can undergo different treatments to change the color and clarity of the stone. The most common form of treatment for sapphires is heat treatment. Heat treatment is when the stone is exposed to high temperatures. The color of the stone becomes more intense and bright while the clarity increases due to the heat removing the inclusions; this treatments is both durable and permanent.
Historically, sapphires came from places like Madagascar, Tanzania, and Australia. However top quality sapphires come from Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka. (The largest known sapphire is kept in the Museum of Natural History in New York; famously called, “The Star of India,” this gem weighs a whopping 563 carats! And it is, you guessed it, a star sapphire!) In ancient Greece and Rome, sapphires were worn by Kings and Queens to protect them from harm while in the Middle Ages, sapphires became more of a religious symbol that the clergy would wear to symbolize heaven. Other beliefs about sapphires are that they can bring peace among enemies, influence spirits, and reveal secrets of the oracles.
With such a wonderful rainbow spectrum of colors, sapphires are a great way to show love and loyalty all while making the wearer feel like royalty. Although typically a September birthstone, sapphires are also the gemstone of the astrological sign Taurus. When a Taurus wears a sapphire, it is said that it protects them from illness and strengthens mental health. With such great history, durability, and a range of beauty from different colors to shapes of light inside the stone, sapphires are a great gift for someone very special in your life. Come check out our fantastic sapphire collection here at Tick Tock Jewelers!