Sapphire - September Birthstone

Sapphire - September Birthstone
The ancients believed that Blue Sapphire- holding in its depths the power of the sea and sky- had influence over the spirit world as well. The calming influence of blue has also made it an enduring symbol for loyalty and trust- one reason why women from around the world choose Sapphire for their engagement rings.

If someone were to ask you to name a gem family famous for its wide range of colors, would sapphire come to mind? Probably not since sapphire is synonymous with blue. Over time the Latin word “sapphirus” was attached to this magnificent deep-blue corundum found for millenniums on the island of Sri Lanka (formerly British-ruled Ceylon) off the southern coast of India. Today the economically important sapphire deposits are in Australia, Burma, Sri Lanka & Thailand.

It has taken the jewelry world centuries to recognize, and centuries more to celebrate the corundum color wheel. The most well known of the corundum family other than sapphire is ruby of which there is no definite demarcation between the two. Light red, pink or violet corundum are usually called sapphires.

Now sapphire is becoming the color-category leader for pink and yellow but can be found in violet, purple, green, bright reddish orange sometimes referred to as “papaya”, gold & orange shades.

Inclusions of rutile needles result in a silky sheen. If the quantities of rutile needles are sufficiently large the result will be a six-rayed star sapphire. According to some opinions, this asterism is not caused by rutile needles, as in the case of rubies, but by intersecting hollow channels running in three directions.

All in all, sapphire can be considered the ideal colored stone. Besides excelling in color selection, sapphire excels in durability. With a rating of 9 on the 1 to 10 Mohs scale for hardness, it is second only to diamond, the other gem with the highest rating of 10. This means sapphire will preserve its looks when stones with similar colors from other species start to look the worse for wear. If, as the experts say, the attributes of a gem are its rarity and durability, as well as its beauty, there isn’t any wiser choice for most primary and pastel colors than sapphire.

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