Birthstone of the Month: Sapphire

Sapphires, along with emeralds and rubies, are part of the “royal trio” of gemstones. Their timeless deep blue, incredible hardness, and a reputation spanning thousands of years and world empires have earned their stellar reputation among the most highly desired jewels.

The dinner plate-sized world treasure, the Ophir sapphire.
The dinner plate-sized world treasure, the Ophir sapphire.

If your birthday is in September, you can claim this birthstone that has long stood for truth, wisdom, and loyalty. A sapphire’s blue is as deep as the sea and bright as the starry sky, and the legends that have interwoven with its ancient history go back as far as Biblical times. The Hebrew name “sapphir” means beautiful, and sapphires were once among the jewels that represented the 12 tribes of Israel. Legend says that the Ten Commandments were inscribed by God’s own finger on tablets of sapphire. Ancient Persians believed the earth rested on a giant sapphire that reflected its color into the sky.

Stunning & Low-Maintenance

Sapphires come in a wide range of tranquil blues (although fancy sapphires are available in many colors
like pink and orange). They can vary from pale to inky and can be slightly violet, green, or gray. Like rubies, sapphires are a type of the mineral corundum. They have an extremely strong structure, making them the second hardest stone – only a diamond is harder.

3.08 ct. blue Kashmir sapphire. Unheated, cushion, antique mixed cut.
3.08 ct. blue Kashmir sapphire. Unheated, cushion, antique mixed cut.

The powerful and timeless appeal of the sapphire makes it a popular choice for everyday wear as well as high fashion, heirloom jewelry and bridal. White sapphires give the shimmering essence of diamonds, while an array of vivid colors gives the more modern taste a flashy contemporary avenue. Fortunately, sapphires are durable and low-maintenance gemstones. Remember to give your sapphire jewelry the “royal treatment” every now and then – a professional cleaning will keep these heavenly gemstones looking their best.

Important sources are Australia, certain regions of India (including the island of Ceylon and the mountains of Kashmir) and Madagascar.

What is the most desirable color?

There is some controversy over the perfect definition of “sapphire blue.” As a rule, any green or yellowish tint is a sign of impurity, making the stone less valuable. A darker color does not necessarily confer more value – in fact, anything that shades the gem’s natural beauty is considered a negative trait. A brilliant medium blue with a hint of violet is usually regarded as the ideal color profile for a sapphire.

Love all things sapphire blue? Check out our blue, blue, blue Pinterest board!

Sapphires on Pinterest!
Sapphires on Pinterest!

GIA Education: All about Sapphires →

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