Sapphire is September’s birthstone, and there are all kinds of ways you can wear them – whether you’re born this month or not. Many women are opting for less expensive creative sapphires these days – scientifically the exact same stone as those found in nature, but they’re created in a lab instead of mined from the ground.
Check out Jewelry.com’s extensive collection of sapphire gems – created and natural – in a rainbow of colors from blue and pink to white and green.
And here are the down and dirty details about the sexy sapphire for those of you who like to impress your friends with your uncanny knowledge about all things blingy. You know who you are.
Sapphire: The Jewel of the Sky
Sapphire has been sought after for thousands of years as the ultimate blue gemstone. The ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire that gave its blue reflection to the sky, hence the Latin name “sapphiru”, which means blue.
The gem has long symbolized faith, remembrance, and enduring commitment. According to tradition, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on tablets of sapphire, making it the most sacred stone. This supposed “divine favor” is why sapphires often were the gem of choice for kings and high priests throughout history. In fact, the British Crown Jewels contain a number of notable sapphires. Prince Charles even gave Princess Diana a sapphire engagement ring.
Sapphire is not only the birthstone for September, it is also the recommended gem for couples celebrating their fifth and 45th wedding anniversaries.
Both sapphire and its sister stone, ruby, are part of the corundum family, one of the strongest minerals on earth. The stone is mined in many parts of the world, including Australia, Cambodia, China, Kashmir, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Sapphires from Kashmir and Myanmar are rarest and most prized because of their vivid blue, velvety look.
Although sapphire is virtually synonymous with blue, the stone also comes in a variety of fancy colors that includes colorless/white, pink, yellow, peach, orange, brown, violet, purple, green and many shades in between (except red, because a red sapphire would be called a ruby). Some sapphires that are cut into a cabochon (dome) shape even display a six-rayed white star. These are called star sapphires, and the ancients regarded them as powerful talismans that protected travelers.
With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphire is harder than any other gemstone except a diamond. This quality makes it extremely durable for everyday jewelry pieces subject to repeated impact, such as rings and bracelets. In general, sapphire can be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush.