We have reached the start of fall folks! Have you had your first pumpkin spice latte? Been to your local pumpkin patch yet (in Florida that means your local grocery store has put down some hay and created a faux farm experience for you)? Have you started to eye those new Steve Madden booties that are in the perfect cognac shade? It would be difficult for me to name all my favorite things about fall but one of my favorite things about September is its birthstone! The sapphire has so much allure, history, and beauty. So let’s explore the glorious stone together and prepare ourselves to fall more in love with this stunning birthstone.
Sapphire is the Greek word for "blue" but sapphires actually come in all colors. The most desirable color is probably blue but it is nice to have such a durable stone available in any color you fancy. In folklore, history, art, and consumer awareness, sapphire has always been associated with the color blue. Most jewelry customers think all sapphires are blue, and when gem and jewelry professionals use the word “sapphire” alone, they normally mean “blue sapphire.” The royal blue color is usually associated with royalty, hence its name. Sapphires became even more “royal” when Princess Diana wore her exquisite oval blue sapphire halo ring.
In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary folks thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles. All pretty solid blessings and thoughts associated with this gorgeous gem.
All the Colors of the Rainbow
As we mentioned before, our beloved September birthstone comes in all colors. When it reaches a certain color of red, we call it ruby. A special orangy pink sapphire color is padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. Stones from Sri Lanka are usually the only ones labeled with this marketable name. Sri Lankan has a special affection for the color that’s traditionally only linked with this country.
The sapphire also includes so-called “fancy sapphires.” They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, or brown. and show a phenomenon called asterism, or the star effect. This phenomenon usually appears as a six-ray star pattern across a cabochon-cut stone’s curved surface. The star effect arises from white light reflecting from numerous tiny, oriented needle-like inclusions. So amazing!
There are many special types and colors for everyone in the sapphire family!
Sapphire Durability and Synthetics
Introduced in 1822, the Mohs hardness scale originated when Friedrich Mohs chose ten minerals and assigned numbers to them based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one can be scratched by another. His study is still used today. Ranked 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, ruby and sapphire are the second hardest gems on the Mohs hardness scale. Second only to diamond! This makes the sapphire a likely choice as an engagement ring gemstone since it can usually withstand the everyday wear.
Because sapphire is so desired among the masses, cultured sapphires and imitation sapphires have been created. Keep in mind that when created sapphires hit the market, they were viewed as an advancement in sparkling science. Created sapphires make it possible for everyone to enjoy their beauty and not just the royals. Synthetics feature some synthetic counter parts but virtually the same physical and chemical components as a natural sapphire, they are just assisted in a lab by man to make them “grow”. Click here to learn more about sapphires straight from the authority of GIA.
More Sapphire Fun Facts
- The Apple Watch features lab-created sapphire glass in its screen, because of its hardness.
- It is found in many places throughout the world, including Australia, Malawi, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the United States.
- The only natural stone that can scratch a sapphire, is a diamond.
- One of the first gemstones grown in a laboratory.
- The Zodiac gemstone for: Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Sagittarius.
- Sapphire is one of the big 3 gemstones, called “Precious Gemstones“. The other two are: Ruby and Emerald.
- The largest Sapphire (certified by Guinness World Records), is the Millennium Sapphire, weighing an impressive 61,500 carats.
- Blue Sapphire is the proper gift for these Wedding Anniversaries:5th, 10th, 12th, 16th (Star Sapphire), 45th, and the 85th Wedding Anniversaries.
Happy Birthday to our September friends. If you love sapphires (whether they are your birthstone or not), you can shop them all here. Use code SAPPHIRE for 25% OFF your purchase!