A Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, and is the birthstone for September. It is a very desirable gemstone due to its excellent color, hardness, durability, and luster. The only natural gemstone harder than Sapphire is Diamond.
Sapphires have been prized as great gemstones since 800 BC. Rulers of ancient Persia believed the sky was painted blue by the reflection of sapphire stones. And a great poet once described the sapphire as “the blue of a clear sky just minutes after sundown.” Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. Kings wore sapphires around their necks as a powerful defense from harm. They preserved the wearer from envy and attracted divine favor.
In the 12th Century, the sapphire was known as the most appropriate stone for ecclesiastical rings. 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.
The association with royalty and romance was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Until her death in 1997, Princess Di, as she was known, charmed and captivated the world. Her sapphire ring helped link modern events with history and fairy tales. The ring is now worn by Kate Middleton.
Where Are Sapphires Found?
Significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China (Shandong), Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America in a few locations, mostly in Montana. Every mine produces a wide range of quality – and origin is not a guarantee of quality. Kashmir is known for the most premium sapphires, although Burma, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar also produce large quantities of fine quality gems.
Stay tuned for more about the colors of Sapphire (Hint – they are not all blue!) and images of some of the most famous sapphires in history! In the meantime, take a look at some of the stunning Sapphire Jewelry we’ve created at Grants Jewelry.