One of the most popular gemstones, sapphire also happens to be the September birthstone. Sapphire is widely recognized for its stunning violet-blue color, although it can be found in many different colors. There are also violet, yellow, peach, pink, and orange sapphires; red varieties comes from the same mineral, corundum, but are considered rubies. The word “sapphire” is derived from the Greek word “sappheiros”.
What Is a Sapphire’s Meaning?
Sapphire has been preferred by royalty for centuries. It was included on the engagement ring given to Lady Diana by Prince Charles; the same ring was presented for the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The traditional meaning of the September birthstone centers on nobility, faithfulness, and truth. It also symbolizes power while some believe it can reveal hidden secrets. In addition to its popularity as a birthstone, sapphire is often used to celebrate a couple’s 5th and 45th wedding anniversary.
Historically, the meaning of the gemstone has differed. In ancient Greece and Rome, the elite believed blue sapphires offered protection against harm and envy. Sapphires were a symbol of heaven in the Middle Ages, when clerics often wore them on robes, while ancient Persians believed sapphire made the sky blue. In Medieval Europe, it was thought to be an antidote to poison and cure eye problems and plague boils.
Where Do I Find Sapphire?
Chances are that your local jeweler can find a sapphire birthstone. The gemstone is sourced from many locations in Australia, Madagascar, Cambodia, and Thailand as well as the United States. It was discovered in Kashmir in 1881 after a large landslide in the Himalayas. Production has become sporadic here, but Myanmar and Sri Lanka (where it has been mined for over 2,000 years) are also important sources of sapphire.
What Are Sapphire’s Most Desirable Properties?
Sapphire is the second-hardest gemstone, behind only the diamond. However, it is most valued for its color. The more intense the color, the more expensive a sapphire birthstone generally is. It is sought-after for its luster as well as durability, which makes sapphire an enduring gemstone that can last for a lifetime if well cared for. There is also no cleavage, so it is less prone to breaking if struck by an object.
Along with ruby and emerald, it is one of the three main colored gemstones used in jewelry. But hardness and other qualities suit it for industrial applications as well. Sapphire is frequently used in electronics, watch mechanisms, and scientific instruments.
How Do I Care for My Sapphire Birthstone?
Sapphire is extremely durable and can tolerate any jewelry setting and any cleaning method. Usually, warm, soapy water will get it clean. But an ultrasonic or steam cleaner can be used if necessary. Just be cautious about storing sapphire gems with other stones, because it can easily scratch them. Keep them in a separate bag or box if you store your jewelry together.
Sapphires are also often treated to improve color and clarity. Permanent enhancements can be achieved via heat treatment. Lattice diffusion, dyeing, and fracture filling may also be used but the results are more sensitive to changes in the stone, so special care may be required. If your sapphire is dyed or fracture-filled, use only a damp cloth to clean it.
Contact Jeweler’s Touch
Our family-owned and operated jewelry business provides standard and custom jewelry with sapphire and other gemstones, as well as premium precious metals. We produce quality handcrafted engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry. To learn more about Jeweler's Touch and receive help with your custom design, call 714-579-1616 today!