Some things you might not know about this month’s birthstone.
When we hear the word ‘sapphire’ we probably think of a deep blue stone – and yes there are many examples of these beautifully coloured vibrant gemstones which we love to work with (take a look HERE at some of our blue sapphire pieces).
However, this magnificent gemstone also comes in many other colours – right across the spectrum - yellow, pink, orange and even black. The rarest type of sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called padparadscha, a name that comes from the Sanskrit word for lotus flower.
These stones have been treasured for centuries, the ancient Romans having been particular aficionados of polishing them to be worn as jewellery.
Throughout history various cultures have attributed mystical powers to sapphires. In ancient times it was believed that sapphires protected their wearers from evil. In the middle ages, Europeans believed that sapphires cured eye diseases and preserved chastity. Sapphires have also been used to symbolise nobility and faithfulness.
The blue sapphire’s modern-day popularity remains high and it has become a common choice for engagement rings - perhaps unsurprisingly given that blue is in fact the world’s favourite colour.
Where Are They Found?
Sapphires are found throughout the world, from Australia to Malawi and Madagascar, from Sri Lanka to the United States. Their colouring emanates from trace elements in the mineral corundum. It is turned to blue sapphire when it contains iron and titanium, and trace elements of chromium can turn corundum pink. Heavier chromium concentration turns the stone into a ruby.
Depending on where they were found, the colour intensity and hue of the cut stones vary, which means, later on, that the wearer is rather spoilt for choice.
Specialists believe that the Kashmir colour is the most beautiful and most valuable blue. These magnificent gemstones from Kashmir were found in 1880 after a landslide at an altitude of 16,000 feet. Typically, the Kashmir colour is a pure, intense blue with a very subtle violet undertone.
The sapphire is the second hardest gemstone – measuring nine out of 10 on the Mohs scale. Its hardness is exceeded only by that of the diamond – which is the only naturally occurring item that can scratch a sapphire. This durability makes sapphires an excellent choice for jewellery to be worn every day.
Take a look at some of our pink sapphire pieces HERE.
And don’t forget that apart from September birthdays, the sapphire is also the anniversary stone to mark 45 years of marriage.
Research sources: Brilliant Earth