Sapphires are one of the most precious stones in the world, famous for their deep blue, sparkling appearance. Classic sapphires vary from a light blue to deep indigo, with some stones being translucent and others quite opaque. The variation in color is a byproduct of small traces of iron, chromium, and titanium within the gemstone itself.
The purest form of sapphire has a mild blue color and medium intensity. It has the lowest concentration of contaminants and is semi-translucent.
Why Is the Sapphire Gemstone the Birthstone for September?
The notion of birthstones originates from ancient times. Mystical elders believed that sapphires contained special powers linked to the attributes and personalities of people born in particular months of the year.
Sapphire legends vary, but the basic idea is that wearing your birthstone can bring you a host of benefits you couldn’t get without it.
The sapphire, for instance, is said to hold mysterious powers which convey health, truth, and intelligence to the wearer. The rich and powerful, it is believed, want sapphires because of their remarkable ability to increase their power, knowledge, and standing in the world.
Astrologers believe that the sapphire is a gemstone with healing properties, both of body and mind. Those born in September under the star sign Virgo can benefit from greater truth, loyalty, and clear thinking.
There’s also a widespread belief that sapphires may help to cure common ailments, especially problems with the eyes, headaches, thyroid issues, and earache.
Over time, these early observations became crystallized (if you’ll excuse the pun) into a body of knowledge passed down the generations. Sapphire rings, whether a promise ring or a sapphire engagement ring, improve health, long-life, and well being to a new owner.
The History Of Sapphires
Sapphire engagement rings may be popular today, but blue sapphire was also highly coveted throughout history.
In Greek culture, the root of the word sapphire, “sappheiros” literally meant “precious stone.” The Greeks elevated the sapphire above practically every other rare gemstone of which they knew. In the West, sapphires have become exceptionally valuable and are considered to be the most important of all the colored gemstones.
Stories of the sapphire even date back to the Old Testament of the Bible. Scholars think that the sapphire was one of the stones of fire set in the breastplate of Aaron given to Moses.
The Persians also had their own stories about sapphires. The ancient people living in modern-day Iran and Iraq believed that a giant sapphire supported the entire Earth.
For hundreds of years, scholars continued to believe that sapphires could protect people from the evil intentions of their enemies.
Where Do Companies Mine Sapphire Today?
If you want a sapphire ring, birthstone jewelry or a sapphire birthstone today, then somebody has to mine it out of the ground physically. But where are these precious stones found?
Interestingly, you tend to find Sapphires in locations that were historically many thousands of miles from large human populations. The majority of the world’s supply comes from the interior of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The fact that the mines are often a long way from civilization means that the price is high, and getting access to them is difficult. The stones in a sapphire wedding ring, for instance, may have had to travel thousands of miles by truck to a port once leaving the ground.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that sapphires were a highly precious stone, and remain so to this day. It’s just so hard to get hold of them, and they are found many thousands of miles from the centers of civilization in Europe and East Asia. Both the Romans and the Greeks considered sapphires to be the finest of the Earth’s gemstones.
Typically, the best sapphires today come from mines in modern-day Thailand and Vietnam. These mines produce sapphires that have the most reflective appearance.
What Are Sapphires?
Sapphires are members of the corundum family of minerals, like rubies. They are different from diamonds in their chemical construction, but they are still surprisingly hard and make for excellent gemstone engagement rings.
Sapphires also come in a range of colors, not just blue, which is why you can buy white sapphire engagement rings.
You can get the following types of sapphire in your engagement ring:
- Green sapphire. Green sapphires are different from emeralds. The reason they are green is because of a particular kind of iron pigmentation. The iron absorbs wavelengths of light hitting the gemstone, making it appear green.
- Star sapphire. Star sapphires can be of any color, but they have a unique star-like shape within the stone. This marking makes them high-prized in today’s market.
- Pink sapphires. Pink sapphires contain a touch of red coloration, thanks to their chromium content. Pink sapphires are essentially rubies, except they do not have enough chromium pigmentation to achieve genuine “ruby red.” Ruby is sapphire from a chemical perspective despite having a different naming convention.
- Yellow sapphire. Just like green sapphires, the iron in yellow sapphires gives them their color.
White sapphire. White sapphires are completely colorless sapphires. A sapphire receives its color from the trace elements present within the earth when the crystal is forming. White sapphires are quite rare; they are completely untouched by trace elements. White sapphires are excellent alternatives to diamonds for engagement rings as they are less expensive and very durable.
Why Do People Give Each Other Sapphires As Engagement Rings And Gifts?
Treasures To Pass On To The Next Generation
A sapphire, as we’ve discussed, is a highly durable stone. It is nearly as tough as diamond. This property means that it’s the perfect object to pass down from generation to generation, preserving family heritage.
Alternative Engagement Rings
Diamonds dominate the engagement ring market, but if you want to do something different, then a sapphire engagement ring could be the perfect way to propose. Sapphire, when you think about it, is the ideal stone for engagement. You and your partner want long and healthy lives and, according to astrologers, that’s precisely what a sapphire provides.
What is a Promise Ring?
A promise ring is something you use to show your commitment to another person. It’s a sign that you take your relationship with another person seriously and that you want to take things to the next level. Sapphires help to establish the truth, and so wearing a promise ring with the stone represents your faithfulness and loyalty to another person.