Sapphire: A Stone Of Many Colors

You may recognize its striking blue color. But contrary to common belief, this gemstone doesn’t just come in blue. The gemstone I’m talking about can be found in a variety of radiant colors including green, pink, yellow, orange, violent and white, called colorless. Still not sure which gemstone we’re going to cover? I’m talking about the sapphire gemstone, September’s birthstone.

A Rich And Colorful History

Its name comes from the Greek word “sappherios,” and yes, that means sapphire. When most people think of the sapphire, they think of the common blue variety. It is the most popular variety used in jewelry and other representations. The blue sapphire is sometimes referred to as Kashmir Sapphire or Cornflower Blue Sapphire - but don’t brush off the array of different sapphire colors. All of the other variations of sapphire are known as “fancy” sapphires, as they create this rainbow of gorgeous jewelry options. Because the blue sapphire is the most popular, in plain context, sapphire refers to the blue sapphire, and any other color will be specified, like pink sapphire or green sapphire. In addition to being September’s birthstone, the sapphire gemstone is also used to celebrate the fifth and the forty-fifth wedding anniversaries.

You might remember the mention of sapphire in the ruby gemstone article, and that’s because rubies and sapphires are identical in all of their fundamental properties except color - they come from the same mineral. If the mineral is red, it’s a ruby. Any other color other than red is considered a sapphire, such as the popular blue variety, green, pink and colorless.

An Enchanting Gem With Exotic Origins

They come from exotic places such as Madagascar, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Australia. Even though the blue sapphire is the most favored, the most expensive and rare sapphire is the pink-orange padparadscha from Sri Lanka. The name padparadscha means “lotus flower” in the language Sinhalese, which is the language spoken in Sri Lanka.

In general, the sapphire gemstone is highly sought-after due to its color, hardness, durability and luster. It is so hard in fact, that the only gemstone harder than it is the diamond. In the jewelry world, the sapphire birthstone is considered one of the big three colored gemstones – the other two being ruby and emerald. One interesting thing to note about the sapphire is that it is pleochroic, meaning that is displays a lighter or a more intense color when viewed at different angles. So, depending on the angle you’re viewing a sapphire, whether that be in a ring, necklace, bracelet or earring set, the color may vary. The more intense the color, the more valuable the sapphire usually is. The most favored blue sapphire color is a velvety blue to violet-blue, in a rich, darker tone.

Broad Historical Significance

You’ll find this deep, captivating gemstone all throughout history, and it is also a notable gemstone in fashion and today’s pop culture. But we’ll get to that in a moment. Historically, the sapphire birthstone has decorated royalty and clergy members for centuries. In this same context, sapphire has always been associated with royalty and romance. The kings and queens of ancient Greece and Rome believed that sapphire protected them against envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy also wore the blue sapphire variety to represent Heaven, and others believed that the sapphire would attract blessings from the heavens. Through history, the sapphire birthstone was said to symbolize power, make peace, influence spirits and even reveal the secrets of oracles.

A Modern And Sophisticated Choice For Today

Today, the sapphire birthstone is still a prominent symbol of nobility, truth, faithfulness and sincerity. Often times you’ll find sapphires of various colors integrated into distinct jewelry pieces, such as a promise ring, to represent loyalty and commitment in a relationship. Although it was always famous, the sapphire gemstone was made even more renowned all across the world as a fashion jewelry piece by two iconic events – the engagements of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and Prince William and Kate Middleton. Both Lady Diana’s engagement ring and Kate Middleton’s engagement ring include this incredible gemstone.