Sapphire the birthstone of September – a gemstone that has been cherished for thousands of years. Although sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gem occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which earn the classification of rubies instead.
At this present time, Madagascar leads the world in the production of sapphire; although these gems can also be found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, Brazil and North America (mainly Montana). It is important to note that their origin can affect their value as much as color, cut, clarity and carat size.
Sapphires ranging in all hues represent the September birthstone giving September-born babies a wide range of options when choosing the shade of birthstone that best represents them.
Traditionally, the classic Blue Sapphire has represented a promise of honesty, loyalty, nobility, sincerity and integrity. Since ancient times, they have been associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline and channeling higher powers.
To keep with the tradition, sapphires have been known to be one of the most popular engagement gemstones. No matter the color, sapphires generally make stunning birthday gifts, push gifts as well as 5th and 45th anniversary gifts. Check out our collection here.
History, Folklore & Fun Facts
- Believed to originate from the Sanskrit word sanipriya which meant “dear to Saturn,” the celestial blue hue of a sapphire has always symbolized the heavens and attracted divine favor along with wise judgment.
- Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings. Ordinary folks even though the gem attracted heavenly blessings. Despite the gemstone’s personal meanings and cultural significance, the stone holds a few precious facts that make it all worth it.
- The world’s most famous engagement ring: sapphire. This gem became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Prince William later gave this ring to Catherine Middleton when he proposed in 2010.
- Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, though historians now believe the blue stone referenced in the Bible may have been lapis lazuli.
- Sapphire are among most durable naturally occurring elements in the world a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness and the only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is diamond that measure a 10 on the Mohs scale. The sapphire’s durability is not just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches and electronics.
- French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process to make synthetic sapphire in 1902. The abundance of synthetic sapphire unlocked industrial applications spanning integrated circuits, satellite communication systems, high-durability windows and scientific instruments.
- A rare pinkish-orange sapphire is called padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. These specific color sapphires can draw higher prices than some blue sapphires.
- In 1796 French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave to his beloved wife Josephine an engagement ring which featured a pear-shaped sapphire next to a pear-shaped diamond facing opposite directions, on a simple gold band. The ring sold at auction for close to a million dollars in 2013.
- The Rockefeller Sapphire, a 62.02 carat rectangular step cut stone that was unearthed in Myanmar (Burma). Acquired in 1934 by financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) from an Indian maharaja, over the years the gem has been recut and remounted. The sapphire was first set in a brooch and then later it was made into a ring featuring two cut-cornered triangular diamond side stones.
- Famous star sapphires like the 1404.49-carat Star of Adam, the 563.4-carat Star of India and the 182-carat Star of Bombay came from Sri Lankan mines.
- Intensely saturated and velvety blue sapphires traditionally came from the Kashmir region of India between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The world record price-per-carat for sapphire was set by a gem from Kashmir, which sold at auction for $242,000 per carat (more than $6.74 million total) in October 2015.
Check out which celebrities’ birthdays fall in September: Zendaya, Adam Sandler, Dr. Phil, Amy Poehler, Beyonce Knowles, Lil Wayne, Will Smith, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Fallon