If you’re a Virgo or Libra born in September, sapphire is your birthstone. When most people picture sapphire, they imagine blue. Even though sapphire comes in many gorgeous shades of blue, from light to dark deep blue, this beauty also comes in all the colors of the rainbow.
Thanks to its unique beauty and rich symbolism, this gem has been cherished for millennia. In this article, we’ll explore its different qualities, hidden meanings as well as the beautiful birthstone jewelry you can find.
What is Sapphire?
Sapphire is the name derived from the Latin term sapphirus as well as the Greek sapphiros, both terms meaning blue stone. Some believe its name comes from the Sanskrit word sanipriya, which can be translated as Dear to Saturn. Sapphire is made of corundum and comes in a wide range of colors, except red (more on this below).
This stunning gem was first discovered around 1881, in Kashmir, after a Himalayas landslide uncovered a large patch of velvety blue crystals. Soon after, the Maharaja of Kashmir, together with his army, took control over this area, as well as the areas further south, recovering thousands of beautiful crystals during the period between 1882 and 1887. And quickly, the so-called Kashmir sapphires gained the reputation of one of the world’s most precious gem.
Today, sapphire can be found in different locations throughout the world, including Myanmar, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, Africa, Australia, Brazil, and North America.
September Birthstone Jewelry
Sapphire ring with double diamond halo by Blue Nile. See it here.
Besides being the birthstone for September babies, sapphire is also a gem for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversary. This beautiful gem makes some very stylish jewelry and a lovely birthday gift, bridal gift, promise ring, and many more, winning the hearts of your loved ones and showing them how special they are.
Sapphire rings, earrings, and bracelets are also popular choices among royals and celebrities.
In more recent history, one of the most famous sapphires is perhaps the engagement ring of Princess Diana, now worn by Kate Middleton. In England, especially during Queen Victoria’s times, sapphires might have been even more popular than diamonds.
Undoubtedly, sapphires make excellent engagement rings as well as wedding rings because they are strong, durable, and look beautiful on everybody. If you want something other than a diamond for your engagement or wedding ring, you can’t go wrong with sapphires, perfectly showcased in this Oval Halo Sapphire And Diamond Ring and this White Gold Halo Sapphire Five Stone Ring.
A chic pair of sapphire earrings will complement any outfit. You can play with different sapphire colors and shapes, and go for something elegant and classic with these drop earrings featuring pink sapphires or these oval hoop earrings that you can easily pair up with a similar ring, bracelet, or necklace.
Sapphire Necklaces and Bracelets
The sky is the limit, and you can mix and match different sapphire jewelry pieces with white, yellow, rose gold, and pearl and diamond bracelets and necklaces. Following the recent trend of mixing different jewelry styles and metals, you could layer and stack up your necklaces and bracelets; and ideal for any combination would be this stunning wristlet with vibrant blue sapphires, or this delicate choker necklace perfect for layering but gorgeous on its own as well.
Measuring 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphires are the second hardest natural gemstones after diamonds. Due to their remarkable hardness, sapphires don’t only make valuable jewelry but are also used in industry for making high-durability windows, scientific instruments, electronics, and others.
Sapphires are exceptionally tough and durable gems, almost in line with diamonds. It’s highly unlikely for a sapphire to break, chip, or scratch, and even if it gets some scratches, a little bit of polishing and care will make it as good as new.
This September gem is also highly resistant to various conditions, including light, heat, and chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about it losing its shine over time.
The many sapphire colors you can choose from on James Allen’s search filter. See this here.
Apart from blue, this gorgeous gemstone comes in a rainbow of hues. The gem-quality corundum occurs naturally as colorless, and traces of different elements, such as titanium, iron, copper, chromium, and magnesium, will give the gem its blue tint as well as purple, pink, yellow, green, or orange colors.
Padparadscha sapphire ring by Eidel Precious. See it here.
When the sapphire’s shade is any other color but blue, it’s referred to as fancy sapphire. Sapphires with vibrant and rich blue are considered the most valuable. However, there are some exceptions. Sri Lanka’s pinkish-orange sapphires, known as padparadscha, which means lotus flower, are sometimes more expensive than some sapphire’s blue variations.
Why Is There No Red Sapphire?
Many people don’t know that the mineral corundum makes both rubies and sapphires. Essentially, apart from their color, these two gems are the same, with the same mineral structure and chemical composition.
Small amounts of impurities will determine if the mineral corundum will turn into a vibrant red ruby or a royal blue sapphire. To be more precise, traces of chromium give the gem a beautiful red color, while sapphire’s blues are due to the trace amounts of titanium and iron.
Generally, natural blue sapphires with exceptional clarity are quite scarce, and therefore, one of the most valuable sapphires.
However, sapphires typically have some inclusions. There are different types of inclusions that occur in these gems. One of these is called needles or silk needles, long and thin strikes across the mineral. Sometimes, these needle-like inclusions reflect in a star shape with four, six, and even twelve rays.
Star sapphire ring by Stephano Brothers. See it here.
This effect is known as asterism, and it can make the gem quite attractive. Such sapphires with the asterism effect are called star sapphires. The two most famous star sapphires are the Star of Asia and the Star of India, both in museums, the latter being the largest sapphire in the world, weighing about 550 carats.
While inclusions affect the gem’s transparency and durability, resulting in the stone’s value dropping substantially, this isn’t always the case. Kashmir sapphires are loved for their inclusions as they scatter the light in unique patterns and give the stone a specific velvety appearance.
Usually, the final size and shape of the stone depend on the gem’s rough crystal shape. The most common shapes of a rough sapphire are hexagonal pyramids with a spindle or barrel shape.
- Cutting procedure: When cutting a gem, jewelers usually focus on retaining the best possible proportions, overall color, and weight. To best do this, they need to pay attention to several factors, including color zoning and pleochroism. Color zoning in blue sapphires, for example, refers to their lighter and darker blue zones. While pleochroism refers to a gem’s different colors when viewed from different angles. Blue sapphires most commonly have violet-blue and green-blue body-colors.
- Cutting styles: The clearest sapphires are generally faceted or cut like a diamond, giving it that classic gem appearance. They can also be cut in the cabochon style, which is typical for slightly lower quality stones. Star sapphires are usually cut in the cabochon style, allowing the stone to perfectly reflect and create the star effect.
Symbolic Meaning of September Birthstone
Throughout history, sapphires were highly valued and loved gems. Royal robes, crowns, and jewelry were adorned with blue sapphires for centuries. Many ancient cultures believed in its numerous healing and mystical powers.
The ancient Greeks and Romans considered the blue sapphire to offer protection from evil, harm, and greed. Ancient Persians and priests of the Middle Ages connected blue sapphires with the blue sky and heaven.
This beautiful September gem was famous for its healing powers as well. During Medieval times, people from Europe commonly believed sapphire could cure diseases related to the eye as well as plague. Others thought this birthstone was an antidote agent, curing and protecting from poison.
Traditionally, this September jewel represents loyalty, sincerity, nobility, and integrity. Some praise it as a symbol of truth, prosperity, and joy and believe that it can bring harmony, happiness, and peace to those who wear sapphire jewelry.
Bringing intuition, wisdom, trust, joy, and harmony, sapphires are one of the most beloved stones worldwide.
To Wrap Up
Given as a promise ring, birthday, or bridal gift, or simply because, sapphires will always make a lasting impression. This beautiful jewel is one of the most precious and valuable gemstones, representing love, harmony, and loyalty. Whether you’re getting a piece for yourself or your loved one, the timeless beauty of this September birthstone is hard to resist, and it make valuable jewelry for generations to come.