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Intriguing Facts About September’s Stunning Birthstone

August 2021 | Hanan Savransky

Although most people are familiar with the vibrant quality of the September Birthstone, many don't know the unique history and intriguing uses of Sapphire. There are many facts about Sapphire that shock us. Here are a few of the most intriguing facts.

1. Come in a Variety of Colors


Sapphires come in a variety of bright and vibrant colors, including pink, orange, and purple. While most of them are blue, they have a wide range of colors that can be found on sapphire jewelry. Even naturally clear sapphires have been discovered, which are rare and valuable. Their diamond-like appearance gives them a unique and beautiful look. The sapphire's colorful properties are one of the qualities that make them such a popular gemstone.


2. Color Changing Properties


In addition to coming in a wide range of colors, sapphires also appear to change colors depending on the lighting. Some gems may appear to change from a deep blue to purple. This quality of changing shades adds to the diverse number of colors of the gem.
Sapphire Halo stud earrings


3. A Rich History


Sapphires have adorned cultures for thousands of years, including Romans, Persians and those living in the middle ages. They have been widely used for jewelry to show status and wealth.


4. The Second Strongest Gemstone


Sapphires are extremely strong gemstones. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, they receive a score of 9 out of 10. Diamonds are the only natural stone that is stronger, receiving a score of 10 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Diamonds are the only natural object that can scratch a sapphire. Their durable properties add to the functionality of the stone.


5. Padparadscha


Padparadscha is the name for the rarest type of sapphire. Presenting as a light pinkish orange, the padparadscha derives its name from the lotus flower. Found in the Sri Lankan rivers, these gemstones are considered highly prized possessions among jewelers and collectors.


6. Technological Uses


Beginning with the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple began using sapphires for their durable and beautiful quality. Sapphires included in the design help make the match more resistant to scratching, while making it sparkle and shine. Swiss watch companies have also used the Sapphire for its same properties. Typically the sapphires that are used are lab-created to reduce costs.


7. Found All Over the World


Sapphires are found all over the world, including Sri Lanka, the United States, Australia, Tanzania, and other locations. Certain types tend to be found in certain regions.


8. Similarities to Rubies


Sapphires do not come in red. This is because a red sapphire is simply a ruby. Rubies and sapphires have almost the exact same properties, but different elements that cause different colors. They come from the same family and have the same chemistry.


9. Mythological Powers


We found the mythological history of the sapphire intriguing. Sapphires have historically been associated with truth, peace, innocence, good health and even heavenly powers. Sapphires were believed to protect their owners from all types of evil. Europeans during the Middle Ages also believed the stone had the ability to preserve chastity and cure eye disease, as well as bringing blessings. Sapphires have long been used as a symbol of faithfulness and nobility.


10. The "Star Effect"


When cut correctly, some sapphires display a star shape in their center. These sapphires are known as "star sapphires" and their pattern is visible on the surface of the dome-cut shape. This only happens when the sapphire is cut into a cabochon style.


11. The Kashmir Sapphire


The Kashmir sapphire is one of the most highly desired sapphires in the world. Its incredible design features a cornflower blue color and is extremely rare. These sapphires were primarily mined from 1880 to 1887. Today, the main supply of these sapphires is primarily depleted.


12. One of the Big Three


A sapphire is considered one of the "big three" gemstones, which includes sapphires, rubies and emeralds.


13. Association with Royalty


Possibly contributing to the name of "royal blue," sapphires are known for their association with royalty. During history, blue sapphires were frequently worn by medieval kings. They kings held the belief that the blue sapphires would protect them during war.

Adding to the history of fame related to the stone, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte chose a sapphire engagement ring for his to-be wife Josephine in 1796. The ring contains a pear-shaped sapphire and a pear-shaped diamond placed adjacent to each other. The famous ring sold in 2013 at auction for almost a million dollars.

In modern times, Prince Charles gifted Lady Diana a massive 12-carat sapphire encircled by diamonds as an engagement ring. Today, the ring is still worn by Princess Kate Middleton.


14. The Popularity Grows


Although sapphires quickly became a well-known stone for royalty, their popularity didn't end there. During the Victorian era, they were frequently popular in engagement rings along with small diamonds. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, blue sapphires were actually the most popular gemstone to use in engagement rings.
Vintage Sapphire halo diamond engagement ring

15. A Dense Stone


Sapphires are extremely dense, which adds to its strength and durability. Sapphires that weigh 1 ct look much smaller than a diamond that is 1 ct.
Classic sapphire dangle earrings set with diamonds

16. Anniversary Gifts


Blue sapphires are considered wedding gifts for a variety of anniversaries, specifically the 5th and 45th wedding anniversary.


17. Other Healing Powers


Sapphire is also considered to be an antidepressant by many naturalists. Others use it for psychokinesis, clairvoyance and telepathy.

18. Record Breaking Size


The largest sapphire in the world, called The Star of Adam, is just over 1400 carats. That is equivalent to almost 10 ounces! Found in a Sri Lanka mine in 2016, the gem is thought to be worth between $100 million and $175 million. The owner has chosen to remain anonymous and does not want to use the sapphire for jewelry.
Estate sapphire chandelier earrings by savransky private Jeweler

19. Steady Under Heat


Sapphires are able to withstand an impressive amount of heat. It takes a temperature of 2044° Celsius (3711.2° Fahrenheit) to melt a sapphire. Comparatively, paper will burn at just 451°F.

20. Limited Availability


Many of the gemstones sold in stores today are created in the lab. This is due to their availability and expensive pricing.
Orange Sapphire Drop earrings in 18k white gold

21. Heat Treatments


Many sapphires are treated with heat to make their colors more vibrant. The heat helps to increase the clarity of the sapphire and make the colors more intense. Sapphires with bright vivid colors that are naturally occurring tend to be highly expensive and rare.

22. Most Commonly Oval-Shaped


An oval cut is considered to be the most flattering and popular for ovals. It helps to maximize the ovals size and weight while retaining the color. It allows rough sapphire edges to be smoothed, without compromising the size.

Conclusion


For those of us who were born in September, our September birthstone is truly special and unique. As one of the most durable and hard stones, Sapphire has been considered one of the most highly prized stones throughout all of history. Known for its unique history and mythical powers like healing, the sapphire comes in a variety of unique colors. Sapphire jewelry is popular for engagements and anniversaries alike. The sapphire is truly one of the most precious of all gemstones.

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