A new month has just started: September. The month of Spring in Australia and its infinite colours, the month of love (hopefully love is all around every month of the year!), and the month of lovely Sapphires.
If you think of this beautiful gemstone, you’ll probably think Blue; and you will be right, as they are the most desired ones. But what most people don’t know is that sapphires can be found in a range of different colours such as: violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, gray, black, brown, white, multicoloured and even colourless; all these called “fancy sapphires”.
Sapphires get their well known blue colour from the combination of different chemical elements. A very popular variety is the pinkish-orange sapphire called Padparadscha, the Sinhalese word for lotus blossom.
The word sapphire comes from the Latin word “saphirus”, which means “blue”. Sapphires have been highly prized since the Roman Empire, considered a treasure by royalty and members of high society, worn also by clergy. A symbol of the heavens, guardian of innocence, bestower of truth, promoter of good health and preserver of chastity; they were believed to be a protection against sorcery, banishing evil spirits and sending negative spells back to the sender.
Sapphires are said to be priced under the level of diamonds because of their hardness. Diamonds are listed as a ten, while sapphires are a nine in terms of hardness.This makes them a perfect choice for engagement rings and for everyday use. And they can be the “something blue” that a bride is supposed to wear on her wedding day!
In 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte gave his bride to be Joséphine, a diamond and sapphire engagement ring. Years later, in 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer.
The world’s largest producer of sapphires is Sri Lanka (former Ceylon), from which they get their famously known name “Ceylon Sapphires”. Another important producer is Australia with an exceptional color range and quality. These two are my choice when making jewellery.
Sapphire is the gem for the 5th and 45th anniversary and September birthstone.