Sapphire, the Birthstone of September
Sapphire has been adorned and admired throughout ancient times for its deep blue color and being one of the four recognized precious gemstones. Being the second hardest material on earth, as first is a diamond, the mineral of sapphire is corundum.
The name Sapphire comes from the Greek word “sapphires” and Latin word “sapphires” both meaning blue.
Alike to diamonds, the natural creation of sapphires takes millions of years, and no two sapphires are exactly like made deep beneath the earth’s crust.
All Sapphires are made from the corundum while colored sapphires get their hues from different trace elements found deep in the earth as the liquid mixture cools such as pink, yellow, green, and of course blue. Other minerals being present with corundum such as iron or titanium are responsible for turning the sapphire blue as it cools while the red of ruby is made with chromium.
Both Ruby and Sapphires are made from the same element of corundum as the only difference is the color of ruby being red which classifies into being a ruby. All other colors of corundum are known as sapphires.
image from diamondbuzz.blog
While the mineral that makes up corundum takes on other colors than only blue and red – these colored sapphires are referred to as “fancy sapphires” however this term doesn’t apply for colorless, black, and blue sapphires.
Bi-color sapphires, also referred to as “Montana Sapphires”, while only some may be traced to Montana. Other rare sapphires are color change sapphires which change color in different lighting.
Sapphires are symbolized for their sincerity, truth, faithfulness, wisdom, and nobility, and calm the mind while providing mental clarity. They have been throughout centuries by nobility royalty, and the clergy. The ancients of Greece and Rome believed that this precious blue gemstone protected them from harm and envy while Clergy of the Middle Ages wore them as a symbol of Heaven.
Ancient Persia believed that Earth was balanced on a giant sapphire and was reflected in the color of the heavens. Buddhists believed that sapphires have a calming effect on people and facilitated their prayer and meditation practice.
During the Middle Ages, Christian clergy began the practice of “lithotherapy” which is using gemstones to heal the sick. Early alchemists also sought to use the powers of sapphires as well as those who practiced magic.
Sapphires commonly found in Kashmir, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka which are all historical places as sources for this September birthstone. Sapphire can also be found in Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Montana (USA), among other countries in Asia and Africa.
For over 2,000 years, Sri Lanka has been historically the main source for sapphires of precious blue.
Sapphires are very durable being a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it is very durable. However, just with diamond jewelry, it’s recommended that you remove your sapphire jewelry before physical activities.
Just like a diamond, you can clean your sapphire at home by taking some soapy water or dishwashing liquid soap in warm water and store it together. Put your sapphire in the water and let it soak to loosen any dirt or particles. After it has soaked take a soft unused toothbrush and wipe it clean. Then rinse your jewelry off in clean water and either lay it to dry or wipe it with a soft, clean cloth.
Ultrasonic cleaners can be used on jewelry with sapphires and take caution to keep your jewelry safe from being scratched by putting it in its own jewelry bag in a jewelry box or safe.
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