Associated with royalty and romance, September’s birthstone sapphire has been a cherished gemstone for centuries. “Sapphire” is derived from the Latin and Greek words for “blue”: sappheiros and sapphirus. Although sapphires come in a wide range of colors, blue is the most notable shade. In addition to being the September birthstone, this gemstone also marks the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries. In this post, we will review the history of sapphires and sapphire jewelry.
Where do Sapphires come from?
Sapphire’s can be found on multiple continents but are most notably found in Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. These gemstones can also be found in recognizable quantities in the United States (Montana), Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Madagascar.
For over 2000 years, Sri Lanka has been the source of these precious gemstones. In the early 1800’s, sapphires people discovered after a landslide in the Himalayas exposed a pocket of “blue crystals” in Kashmir. As of 2007, Madagascar was the highest yielding production of sapphires with Australia being right behind them.
History of Sapphires
The sapphire and ruby belong to the corundum mineral family. Corundum is an allochromatic gemstone meaning trace elements in its chemical structure provide the gemstones color. The impurities give the gemstones color and without it, they would be colorless. Gem-quality corundum in the shade red is a ruby. Gem-quality corundum in any other color is a sapphire.
Sapphires have adorned royalty for centuries. Wearers believed that the September birthstone protected the wearer from evil as well as attracted wealth. In the middle ages, people thought the sapphire had healing powers, specifically associated with the eyes.
Sapphires have always been a vastly popular choice for all types of jewelry. Ranking a 9 on the Mohs scale, they have exceptional hardness and durability, making it an excellent choice for everyday wear. This gemstone is a popular choice for rings and other mounted jewelry because it doesn’t have cleavage which is the ability to break when struck.
This gemstone is most recognizable in its blue hue, however, it comes in a variety of colors. For example, you can also find this gemstone in hues of pink, orange, yellow, purple, green. Classic blue sapphires range in color and contain traces of iron and titanium which give them their blue hue. The rarest sapphire is Padparadscha and has pinkish-orange hues. The rare pink sapphire gets its name from the Sinhalese word for lotus flower.
An Iconic Sapphire
The most iconic sapphire belonged to Princess Diana of Cambridge. The ring featured a stunning 12 carat blue sapphire. The sapphire sat in a white gold setting with a halo of diamonds. After her passing, her son Prince William used it to honor his mother’s memory and proposed to Kate Middleton who continues to wear it to this day. Experts estimate the ring cost $400,000 today.
The Diamond Reserve specializes in all kinds of custom jewelry. We work with various types of gemstones to meet each individual’s wants and needs. If you are looking for a custom piece of sapphire jewelry, give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule a consultation.