Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September and for the zodiac sign of Virgo (August 24th – September 22nd). It is traditionally given as a 5th and 45th wedding anniversary present. Sapphires have long been a notable symbol in ancient history, fables and folklore. They are highly renowned for their brilliant colors and beauty. Often known as a symbol of wisdom and wealth, it is easy to see why sapphires have been so popular throughout history.
The name sapphire comes from ancient languages; ‘sapphirus’ in Latin, which means "blue". It also has roots from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’, meaning blue stone. In ancient Greece, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected those wearing the stone from envy and harm. Not only was the sapphire able to provide ancient greeks with protection, but many also believed the stone had healing powers. Thought to harness the power to cure colic, mental illness, rheumatism and even strengthen one’s eyesight, the sapphire was often found in the medical tools of many ancient healers.
Ancient Persians held the belief that blue sapphires were actually chips from a huge pedestal that supported the flat earth. They believed it was the reflections of these sapphires colored the sky blue. A great poet once described the sapphire as “the blue of a clear sky just minutes after sundown.”
Sapphires are one of the most highly prized gemstones, right after diamonds. This is due to the rich color and history. Because of this, sapphires have long been associated with royalty and romance. The association was reinforced in 1981, when Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana. Sapphire engagement rings represent loyalty and honesty - essential characteristics for a long lasting relationship. Wearing a sapphire gifted by a loved one signifies that the bond will be everlasting and the partners will have a deep attachment for each other. It’s a beautiful representation of your eternal love.
Blue sapphires range in color from pale periwinkle to a deep indigo, the intensity of the color depending on the amount of titanium and iron within the crystal. A medium coloured cornflower blue is the most desirable. A majority of blue sapphires come from Burma and Kashmir, where the blue tone is the most pure, and the stones tend to have a distinct luster. Sapphires from Sri Lanka are lighter shade, almost a pastel blue. These days, many sapphires also come from Australia, which are dark blue, often with a slightly green undertone.
While the deep blue color is most commonly associated with sapphires, they also come in a wide range of other colors, including colorless, pale pink, orange, green, yellow, violet and brown, called "fancy sapphires". These color forms are due to different oxides within the mineral and they offer a fabulous range of alternatives to other coloured gems which may be less durable. For example, chromium is responsible for pink sapphire colour, and iron and titanium traces result is a blue sapphire.
The great thing about sapphires is that you can decide which color you prefer. Their beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The most classic choice is, of course, blue sapphires. Pink sapphires can be very popular, while green and yellow sapphires are a unique choice that stands out from the crowd.
American designer, Robert Procop is well know for his use of a wide range of sapphire colors. His collections from from an ombre of blues, to bold bracelets featuring pink and orange sapphires. Check out some of his work here.
With a hardness of 9 on Mohs’ scale, the sapphire is a very durable gemstone for jewelry. Because of their hardness, sapphires can be cleaned in almost any way. Warm, soapy water is best, though you might also try ultrasonic cleaners and steamers. It is suggested that you should have your sapphire jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected every six months. Besides keeping your sapphire jewelry as gorgeous as the day you first saw it; the regular inspection of your jewelry will ensure that your sapphire stays where it is, that any additional stones are also secure.
TIVOL offers a wide range of traditional blue sapphire jewelry as well as an assortment of pinks, oranges, purples and yellows sapphire jewelry. Come into our stores on the Country Club Plaza and Hawthorne Plaza to find the perfect color for your style.