S for SapphireAnna S.
Sapphires, traditional symbols of nobility and loyalty, were typically reserved only for royals and high priests up until the 17th century. All other individuals were strictly forbidden from wearing this precious stone. Fortunately, the times have changed.
Sapphire belongs to the mineral species called corundum. It’s known for its rich navy shade and even its name comes from the Latin and Greek words for “blue”: sapphirus and sappheiros. The words were originally used to describe another blue gem called Lapis Lazuli.
However, sapphires actually come in almost every color of the rainbow including pink, peach, orange, yellow, green, white and purple. By the way, if a corundum mineral has a rich red shade, it is called ruby.
Pink and purple sapphires are mined in Sri Lanka and Africa, yellow and green ones are found in Australia and Thailand, and orange – in Sri Lanka. The rarest orangy pink sapphire is called Padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the language of Sri Lanka. The most valuable are the blue Kashmir sapphires from India. These are extremely rare gems of an incredible cornflower shade with a silky shine.
The classic sapphires from Sri Lanka have a blue or light blue – so-called Ceylon – color. Thai sapphires usually have a greenish shade and are called Siamese sapphires. However, Kashmir and Burmese Sapphire are considered to be the most expensive ones with a unique and deep blue shade.
Corundum may show a phenomenon called “asterism”, or “the star effect”. This phenomenon usually appears as a three-ray star pattern across a cabochon-cut stone’s curved surface. Equally valuable and unique is a cat’s eye sapphire, the blue gem with a longitudinal stripe of a darker color. Besides all these unusual features, there’s another interesting sapphire variety – color-change gem. These stones change their color depending on the lighting.
Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness – and is associated with romance and royalty.
🔹 In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected them from envy and harm.
🔹 According to the legend, Helen of Troy owned a large star sapphire, which was believed to hold the secret of her beauty.
🔹 During the Hellenistic period (400-100 B.C.), sapphires were inscribed with the head of Jupiter (Zeus), the god of sky.
🔹 During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary people believed that the gem attracted heavenly blessings.
🔹 In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and even reveal the secrets of oracles!
🔹 Deep blue sapphires have traditionally been associated with royalty – and love! For instance, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave his beloved wife Josephine a two stone sapphire and a diamond engagement ring in 1796. Another example: in 1981 Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. It featured a 12 ct oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
The ancients considered sapphire as a symbol of justice. The seal of King Solomon, made of a star sapphire, gave him the right to judge people.
Monks appreciated sapphires for enhancing peace and concentration, as well as for their help to soothe carnal passion. Buddhists believe that this stone fulfills the wishes expressed in a prayer.
Sapphire encourages noble deeds, repels enemies, protects from envy, anger and fear. It also enhances self-control and endurance, strengthens willpower, brings peace of mind and helps to move towards the intended goal, overcoming all the difficulties and troubles.
Astrologers recommend wearing a sapphire for Sagittarius and Libra signs, as well as for Cancers, Pisces and Lions.
Coming in a variety of colors, preferred sapphires have strong to vivid saturation. The color, tone, and saturation of sapphires take priority over all the other aspects such as clarity, carat, and cut.
Although blue sapphires often have some inclusions, they generally have better clarity than rubies.
Sapphire’s appearance depends on its cut and shape – this is because the way sapphires are cut strongly affects their color. The condition when the center of the gem does not reflect light is known as a window. Sapphires with large windows have lower prices, whereas gems without windows are sold for a higher value.
The larger and higher quality sapphire you choose, the more expensive it will be.
“Sapphires are just gaining momentum every year: the demand for them is steadily growing, leading to an increase in the price.Moreover, Sapphires are excellent investment gemstones. The most popular and valuable are unheated Burmese and Kashmir Sapphires. For example, over the past 10 years, Kashmir Sapphires have significantly increased in price – today they are more expensive than diamonds.
Padparadscha Sapphire is also considered as an investment gem since this orange pink gemstone is extremely rare.
Other Sapphire varieties are a perfect and more affordable alternative to diamonds: Yellow Sapphires may replace yellow diamonds, and Colorless Sapphires are an alternative to white diamonds. Slightly inferior to the refraction of light, they still look and sparkle no less luxuriously”.