Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sapphire - September's Birthstone

The most celebrated and intense Sapphires are a rich, deep blue but Sapphire may be any color except red. Yellow, green, white, purple and even pink-colored corundum is referred to as Sapphire while true red-colored corundum is known as Ruby. While trace amounts of chromium result in the Ruby's red color, it is other elements, notably iron and chrome that result in the different colored stones referred to as Sapphires.

Like other gemstones, Sapphire crystals are formedSapphires by intense heat and pressure beneath the Earth over millions of years. During this process some Sapphires develop tiny needle-like crystals that result in a phenomenon called asterism. This is the optical property which causes a reflective surface in the shape of a "star". Popular Star Sapphires commonly have six ray stars, though Sapphires with twelve ray stars are possible.


Early use of Sapphires as gem stones dates back to around 800 BC when the ancient Persians believed that the sky was colored blue because of the reflection of Sapphires. Ancient tradition holds that the Ten Commandments were carved on Sapphire tablets, while Kings wore the stone around their necks to ward off evil and protect them from harm. The stone holds numerous associations with the Catholic Church as well, being listed as the second foundation stone in Revelations XXI.

The name Sapphire is commonly believed to come from the Latin and Greek words for blue, "saphirus" and "sapheiros", respectively. However, some associate the name Sapphire with the planet Saturn because it can be translated as “dear to the planet Saturn” in Vedic and a number of different languages.


Blue is the color most associated with the personal qualities of friendship and loyalty, exuding harmony and wellness through truth and understanding. But it seems that ever since Prince Charles gave Princess Diana a Sapphire engagement ring there’s been an increase in the popularity of Sapphires used to represent fidelity and devotion. More and more couples are choosing this gem stone for engagement or eternity rings as well as journey necklaces.

Bearing a Mohs' Hardness rating of 9, Sapphires are the second hardest substance known to mankind, though the Diamond is nearly four times harder. This makes the Sapphire a very easy to care for gem stone. The Sapphire is also the birthstone for the month of September, and because it symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness, it makes a popular and sensible choice for an engagement ring. The Sapphire is also used to celebrate the fifth, forty-fifth and seventieth wedding anniversaries, and as an alternate for the seventh and tenth wedding anniversaries. If your birthday is in the month of September, consider a Black Hills Gold Sapphire ring or pendant with a beautiful deep blue Sapphire, available at