September’s Birthstone: Sapphire | Madison Gems
For those fortunate to be born in the month of September your birthstone is none other than sapphire. Not only does sapphire represent integrity, wisdom, loyalty and nobility; the gemstone is believed to encourage self-discipline, focus the mind and channel higher powers.
Whenever the word sapphire is mentioned our minds typically veer to thinking of a rich royal blue gemstone variety. However, sapphires in fact actually occur in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, as that particular color stone is classified as a ruby. Nonetheless, this lovely gem gives September-born babies a full spectrum of options when choosing the shade of birthstone that best represents them.
Sapphires were birthed from the mineral corundum. As well, trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper and magnesium give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively. Likewise, sapphires in any color but blue are referred to as “fancies.” Moreover, sapphires measure 9 on the Mohs scale, which is 2nd only to diamond.
The name “sapphire” originates from the Latin sapphirus as well as Greek sappheiros meaning “blue stone,” though those words may have originally referred to the gemstone lapis lazuli. Some believe it originated from the Sanskrit word sanipriya, which meant “dear to Saturn.” Sapphires are found in Africa, Australia, India, Brazil, China, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and North America (mainly Montana). In effect, Australia was a significant source of sapphires until deposits were discovered in Madagascar during the 1990s. Accordingly, Madagascar now leads the world in sapphire production. Conversely, a sapphires origin can affect their value as much as color, cut, clarity and carat size.
The ubiquitous sapphire has actually been popular since the Middle Ages. Back then, the celestial blue color of this gem symbolized heaven and attracted divine favor and wise judgment. Veritably, early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings, Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle, Buddhists believed it brought spiritual enlightenment and Hindus used it during worship. What’s more, it was believed by Ancient Hebrews that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, though historians now believe the blue stone referenced in the Bible may have been lapis lazuli.
Like diamonds, sapphires are assessed by the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut and carat size). Color is the key factor of a sapphire’s price. The highest valued sapphires are vivid blue, sometimes with a violet hue. However, secondary hues of green or gray detract from sapphire’s value. Pinkish orange sapphire varieties are known as padparadscha, and these typically have higher per-carat values than other colors of fancy sapphire. The 423-carat Logan Sapphire situated in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is one of the largest faceted gem-quality blue sapphires ever found. The Star of Adam is the largest blue star sapphire, weighing 1404.49 carats.
In 1902, French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process to make synthetic sapphire. The abundance of synthetic sapphire unlocked industrial applications spanning integrated circuits, satellite communication systems, high-durability windows and scientific instruments. As a result, sapphires aren’t just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches and electronics. In spite of this, this gem became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Furthermore, Prince William later gave this ring to Catherine Middleton when he proposed in 2010.
Conclusively, Sapphires make stunning gifts for anyone born in September or celebrating a 5th or 45th wedding anniversary. Whatever your reason for buying sapphire, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant gemstone. Therefore, whether you’re seeking classical blue or another shade of the sapphire rainbow, this powerful stone signifies your adoration and candor for your loved one.
Here are our top picks for September gifts:
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