Sapphire is the birthstone associated with the month of September.
Sapphire is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Taurus.
Al2O3 + Fe2+ & Ti4+
Sapphire is a form of Aluminium Oxide known as Corundum. The unusual color variation in Bi-Color Sapphires is due to the presence of impurities in different oxidation states within the crystal structure.
History & Lore:
The name Corundum is believed to originate from either the Indian word kauruntaka, or the Sanskrit word kurivinda. Sapphire, the name for this particular type of Corundum is taken from the Latin word sapphirus, meaning “blue”.
It was the belief of the ancient Persians that the Earth actually rested on an enormous Sapphire and that the reflection from this Sapphire was what gave the sky its blue coloration. Sapphire has been the pre-eminent blue gemstone for centuries since.
Sapphire is a powerful stone that can take negative emotions and feelings and transform them into peace, love and joy. Sapphire is a very helpful gemstone, often used to treat skin and eye disorders, and to ward off infection. In addition to this, Sapphire has long been regarded as a symbol of constancy and sincerity. Sapphire bestows innocence, truth and good health, and has traditionally been a popular choice amongst Royalty, often having been used in Engagement Rings as an alternative to Diamonds.
Sapphire aids the wearer with opening the third-eye Chakra, and is an aid to getting inside the sub-conscious mind, as well as being a gemstone said to attract divine favor.
Natural Bi-Color Sapphires are both extremely rare and expensive, particularly in large sizes.
Whilst today's main sources of Sapphire are Africa, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand and the United States (Montana, North Carolina), there are also known Sapphire deposits in Brazil, Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Tanzania and Vietnam.
The highest quality and most desirable Sapphires are those that originate in India, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Sapphires from India and Myanmar (Burma), are highly prized for their pure blue colors and stones from these regions are priced accordingly, often at collectors prices, particularly if there is documentation available to prove the origin of the Sapphire. Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Sapphires are sought after for both their delightful pastel blue and fancy colored variations.
Sapphire is rated at 9 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and is second only to the Diamond in this regard. Sapphires therefore are perfectly suited to all jewelry purposes / uses and is a very hard-wearing, durable and versatile gemstone suitable for everyday wear.
When thinking of Sapphire, most people immediately think of, and prefer, a blue gemstone. Sapphire is however actually much more than just a blue gem and is found in various colors including, black, blues, browns, colorless, pink, orange, peach, purple, voilet, white and yellow. The one color that Sapphire is not is red. Red Corundum is what we know as Ruby.
Bi-Colored Sapphires are also known on the commercial market today, though it must be noted that they are quite rare and expensive. The best grade of Bi-Color Sapphire usually exhibits an obvious color division that looks similar to Ametrine. The most usual Bi-colors displayed are blue to yellow to green, or greenish yellow or purple. The most important aspects to consider when evaluating a Bi-Colored Sapphire are the depth and intensity of the colors, the distinctiveness of the separation, the clarity, and the size.
Being an extremely hard gemstone that is very well-suited to jewelry purposes, Sapphires are cut into almost all of the known gemstone cuts, with Cushion, Emerald, Pear and Oval cuts being particularly popular.
Bi-color Sapphires are usually heat-treated in order to intensify color and remove “silk”, small inclusions present in most natural Sapphires. This method of treatment is considered permanent and color should not fade over time.
Care & Cleaning:
Sapphires are a very tough, durable gemstone and can safely be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush, and can also safely be cleaned using most modern mechanical cleaners. Do however avoid subjecting Sapphires to prolonged exposure to strong heat or light sources, particularly with regard to heat-treated gems, as prolonged exposure may cause permanent changes in coloration.