Sapphires orchestrate the all-encompassing allure of nature, legend and beauty. They command a legendary appeal that has got women swooning over them and adoration of royals for centuries. Originating from the Greek word, sappheiros,sapphires tend to drag up an interesting past that begs attention and will have you looking at them with new appreciation. Often elegantly worn, these precious gemstones say something about the person who chooses to wear them, not for their striking beauty, but for their intriguing origins— which makes them all the more desirable.
Sapphire, dubbed the birthstone of September, is commonly known for a royal blue intensity. Sapphires come in many shades, yet famously held clout for the color blue. Blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty. Once adorned by kings and queens of ancient Greece, blue sapphires were thought to ward off evil. In folklore, blue sapphires held mythological qualities of protection and purity. The legendary element of purity was so entrusted; members of clergy wore the stones during the middle ages. Furthermore, legend claims the stones have medicinal qualities to cleanse one of poison and induce fertility.
For these reasons, sapphire is an excellent choice as an engagement ring. Famously, Prince Charles once slipped a brilliant sapphire ring onto Princess Diana’s finger to commence their engagement. Vintage rings, cushion cut and adorned with small diamonds are sought after for such occasions. Colors range from violet blue, green, purple, orange and yellow with varying tones to suite all tastes. Even more, sapphires command a hardiness that is only second to a diamond on the Mohs Scale, making the gemstone highly durable and everyday wear possible. With such legendary appeal, beauty and hardiness the sapphire could easily become the most favored gemstone.
Sapphire stones inside a mine quarry
Mined from many countries throughout the world, sapphires continue to fill supply by demand. Most are mined out of Asia, followed by parts of Africa, Australia and the United States. The Kashmir sapphire has become one of the most highly demanded gemstones on the market. Famously blue in color, these sapphires were once mined from the Kashmir region, tucked between towering Himalayan peaks in Northern India and parts of Pakistan. Known for their indisputable quality, and sensational violet blue color, today they continue to sell from collections of the past—making them extremely valuable.
However, the Padparadscha sapphire, found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Tanzania—is considered extremely rare. The name, padparadscha is from the Singhalese word for “lotus flower”, which is a sacred flower in many eastern cultures. These precious stones have a unique shade, like that of a pink sunset and are sought after for their color and rarity making them very expensive.
Even so, all sapphires originate from the mineral corundum elapsed from limestone, dolomites and other common rock types. The materials that create the stones are abundant, yet it is the process that delivers precious gemstones. Trace elements like iron and titanium turn sapphires blue, while chromium can cast a pink tone. In this way, it is often the origin of the gemstone that dictates the color. Kashmir famous for blue, while in comparison Myanmar produces red sapphires, better known as rubies. In this way the value of a gemstone is also determined, as geographical regions typically render quality. The island nation of Sri Lanka, south of India is one of the larger producers today, and is known for mining fine sapphires. One excellent example would be the Ceylon sapphire, from Sri Lanka, which is high in popularity, quality and a wide range of colors.
Today, sapphires continue to draw attention for their striking appearance, strength and magical qualities. Beyond obtaining a bold engagement ring, fine jewelry collection or talisman, sapphires have continued to fill needs for the modern world. Today sapphires have been incorporated into the functions of watch crystals, optical components and semiconductor devices. They truly orchestrate an exceptional quality that continues today.