Hello, September born sweethearts and sass-a-frasses! Today, we are going to discuss the modern and traditional birthstone for this month (hint: it’s only one stone). Drum roll, please! The gemstone is…sapphire! That’s right, folks! We are going to do a deep dive into the background of the stunning sapphire.
When you think of sapphire, do you automatically envision a gorgeous, dark blue color?! In folklore, history, art, and consumer awareness, sapphire has always been associated with the color blue. Its name comes from the Greek word sappheiros, which also refers to lapis lazuli.
Most people still think that sapphires only come in the color blue, when, in reality, there are multiple colors of sapphires. They range in hues of colorless, white, gray, green, violet, purple, orange, yellow, brown, golden, peach, pink, and black. What makes them change color, you may ask? It’s all about the trace elements of different minerals when the stone is formed.
The intense blue color that sapphires are traditionally known for is cause by the addition of titanium and iron to the main mineral of corundum. Trace elements changing the color can also change the name of the stone entirely. Another fun fact about the coloring of sapphires: the red ones are called…rubies! That’s right! Stay with me here, okay? Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum. The very same mineral, just in a different color, is not called ruby but sapphire. Yup, rubies and sapphires are made from the same mineral (corundum) but just with a slight variation: rubies get their red color from the element chromium, and so are classified as rubies, while traces of iron and titanium create the blue color that sapphires are most known for. However, sapphires can come in a variety of colors and are then just prefixed with that color’s name, i.e., yellow sapphire. SO, to recap, rubies and sapphires are made from the same mineral but the variations in color classifies them as different stones. The rock world is full of wacky facts, am I right?!
Now that you know more than you knew (shout out to the rock nerds who already knew all about that color story), let’s talk about the history of this gorgeous stone! In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize heaven, and ordinary folks thought 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 reveal the secrets of oracles.
For centuries, sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance. The association was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Until her death in 1997, Princess Di, as she was known, charmed and captivated the world. Her sapphire ring helped link modern events with history and fairy tales.
Find your own fairytale in the amazing selection of sapphires at Key West Local Luxe Jewelry!