Happy birthday, September babies! If you were lucky enough to be born in this month, like Beyoncé, Prince Harry, and Gwyneth Paltrow, then the glorious sapphire is your birthstone. At Lavalier, we see all kinds of sapphire jewelry as people submit appraisals and applications for jewelry insurance, and it holds a special place in our heart. Learn more about this gorgeous sparkler below!
What is a sapphire?
Sapphires are a variety of corundum, a very hard, colorless mineral. Corundum takes on colors from impurities present in the mineral. If chromium is present, the corundum is red, and the gem is called a ruby. While sapphires are generally thought of as blue, they actually come in several different colors, including pink, yellow, green, and orange. These are known as ‘fancy sapphires’ and can be quite valuable. In general, the word ‘sapphire’ refers to the blue variety, which is created when the corundum contains trace elements of iron and titanium. Deeper blues have more iron.
Sapphires in history
The sapphire has long been associated with royalty and spirituality. In the Middle Ages, clerics would wear it as a symbol of heaven, and the gem was thought to attract divine blessings. According to Exodus in the Bible, the throne of God was made of sapphire, as were the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. Perhaps one of the most memorable pieces of sapphire jewelry is the engagement ring Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana in 1981, further cementing its status as a gemstone worthy of royalty.
Spiritual properties of sapphire
There are many opinions about the healing and metaphysical properties of crystals and gemstones, but most believers agree that the sapphire is great for getting your creative juices flowing. It is said to enhance meditation, opening the mind to higher planes and getting rid of unwanted, negative thoughts and emotions. Some claim the sapphire encourages fidelity and commitment, and it may also bring prosperity to the wearer.
As we mentioned, Princess Di’s engagement ring (now worn by Duchess Catherine Middleton) is one of the best-known examples of sapphire jewelry. Star sapphires are especially prized, and are named after the small inclusions that cause a six-rayed star pattern. These stones are cut ‘en cabochon,’ or in a dome shape, with the center of the star at the top of the dome. Helen of Troy was rumored to own a large star sapphire, a love-charm that held the key to her desirability. At 733 carats, the Black Star of Queensland is the world’s largest star sapphire. It’s privately owned, but you can see the second-largest star sapphire, the Star of India, at the American Museum of Natural History. The Star of India is a bit smaller (563 carats), but the milky coloring is absolutely breathtaking.
Does all this talk of sapphires make you wish you had a September birthday? Well, the 45th wedding anniversary is the sapphire anniversary, so if you’re in it for the long haul (and you drop a lot of hints!) you could be the proud owner of a sapphire. Of course, you don’t need an excuse to buy a beautiful item of jewelry, and when you do, Lavalier has you covered – our jewelry insurance extends to newly purchased pieces for thirty days before you add them to your policy!