Of all the Precious Gemstones, sapphires are my favorite. When I first started as a jeweler, I didn’t know that they came in a rainbow of colors! Diamonds shine and are of incredible brilliance. On the other hand, sapphires pop with color.
So let’s take a closer look at these gorgeous gems!
What is a Sapphire?
Sapphires are one of the four precious gemstones.
They have an incredible history, from drawing fame with the royal family to playing a part in ancient legends. This makes sapphires one of the most sought-after gemstones for jewelry, besides diamonds, of course.
And, sapphires are the birthstone for September.
How do Sapphires form?
Sapphires (and ruby) come from the mineral corundum formed deep in the earth’s crust. Corundum rises to the surface in igneous rocks. This may sound technical, but I think it’s interesting.
Igneous rock comes from the Latin word “ignis,” meaning fire. These rocks form by cooling and solidifying magma or lava. They cool quickly to form crystals.
Sapphires & Royalty
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s 18-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. This sparked a growing trend among couples searching for colored gemstone engagement rings.
What Do Sapphires Symbolize?
They are symbols of good fortune, virtue, holiness for the royals, and wisdom over the centuries. In an engagement ring, a sapphire means faithfulness and sincerity, as well.
The Many Lovely Colors of Sapphires
The name sapphire comes from the Greek word “sapphirus”, meaning “blue”.
The best color for a natural blue sapphire is an intense, velvety, deep royal blue. This color of sapphire is AAA quality, the rarest and most valuable. The second best color is a medium-rich blue or AA quality.
I happen to be someone who loves green sapphires! Who knew?
Green is a rare color for sapphire.
Blue Green Sapphires
Fine loose gemstones of good color and clarity are always rare and valuable. Highly saturated medium or medium dark green and blue-green tones are best. Green and blue-green sapphires which are too dark or too light are worth considerably less.
The rarest sapphire color is padparadscha, which is a Sinhalese word for lotus flower. The color is a mix of orange and pink. I’ve never seen one of these, but the pictures are beautiful.
A pink sapphire brings the wisdom of resilience to one’s life, teaching that true strength lies in the power of vulnerability. The mineral corundum has trace minerals. It is the amount of chromium that determines how pink the sapphire is. Lots of chromium means that it is a ruby.
A purple Sapphire (also called a ‘Violet Sapphire’ or ‘Plum Sapphire’) is a bluish-purple to a purplish-pink-colored gemstone. Astrologically, purple sapphires are the strongest form of Blue Sapphire.
The yellow sapphire represents divine grace and power. It is the gemstone of knowledge, auspicious wealth, and loving relationships and provides general well-being and spiritual knowledge to the wearer.
White sapphires honor the spirit, providing intuition, clarity, and self-control. This sapphire is a symbol of power, protection and mental strength, and good and wise judgment.
The black sapphire is a nearly opaque gemstone.
Australia mines large quantities of black sapphires. The large quantities cause this sapphire to both inexpensive and low-grade.
Blue Star Sapphires
I made myself a ring with a blue Star Sapphire and I love it! It is so different.
In the past, some Christians referred to star sapphire as the “Stone of Destiny.” They associated the star’s three crossbars with Faith, Hope, and Destiny. (Corundum star stones have three crossbars and six rays, while other gemstones, such as garnets, show stars with two crossbars and four rays).
Black Star Sapphires
You can find black star sapphires with a gold star in Thailand.
How Can I tell if My Star Sapphire is a Fake?
All you need to do is to shine a flashlight on it. A fake star will remain stationary when shining a flashlight on it and moving it in a circular motion.
Were you born in September? Did you know that sapphires had that many colors? What is your favorite sapphire color?