15 Fun Facts About Sapphire - The September Birthstone That You Probably Didn't Know
Virgo season is on! Let us learn a bit more about the precious gemstone that could be a perfect gift for the September babies:
1. Popularity That Spans Thousands of Years
Sapphires have been famous for thousands and thousands of years as precious gemstones in ancient Persia, Roman Empire and throughout the Middle Ages.
2. Colours of the Rainbow
When you think of the colour of a sapphire, you come think of the deep blue skies or the ocean. However, sapphires occur in a lot more colour than you would think. Sapphire gemstones occur in nature in almost every colour of the rainbow- peach, pink, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, purple etc. Red Sapphire gemstones are more famously known as rubies.
3. The Chemistry of the Sapphire
Sapphire gets its colour from their corundum. The trace elements determine the colour, a classic blue sapphire contains traces of iron and titanium, whereas traces of chromium can turn the stone pinkish. A larger amount of chromium is responsible for turning a sapphire into a ruby.
4. Pink is Rare
Sapphire gemstones in themselves are rare, however the rarest sapphire comes in pinkish orange colour and has a special name called padparadscha (tongue twister, we know!). The name is derived from a Sinhalese word for lotus flower. These gemstones can be found in Sri Lanka and are sifted from Sri Lankan rivers.
5. The Origin of the Name
The word “sapphire” comes from the Latin and Greek word for “blue”: sapphirus and sappheiros. Originally these words may have referred to a different type of stone known for its deep blue appearance called Lapis Lazuli.
6. Not Just Attractive but Also Tough to Destroy
Sapphires are undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous looking stones occurring in nature. Not only are they attractive but also strong. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, sapphires score a 9 out of 10, meaning that the only naturally occurring item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. This makes sapphire a famous choice for an engagement ring, that you plan on wearing everyday for everlasting durability.
7. Industrial Uses
Sapphire given its durability and hardness, has been used for industrial purposes in the past. The most famous use of sapphire was arguably in the Apple Watch Series 3, where the crystal was used in the screen to make it's resistant to scratches. Many Swiss watch companies have also used it to increase the durability of their watches.
Sapphires are found in Australia, Tanzania, Thailand, Madagascar, Sri Lanka etc. These gemstones are available throughout many countries across all continents around the world.
9. Mystical Powers
Multiple cultures throughout history, have used sapphires for its mystical powers and even claimed that the gemstones possess heavenly powers. The stone is claimed to be a symbol of peace, truth, innocence and good health. The sapphire stone was believed to protect the wearers from the evil. The blue colour of the sapphire resembles the sky which is associated with the heavens. The Europeans in the Middle Ages believed that sapphire could cure eye diseases, preserve chastity and bless the wearers with heavens blessings. Sapphires are also known to symbolise nobility and faithfulness, thereby making it a perfect fit for an engagement ring choice.
10. A Symbol of Royalty
Deep dark blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty (which in turn contributed to the naming of the colour royal blue). Royal blue sapphire rings were worn by medieval kings as these stones are known to possess heavenly powers, thereby protecting them from the evil i.e. the enemies.
11. Expensive Sapphire Stones
A sapphire ring gifted by Napolean Bonaparte to his wife Josephine in the year 1796 was recently auctioned in 2013. The ring sold at a million dollar and features a pear-shaped sapphire stone along with a pear-shaped diamond facing different ends on a classic gold band.
12. Famous Sapphire Rings
The most famous sapphire ring today is the royal sapphire ring given by Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. Princess Catherine now wears the ring. The ring possesses a 12-carat oval blue sapphire and is surrounded by diamonds.
13. Not Just for Royals
Although sapphire rings are extremely famous amongst and within royal families, sapphire rings are not just for the royals. Before the advent of 20th century when diamonds became the new hype, blue sapphires were the favoured gemstones found in most engagement rings. Sapphire rings were famous within the Victorian era, and are now called the Victorian Engagement Rings, in which the blue sapphires were surrounded by small diamonds.
14. The “Star Phenomenon”
Not known to many, and intriguing to everyone whoever’s heard of the term, Star Phenomenon is exhibited by sapphires. When inclusions create a pattern of a star, a star pattern is formed on the surface of a dome like cabochon cut sapphire stone. These inclusions make the sapphire special and are often called “star sapphire”
15. Colour Changing Sapphires
We are as intrigued as you are. These types of sapphire exhibit different colours in different lighting shifting from blue in the daylight to bluish purple at the night time under incandescent light.
If you love sapphires as much as we do, explore the diamond story for our range of gemstone rings or contact us now to create your own sapphire engagement ring or sapphire jewellery based on your preferences.