Sapphire – September Birthstone Meaning
September birthdays are celebrated with the dark blue gemstone, Sapphire. Read on to learn more about Sapphire’s links to royalty, as well as its history and its significance. Plus, find the perfect September birthday gift for the Virgo or Libra in your life.
What is a Sapphire?
- The Sapphire gemstone belongs to the corundum mineral family, which also includes rubies. Therefore, the name “Sapphire” can describe any corundum gemstone that is not “Ruby red”.
What is the meaning of a Sapphire birthstone?
- Astrologists consider the Sapphire to be a gem with healing properties. It’s said to encourage truth, loyalty, wisdom and clear thinking, especially when worn by those born in September or under the star sign of Virgo.
- Many also believe Sapphires can cure physical ailments, especially eye infections, headaches, earache and thyroid problems.
- In ancient Greece and Rome, royalty wore blue Sapphires because they believed the stone could protect their owners from the evil intentions of their enemies.
What are the characteristics of a Sapphire?
- Sapphires are typically a deep blue gemstone, though they can come in a variety of colours. Heat treating is commonplace, to increase their vivid colour.
- Although not quite as hard as diamonds, the Sapphire is extremely resilient and durable– a 9 on the Mohs scale. That’s why it’s so perfect for use in fine jewellery like engagement rings which are worn daily for a lifetime.
- The best-known Sapphires are blue. However, the gem comes in a rainbow of colours. The only colour it cannot exist in is red, because red corundum is called Ruby. A Sapphire in any colour other than blue is called a ‘fancy or ‘parti-coloured’ Sapphire.
- Pink Sapphire: any shade of pink except “Ruby red”
- Padparadscha: a rare orange gem named after a lotus blossom
- Yellow Sapphire: iron makes this gemstone yellow
- Star Sapphire: has a star-like marking inside the gem
- Green Sapphire: with iron pigmentation, same as yellow Sapphires
Where are Sapphires found?
- Historically, Kashmir and Sri Lanka are where most Sapphires have been found. But large quantities of the stone have also been found in other places in Asia and Africa, as well as Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar and the United States.
- The Sapphires from Thailand or Ceylon are generally regarded as the finest because of their vivid hues and exceptional clarity. Tons of earth needs to be shifted to find just a few Sapphires. Rough Sapphires often look dull and dark until they are cut and polished into beautiful gems.
What is the history of Sapphires?
- Sapphires were first discovered in Kashmir (formally Burma) in 1881. For the next 5 or so years, tonnes of the beautiful stones were uncovered in this area.
- However, the stones feature in many mythologies from all over the world, pre-dating these findings.
Fun facts about Sapphires
- Considered the finest of all coloured gemstones, the Sapphire doesn’t just feature in Asian mythology, but in many European and Near Eastern history books and religious texts.
- In Greek mythology, for example, one of the Titans stole a Sapphire from Zeus. The story highlights how valuable these gemstones were to the ancient Greeks. The word “Sapphire” originates from the Greek sappheiros, meaning “precious stone”.
- In ancient Persia, people believed that the earth was supported by a giant Sapphire that reflected its blue colour onto the sky.
- In the Bible, the gemstone is mentioned as one of the “twelve stones of fire” that were given to Moses and set into the breastplate of Aaron.
- The most famous Sapphire engagement ring is the Duchess of Cambridge’s blue Sapphire ring, which Prince William gave her when he proposed to her in Africa. The ring originally belonged to his mother, Lady Diana.
What are the best Sapphire birthstone gifts?
Sapphires are extremely durable, beautiful and valuable. For this reason, they make perfect, lasting gift jewellery for all kinds of occasions. The traditional wedding anniversary that Sapphires are given, is the 45th anniversary (the Sapphire Wedding Anniversary). And of course, in September (or for anyone born under the sign of Virgo), Sapphires make the ultimate meaningful birthday gift.