September’s Birthstone: Sapphire

What do Sapphires, the brilliant blue September birthstone, have in common with July’s birthstone, the red ruby?

Quite a lot, as it turns out, starting with the fact both are among the 5 Cardinal Gems and have often been associated with royalty.

But sapphires and rubies are actually related — the two are different-colored variants of the same mineral: corundum.

In fact, every color of corundum is considered a sapphire except for red, which is reserved for the ruby.

The September Birthstone, sapphire, is set in a beautiful ring adorned with diamonds.

Sapphire Color

Sapphires are most commonly thought of as blue, the color of the gemstone’s most popular and valuable specimens.

However, sapphires also occur in other colors, starting with varying shades of blue.

“Fancy sapphires” can be found in nearly all colors — including pink, black, organ, yellow, purple, colorless — with the exception of red, since red corundum is considered a ruby.

Sapphire Significance

Sapphires are often associated with royalty, and are believed to promote abundance, bringing the wearer gifts and blessings. The stones have also been used to ward off negativity.

In Buddhism, sapphires are considered sacred stones and revered for their calming effects.

Variants of a “heavenly” blue have been seen as a symbol of the heavens that represent faith and hope.

Sapphire History

Sapphires have been prized by many cultures throughout history.

In ancient Greece, sapphires were associated with the god Apollo.

In the Middle Ages, sapphires were thought to protect their owners from evil and bring about abundance or fulfillment, both spiritually and physically.

Sapphires, the September birthstone, are set in a stunning bracelet.

Sapphire Facts

The word “sapphire” comes from the Hebrew word for blue: “sapir.”

Sapphires are one of the 5 Cardinal Gems

Blue sapphires can be found all over the world, but the finest quality stones come from Sri Lanka and Kashmir. Sapphires from these regions can often exceed $1,000 per carat.

Mining Sapphires

Sapphires are one of the few precious stones that can be mined by both large companies and small-scale miners.

The mining is often done by hand, but the actual process of mining sapphires varies depending on the size of the operation. For large-scale mining operations, heavy machinery is used to excavate the sapphire-bearing rock. This rock is then crushed and sorted through, with the sapphires being separated from the other material.

For small-scale miners, the process is often much more manual. Miners will dig tunnels by hand, looking for areas where sapphires are known to occur. Once a deposit is found, they will use simple tools to break up the rock and extract the sapphires.

Once extracted from the ground, sapphires must be cleaned and graded before they can be sold. The cleaning process removes any dirt or impurities that may have been picked up during mining. Grading is done to assess the quality of the sapphire and determine its value.

August Birthstone Sapphire Stone

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