Throughout the ages, Sapphire has been given the place of royalty among gemstones and has long been the traditional
September birthstone. Ancient legends described this world as one set upon a tremendous sapphire that cast the sky blue with its reflection. Blue is the traditional color of the birthstone sapphire but in actuality, the gem comes in nearly every color of the rainbow.
Blue has always been the preferred shade of sapphires and for eons they have been favored by kings and priests as symbols of wisdom and purity. They have a place of honor among the British Crown Jewels and have been prized possessions of many a royal house over the centuries. Prince Charles even chose them as his engagement gift to Princess Diana. Sapphires of other hues are popular in jewelry as well, particularly in the colors purple and violet.
Like all birthstones, sapphire was believed to have mystical and magical properties in ages long past. The gems were thought to protect against poisoning and envy. They were used medicinally, as well, as ancient peoples believed that they could cure rheumatism, mental illness, colic and even strengthen eyesight. Some ancient legends claim that if a sapphire was put into a pot with a venomous snake and left there, the snake would perish! In medieval times, it was believed that wearing a sapphire to the signing of a treaty would prevent further bloodshed and promote true reconciliation. Kings often wore them to ward of jealousy in their courts and to protect them from harm.
These beautiful gems have been mined since as early as 7th century BC. They are found predominantly in India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Kenya, Myanmar, Thailand, Tanzania, China, Australia, and Kashmir, Madagascar and even in some places in the United States. Some of the most famous gems in history are sapphires, including the 563-carat Star of India.
The value of a sapphire is generally determined by its hue and tone. The sapphire becomes more valuable the deeper and more pure the shade of blue it is. Many sapphires today are treated to enhance their natural color. Synthetic sapphire is also popular and considerably less expensive than natural sapphire. Sapphire is second only to diamonds in strength and as such is popular for use in many industries, including shatter-resistant windows in armored vehicles, military body armor suits, watches and clockworks, barcode scanners, cell phones, satellite communication systems and much more.
It is easy to see why sapphire has held such a place in human hearts. This beautiful stone is as practical as it is gorgeous. The September birthstone seems to radiate the cool yet brilliant light of a star. Only sapphire can contain such bright radiance in a color usually used to denote cool temperatures. Sapphires are believed to represent the attributes of faithfulness and sincerity and as such, make a perfect gift for any person born in September.