Blue Sapphire September Birthstone
This month, we are learning more about the fascinating geological history of the gorgeous, deep blue birthstone of September: Sapphire.
HOPE + LOYALTY + INTEGRITY
Sapphire gemstones have decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members, celebrated love and were believed to hold powers of protection for centuries and until today are some of the most beautiful and rarest gemstones. Its extraordinary colour is the standard against which other blue gems — from topaz to tanzanite — are measured. This uniquely pure colour is what inspires Augustine Jewels to use sapphires in its handmade jewellery collections and bespoke pieces. This gemstone is said to serve as a symbol of hope, love, loyalty and integrity. It is a popular option for engagement rings and is also traditionally given to celebrate 5th, 45th and 65th wedding anniversaries.
Taking its name from the Latin ‘saphirus’, meaning ‘blue’, sapphires are typically of a blue-violet colour, with ‘cornflower blue’ being the most desirable and rare shade. In a high quality sapphire gemstone, blue makes up more than 85% of the colour, leaving little room for violet hues. While most people are familiar with the blue variety of the sapphire, which usually refers to the blue variety of corundum, the stone is found in a rainbow of other colours - such as green, yellow, orange, purple, pink and even colourless, but never red. If a stone could be considered a ‘red sapphire’, it is actually classified as a ruby (also called the red variety of corundum)! Sapphires can even sometimes be grey, black or brown. Some stones exhibit the fascinating phenomenon known as colour change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light.
Blue sapphires typically have some inclusions, but they generally have better clarity than rubies. In regards to their cut, Sapphire is often cut with a brilliant pattern on the crown and a step cut pattern on the pavilion. Sapphire is also very high on the Mohs Scale, which measures the hardness of stones, with a score of 9 - close behind diamond, which is top of the Mohs Scale with a score of 10 - making it the third hardest natural gemstone on Earth.
Sapphire is probably one of the most mysterious gemstones, which charms with its characteristic dark blue colour. For the longest period of time, sapphires have been widely associated with royalty. Numerous royal families have had personal collections of sapphire gemstones, and they even wore them in their crowns and jewelry. One of the most famous sapphires rests on the Imperial State Crown worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It resides in the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. This gem is called the St. Edward’s Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone on a ring during his coronation in 1042.
Not only is this stone easily recognisable, but we all remember the Duchess of Cambridge’s 12-carat oval blue sapphire engagement ring, originally belonging to Princess Diana. This choice of engagement ring has been gaining popularity in recent years, as sapphires are long associated with love, representing fidelity and romantic devotion. Without a doubt the Royal family keeps setting the trends - even in jewellery, leading to a surge in demand for sapphires since the Duchess’ engagement in 2010.
The elite of ancient Greece and Rome believed that blue sapphires protected their owners from harm and envy. It had been believed by Medieval Europeans that sapphire could cure plague boils and diseases of the eye. Sapphire was also thought to be an antidote to poison.
Wearing a blue sapphire stone is said that it may bring astounding levels of material success and growth. It is a particularly beneficial precious gemstone for people who are trying to meditate, develop inner quietness and focus on creative expression.
Sapphires are mined from many places across the world, including eastern Australia, Thailand, China, North America, and Sri Lanka. Burmese sapphires and rubies coming from the Mogok Valley are particularly highly regarded, for the rich and intense blue hue that the sapphires from this region can present. Myanmar is also a noted source of jadeite jade, spinel, zircon, amethyst, peridot and other fine gem materials.
Silver Sapphire Spiral Pendant, Portofino Collection
The world’s biggest sapphire is in fact a ‘star sapphire’, named ‘The Star of Adam’ after a Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. This gemstone was discovered in Ratnapura, known as the ‘City of Gems’, in southern Sri Lanka in 2015. Weighing an astonishing 1,404 carats, around 280g, and being valued between 100 and 300 million dollars, this stone earned the title of world’s largest sapphire. It took this title from the Logan Sapphire, which is now the second largest blue sapphire known. This sapphire, being roughly the size of an egg, is set in a brooch surrounded by round brilliant cut diamonds and is now displayed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. It was donated by Polly Logan, former wife of Robert Guggenheim, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1960. This stone was gifted by an Indian maharaja to Guggenheim, who gifted it to his wife Polly. They later divorced and Polly took the last name of her second husband, the name later given to the stone upon its donation to the Institution.
Our luxury jewellery studio based in London specialises in handcrafted jewellery, hand-selecting all our natural gemstones individually. Knowing the cultural and historical background of the exquisite gemstones we are working with makes our job - designing fine jewellery a real pleasure.
Do have a look at our bespoke pieces and other collection elements that are made even more exquisite with the glamorous sapphire on our website.