Precious Sapphire Gemstone

Sapphire Gemstone

Sapphire comes from the Greek SAPPHEIROS which means Blue Stone. Note, in Latin the word for Blue Stone is Lapis Lazuli. In ancient times Lapis Lazuli and blue Sapphire referred to a specific color and not a mineral or material.

For instance, the New International Version translation of Ezekiel 1:26 reads, "above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli"; whereas the King James Bible version reads "and above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone."

In ancient times the light specimen of Sapphire was called Female Sapphire, whereas the dark blue Sapphire was called Male Sapphire.

Sapphire gemstone is of an aluminum oxide chemical composition. It has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. This hardness means that Sapphires can be used for any type of jewelry and can be worn every day without any worries about chipping, scratching or cracking.

It is transparent to opaque in clarity and has a double refraction and is pleochroic. It can display two colors depending on the angle at which it is viewed. The stone can look deep blue from one angle and a bit greenish blue from another.

Sapphires have a glass-like luster, and the colorless sapphire has an orange-yellow and violet fluorescence.

Sapphire and Ruby are one and the same, sharing not only its chemical composition, but both are equally famous, valuable and extremely rare (rarer than diamonds). Both Sapphires and Rubies are members of the Corundum family with the difference being that Rubies come in different shades of red, whereas Sapphires for the most part is known for its beautiful blue color though it can also be found in yellow, green, orange and purple. There are also colorless and black sapphires.

The word sapphire refers to the blue colored stones. The others that come with a color prefix, for example, yellow sapphire, purple sapphire, etcetera are known as Fancy Sapphires. However, this term does not apply to the colorless, black and the blue types.

The colors of sapphires are caused by mineral impurities within the stone. A trace presence of chromium, iron or titanium minerals create the colors in both Sapphires and Rubies.

Some sapphires have the ability to change its color when viewed under different types of light. For example, it displays a blue color in daylight and changes to a reddish color under an incandescent light. These color-changing sapphires are rare.

Padparadscha Sapphire is one of the rarest of sapphires which is the most desired and highly priced. It is named after a lotus flower. Its colours are light to medium pinkish orange to orange-pink, some people describe it as salmon or peachy color.

However the most sought-after sapphire is the one described as Cornflower Blue or Kashmir Blue Sapphire. It is in vivid, pure blue hue that is velvety and saturated. This shade of blue like the cornflower is the most prized in the world that is rarely found today and command a hefty premium.

Here is a list of the different varieties of Sapphire:

- Sapphire refers to all sapphires that are blue in color

- Fancy Sapphires all colors of yellow, orange, green, pink and purple except blue

- Yellow Sapphire comes in canary yellow to almost honey color

- Orange Sapphire is of the deepest yellows to nearly red in color

- Green Sapphire comes in all shades of green hue

- Pink Sapphire is light pink to almost red

- White Sapphire is often clear or white and has no impurities and so is completely colorless

- Black Sapphire is black or very dark blues or grays in color

- Star Sapphire exhibits star-effect across the surface of a cabochon-cut sapphire.

Sapphires are one of the four highly priced gemstones in the world, the others being diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

From ancient times, the sapphire have had a reputation of being a sacred gemstone. It was the gemstone sacred to Phoebus Apollo, the Greek god of light; prophecy, poetry, music and healing.

The light of Apollo represents inner (intuitive or revealed) knowledge, truth, righteousness, moral purity and mental illumination. Its light is not the same light as that of Helios, the material Sun.

Apollo is the God who slayed Python the Dragon who had guarded and restricted entrance to the most holy site of the Oracle at Delphi. After the dragon died, people could make pilgrimage to this sacred site and receive wisdom from the gods.

Apollo, the God of Light and Music and Poetry and Healing, fits well with the metaphysical properties of the sapphire gemstone.

Sapphire vibrates healing energy by its soothing blue color. Gazing at a sapphire is recommended for protection against any harm.

Eye infections and even poor eyesight can be improved using sapphires. It was said that applying powdered sapphire mix with milk on the eye relieves pain in the eye.

For heart problems, it is recommended that a sapphire be placed near the heart and this would fortify the heart.

Sapphire was very important as a pharmaceutical remedy for all types of ailments of the body, from inflammation to poisons, melancholy and even flatulence.

It was used as a charm against witchcraft, treachery, quarrels between friends, evil forms of thinking and demonic influences.

Sapphire was also used in magical and religious ceremonies. For instance, it was used as an amulet that would protect the wearer from the larvae of the demonic spiritual plane, and from poisonous vermin on this material plane.

Sapphire was considered powerful against poisonous insects.

Ancient priests wore Sapphire as a symbol of their chastity. For accordingly, no evil men, of evil thoughts and of evil habits could touch this sacred gemstone which was the gemstone of Apollo who used it to consult the sacred Oracle at Delphi.

A drunkard and a drug addict should never wear a sapphire. This is because the sapphire would not tolerate such vile hands or persons as the brilliance in the sapphire would simply be dimmed.

Sapphire was considered the gemstone of heaven, and a great talisman against devils and demons and witches, and all forms of evil forces. Ancient Persians believed that the heavens were in fact the reflection of a giant sapphire.

In Indian vedic astrology, sapphire is one of the nine principal gemstones known as Navratnas. It is called the Neelam Stone. The ruling planet for this stone is the planet Saturn that rules the intelligence quotient in people. Wearing this stone enhances intelligence and communication skills.

It is believed that the famous ring of King Solomon was a sapphire. Sapphire, it was said, can win you the favor of people at high places of power.

Buddhists say that the sapphire opens closed doors, brings inner peace that helps you to access the silence that comes with meditation.

Sapphire is the gemstone of angelic guidance and help, of friendship and goodness and truth.

It gives warning to the wearer of hidden dangers, and heightens intuition and other extra sensory perceptions.

The Star Sapphire is a valued charm for securing the love of friends, for faithfulness and living in harmony with others. And it protects you from dangers. Sapphires restores our sense of emotional balance.

Sapphires, just like rubies and emeralds often come with flaws or inclusions. An eye-clean sapphire is most likely synthetically grown or heavily treated. Synthetic sapphires, which are of the highest quality, have a different value than natural sapphires.

Inclusions in sapphires can give it a unique characteristic. For example, the inclusions found in Kashmir Sapphire give it a velvety blue hue appearance. The rutile inclusions in the Star Sapphire forms the rays of a star that is so much admired.

Geuda is low gem quality corundum from Sri Lanka. These varieties can be turned into high quality blue, yellow sapphire by heat treatment.

Blue sapphires are the most popular and sought-after type of sapphire. It has been the favourite and most prized possession of royalty for thousands of years due to its uniqueness and rarity.

For centuries, Sapphire has been the blue gemstone associated with royalty and romance. It is a particular favorite for the British and other European Royal families.

It is also for this reason that has led to the deep blue hue acquiring the name “royal blue” to describe its particular color. After Princess Diana was seen wearing her sapphire engagement ring, sapphire gemstone further rose in popularity. This same ring was given to Kate Middleton at Prince William's proposal in November 2010.

In 1907 an enormous 486.52 carats sapphire was discovered in Sri. Lanka. It remains today as the largest faceted sapphire in the world known as the Blue Giant of the Orient.

In 2016 the biggest star sapphire known as the Star of Adam was also found in Sri Lanka. It is estimated to be worth up to $300 million.

In 1995 one of the largest, notable Sapphires known as the ‘Millennium Sapphire’ was discovered in Madagascar. It was then carved intricately of 130 figures of key milestones and personalities in human history by Alessio Boschi and sold for a whopping $50 million in 2018.

The English explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, referred to his star sapphire as his "talisman" as he believed it brought him good luck. He was the first non-Muslim to have entered the city of Mecca which was then off-limits to all non-Muslims. He did it under disguise as his indiscretion would have meant death. On his gravestone it is written, "Who seemed to bear a charm 'gainst spear or knife or bullet, now lies silent from all strife'."

The oldest deposit of Sapphire comes from Sri Lanka. India and Myanmar (Burma) are well known sources of Sapphire since ancient times.

Other rich deposits of Sapphire can be found in Kashmir, Pakistan, Thailand (where the golden-yellow sapphire known as Mekong Whiskey can be found; also, in Kanchanaburi and Trat are the places where most sapphires from around the world are cut and processed), Cambodia, Vietnam and Africa.

Australia is the source for today’s 70% of the world's blue sapphire production and Montana in the United States produces some of the high quality natural blue sapphire gemstones.