September Sapphires

September Sapphires, has traditionally symbolised sincerity, truth, faithfulness and nobility. Sapphires also celebrate the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

The word ‘sapphire’ comes from the Latin ‘sapphirus’ which means blue. It has language roots in Ancient Greek and the Middle East as well. Although sapphires are famous for their beautiful blue hue, they actually come in almost any colour! Red sapphires have their own name though, ruby.

Sapphire close up, sarah hickey jewellery

Through out history sapphires have been the gemstone of choice nobility. The elite of ancient greece and rome believed that blue sapphires protected their owners from harm and envy. In the middle ages clerks wore sapphires because they symbolised heaven. Ancient Persians believed the earth actually rested on a giant sapphire, and it was its reflection that made the blue sky!! Sapphires are regarded as one of the most valuable gemstones. As such, they are some of the most expensive, next to pearls, rubies, and diamonds. 

Sapphires were believed to have healing powers too. medieval Europeans believed that sapphires cured plagues boils and diseases of the eye, and it was also thought to be an antidote to poison. At this time it was also thought that blue sapphires could not be worn by adulterers, because the stone would change into another colour!

Where are sapphires found? Kashmir, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are three historically important sources. They are also found in Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar and the United States (Montana) among others in Asia and Africa.

Sapphires were discovered in Kashmir around 1881 when a landslide high in the Himalayas exposed a large pocket of velvety, ’cornflower’ blue crystals. The stones faceted from these crystals established Kashmir sapphire’s reputation as one of the worlds most coveted gems.

Some Sapphires exhibit a phenomenon known as the ’star effect’, caused when inclusions within the sapphire create a star pattern of light on top of the gemstone. A highly sought after and prised gemstone.

How to look after a Sapphire.

Sapphires are relatively hard, has excellent toughness and no cleavage (a tendency to break when struck.) Making it a perfect choice for rings, and other pieces of jewellery subject to everyday wear.

Warm soapy water is the best way to clean sapphires, although they are tough so can withstand ultrasonic cleaning.

Sapphires, sarah hickey jewellery

Famous sapphires include the Rockefeller Sapphire, a 62.02 ct rectangular step cut stone unearthed in Myanmar and acquired in 1934 by financier and philanthropist john D Rockefeller. There is a famous sapphire called ‘Star of India,’ which is the world’s biggest sapphire gemstone found to date. It resides in New York’s Natural History Museum. More recently the most famous sapphire is the 12 ct sapphire surrounded by diamonds in the sapphire engagement ring first worn by Princess Diana and then given to the now Duchess of Cambridge.

Here at SHJ, Sapphires are a firm favourite! Click here to visit our Sapphire collection.

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