Wishing all of our friends and readers with September birthdays a happy birthday! We’re celebrating sapphires this month, the September birthstone. While we traditionally tend to associate deep serene blue hues with sapphires, this gem comes in an entire rainbow of colors. To celebrate this September gem, here are a few facts about this stunning birthstone.
1. The word “Sapphire” is derived from the word “Sapphirus” which means blue in the Greek language.
2. Sapphires can be any color, except red (that would make them a ruby). They even come in clear and colorless variations, making them a popular diamond alternative.
3. Sapphires are made of corundum and are almost as hard as diamonds, scoring a 9/10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, close to the 10/10 that a diamond has. This makes them a great choice for rings and all types of jewelry.
4. Sapphires are mainly sourced from Cambodia, Colombia, India, and Kenya. Other areas include Afghanistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, the United States, and Vietnam.
5. First synthetic sapphire was created in 1902. Lab grown sapphires cannot be distinguished from natural sapphires except by gemologists and only with the use of professional equipment.
6. There is a rare phenomenon among sapphires called asterism (the Star Effect) where the gemstone will develop a six ray pattern giving it the appearance of a star. These stones are highly coveted and highly sought after.
7. Sapphires can also be more expensive than diamonds. The “Blue Belle of Asia”, a stunning 392.52 carat Ceylon sapphire, was sold at Christie’s Geneva on November 11, 2014 for a record price of $17.7 million. It was the first time a Sapphire outperformed diamonds.
8. Sapphires have been a symbol of royalty for centuries and often symbolize truth, sincerity, and faithfulness.
9. Sapphires were favored by kings and queens in the olden days. It was believed that wearing a sapphire would protect the wearer from jealousy and bad thoughts.
10. The rarest type of sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called padparadscha, a name that comes from the Sinhalese word for lotus flower. Traditionally from Sri Lanka, these gemstones are sifted from Sri Lankan rivers.