"... the open sky sits upon our senses like a sapphire crown - the Air is our robe of state - the earth is our throne, and the Sea a mighty minstrel playing before it." - John Keats
No other gemstone spells royalty as loudly and clearly as the sapphire! One of the 4 precious gemstones, the sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September. It is also given to mark the 5th and 45th anniversaries of marriage. Sapphire gets its name from the Latin word ‘sapphirus’ meaning blue. Sapphires come in a rainbow of colours including blue, yellow, pink, orange, purple, green and even black. Obviously, the royal blue colour is the one people refer to when they say sapphire. The non-blue ones are called ‘fancies’. Sapphires are a variety of the mineral called corundum. They get their colour from the elements iron, chromium, titanium, magnesium and copper. Sapphires are often associated with royalty, dignity, integrity and wisdom. They are said to encourage self-discipline and reach out to higher powers.
Sapphires are naturally found in parts of South East Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, Australia and North America (Montana) are prolific sources of the gemstone. The Kashmir region in India produced the classical blue sapphires in the 19th and 20th century. In fact, the world record of price per carat for sapphire was set by a gem from Kashmir. $242,000 per carat, if you are interested! Famous stones have also originated from Sri Lanka. Australia was also a significant source of the gemstone. Madagascar now leads the production of sapphires globally.
Sapphire is a tough and long lasting gemstone. It is second only to diamonds for strength. In fact, besides jewellery, sapphires are also used in industrial applications such as watches and electronics due to their hardness. They add a touch of royalty to any look and can be paired with most elegant outfit choices. It goes without saying that they make great gifts! They are also great family heirloom jewellery items, passed from one generation to another. Sapphire is used in all forms of jewellery including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. For inspiration, you can find our hand made, 18ct gold sapphire products here.
The Millenium Sapphire is the largest known sapphire – it weighed 17.9kg when it was discovered in Madagascar in 1995!