Scientifically, blue sapphires are nothing but the mineral conundrum with traces of cobalt; however, these beautiful precious gemstones have found themselves many admirers throughout history – from kings and queens to priests and popes – and have been the part of many a folklore in different parts of the world.
Sapphires are also found in yellow, green, purple or orange colors which occur due to traces of titanium, magnesium, purple, or copper respectively. Chromium traces yield pink or red sapphires, where the later is known as ruby and rarely ever called red sapphire.
There is also an orangy pink color of sapphires that is found mostly in the river beds of Sri Lanka. It is known as “padparadscha” meaning lotus flower in the Sri Lankan language Sinhalese. Sapphires can also be colorless and sometimes, though rarely, they also occur in grey or black. The general view about sapphires is that they are the blue gemstones. Most jewelry buyers are surprised when they come to know about the various colors sapphires are found in.
Sapphire is a very hard gemstone – rating 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness – with only moissanite (9.25) and diamond (10) ranking ahead of it. The hardness makes it a very strong and durable stone. The most common use of sapphires is jewelry making. However, due to its sturdiness, it is also used in scientific instruments, wristwatch crystals, and special circuits for GaN-based LEDs.
The Name “Sapphire”
The word “sapphire” comes from two languages – Greek and Latin. The Latin “saphirus” and the Greek “sapheiros” – both of which mean blue – have come to make the name sapphire, the blue gemstone. Many believe that the name means “dear to the planet Saturn” due to the stone’s association with Saturn in astrology.
Sapphire is mined at several places throughout the world – India, Pakistan, Myanmar, China, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Thailand, Australia, and Sri Lanka. The best blue sapphires come from Sri Lanka. Sapphires sourced from there are intense blue, clear, and transparent, which makes valuable and precious jewelry when cut and shaped into brilliant, shining beads of beauty.
Sapphire in Astrology
Sapphire is considered as a stone of strong influence. If it is your birthstone, wearing it will bring you peace, tranquility, happiness, and spiritual enlightenment. It is also said to help in getting rid of fevers, delusions, seizures, and defective vision.
The stone is said to help those in the professions of public leadership like politicians or magistrates, surgeons, doctors, metallurgists, scientists, defense personnel, and archaeologists.
It is beneficial for all those whose lucky number is 8, which is the number formed by adding digits in the date of birth of a person. Persons born on the 8th, 17th, and 26th day of any month are eligible to wear sapphires.
Myths and History Surrounding Sapphires
Prince Charles of Wales gave a sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer, arguably the most famous royal personality of the 20th century, in 1981. The ring, which had a blue 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds set in white gold, became synonymous with the princess and was a sensation since she broke tradition by not choosing something custom made but what could be easily bought by anyone from the jewelry collection of Garrard, the makers of the ring. The same ring would eventually find its way to the hands of Catherine Middleton, the future Duchess of Cambridge, and the wife of Prince William, the eldest son of Princess Diana.
The rulers of ancient Greece and Rome believed that sapphires protected the wearer from harm and envy. In the Middle Ages, the clergymen wore sapphires as they held the view that the sky reflects the blue color of sapphires and therefore represents heaven, while common folks thought that the stone attracted heavenly blessings. The belief that the sky was blue because of the reflection from sapphires was also held by rulers of ancient Persia. Ancient lore also says that the Ten Commandments were actually written on tablets of sapphire.
Sapphires are indeed one of the most fascinating, mesmerizing, and attractive gems mother nature has given us. The luster, brilliance, and the deep blue color of a sapphire make the wearer stand out of the crowd eve