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The September Birthstone: Sapphire

The word sapphire comes from the Greek word “sapphirus” meaning blue. It was once believed that the world was set up on an enormous sapphire which painted the whole sky blue with its reflection.

Although very different in appearance, the sapphire and ruby are sister stones. Both gems belong to the corundum mineral family. Red corundum, colored by traces of chromium, is called ruby while blue corundum, colored by traces of titanium and iron, is known as sapphire. All colors of corundum are known as sapphire except for the red ruby. Ranking a 9 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, it is second in hardness only to diamonds.

Sapphires have been a long time favorite among priests and kings, who considered them symbolic of wisdom and purity. They were thought to be protective against envy and poisoning. When ground into a powder, it is believed to cure colic, rheumatism and mental illness and strengthen eyesight.

A sapphire is the recommended gemstone for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries. A gift of this blue beauty represents sincerity, peace and faithfulness.

It is important to have your sapphire jewelry cleaned and inspected at least every six months. As with all gemstones, care should be taken to avoid scratches, sharp blows, and extreme temperature changes.