Sapphire – a gem that’s been cherished for thousands of years.
The word sapphire comes from the Greek word sappheiros meaning "blue color." It is one of the four precious gemstones, along with diamond, ruby, and the emerald. Technically, sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, a form of aluminum oxide.
Kashmir, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sri Lanka are three historically important sources for the September birthstone. Significant quantities of the September birthstone have also been found in Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar and the United States (Montana), among other countries in Asia and Africa.
Chemical Formula: Al2O3
Color: White, Colorless, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray, Black, Multicolored
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Refractive Index: 1.76 - 1.77
SG: 3.9 - 4.1
Transparency: Transparent to opaque
Double Refraction: .0008
Luster: Vitreous to adamantine
Cleavage: None, but may exhibit parting
Mineral Class: Corundum
A Symbol of Energy and Healing
While its rareness, color, and hardness are what make sapphire so valuable as a gemstone, for alternative healers and others who study and collect crystals, the appeal of a sapphire lies in its energy and healing properties. The Blue sapphire is regarded as a stone of mental focus and order, inner vision, and psychic awareness. In chakra theory, sapphire is said to help open the third eye to receive wisdom and insight, as well as the throat chakra, which allows you to communicate that vision to others.
In its healing uses, sapphire is sometimes compared to lapis lazuli, as both stones evoke the power of the deeply mysterious blue color. The mineral referred to in the Bible as sapphire was very likely lapis lazuli. Unlike lapis lazuli, though, the sapphire stone has a brilliance and clarity of depth that seems to extend its illumination down into the soul of anyone who studies it.
Associated with deep spirituality and devotion, sapphire is thought to bring peace and contentment to one's soul, as well as trust in the fulfillment of his or her destiny.
For new-age enthusiasts and alternative healers, here are some additional properties attributed to the sapphire:
Protect from negative energy
Attract financial abundance
Promote mental clarity
Evoke the feelings of devotion
Strengthen integrity and intuition
Other Uses for Sapphire
Because it evokes the energy of loyalty, honesty, and devotion, the sapphire is often used in the design of engagement rings and romantic jewelry.
Sapphire is used in all forms of jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. It is used both as a centerpiece gemstone in pendants and rings, as well as a secondary stone to complement other gemstones such as Diamonds. Star Sapphires are polished as cabochons, and, if clear, are extremely valuable.
The rare orange-pink variety, known as Padparadschah, can be even more valuable than fine blue Sapphire. Blue Sapphire is sometimes carved into cameos or small figures, especially the less transparent material. Synthetic Sapphire is often used as a cheap substitute for natural material.
The main gemstone colors in addition to blue Sapphire include:
- Yellow Sapphire (sometimes also called "Golden Sapphire" if intensely colored)
- Pink Sapphire
- White Sapphire (describes colorless Sapphire)
- Green Sapphire
- Purple Sapphire
- Orange Sapphire
- Black Sapphire
The beautiful sapphire represents the month of September and is the birthstone of the astrological signs of both Taurus and Virgo. Sapphire is also the birthstone of the Chinese zodiac sign of Tiger and is said to represent the energy of two days of the week—Thursday and Saturday.