Birthstone of the Month: September
By Morgan Garrison
When you hear “sapphire”, the image that comes to mind is probably that of a rich, deep blue gemstone. While blue sapphires are the most famous and recognizable type, it’s only one of the many varieties of sapphires that many, this author included, didn’t know existed. Keep reading to find out what else you might not know about his captivating gem!
The name Sapphire comes from the Greek “sappheiros” and Latin “saphirus” meaning blue. It’s blue color has contributed to it being associated with the sky by many cultures. The ancient Persians believed that the earth sat on a giant sapphire and it’s reflection is what made the sky blue. Medieval clergymen favored sapphires because the color symbolizes Heaven.
Sapphires have also long been associated with the soul, romance, fidelity and royalty making it a perfect choice for a royal engagement ring. Perhaps Lady Diana Spencer knew the significance of the stone when she chose her engagement ring in 1981. The 12 carat oval sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds is now worn by her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Interestingly enough, she’s not the only member of the royal family sporting a sapphire engagement ring. Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, also wears a halo style ring set with an oval sapphire estimated at about 2 carats.
If you keep up with the Windsors, you might be thinking, “but Princess Eugenie’s ring is pink? Sapphires are blue!” You’re not wrong, blue is the most well known variety of sapphire, but they are found in an array of colors including purple/violet, yellow, green and even pink. Princess Eugenie’s gem is actually a Padparadscha sapphire. This orangy-pink variety is named for the lotus flower and is found in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is an important source for sapphires. Sapphires are also found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar and high in the Himalayas in the Kashmir region. Sapphires were first discovered in Kashmir in 1881 when rockslides exposed a pocket of cornflower blue stones. The color and quality of the stones mined here quickly made Kashmir a sapphire capital. Kashmiri sapphires are still some of the most coveted in the world because of their rich blue color that looks almost velvety.
Color is one of the most significant factors that determines a sapphire's value. Sapphire’s with the prized blue color are found naturally, but sapphires can also be heat treated to improve their color. The practice doesn’t harm the integrity of the stone and the results are permanent so it’s widely accepted in the jewelry industry. Sapphires also have a hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale which makes them suitable for daily wear. They can also withstand ultrasonic and steam cleaning.
Here at Fernbaugh’s, we have an assortment of gorgeous sapphire jewelry. This adorable pear shaped sapphire pendant is brand new to our collection. Set in sterling silver with a halo of diamonds surrounding the sapphire, this necklace is a perfect everyday piece. It even has matching earrings! The necklace is $199 and the earrings are $269.
Looking for a royal inspired ring for the queen of your heart? Look no further than this regal oval sapphire ring. Pictures don’t quite do it justice! The dark blue sapphire is surrounded by a halo of diamonds set in a vintage style head with scalloped detailing on the band. This 10 karat white gold ring is $699.
September’s birthstone has lore as rich as its blue hue. Whether you're a September baby or you just like blue, a piece of sapphire jewelry would make a perfect edition to your wardrobe!