What is the history of sapphire? What are the sapphire extraction areas? What is the meaning of sapphire? How to choose a beautiful sapphire? Why is sapphire so coveted?
A strong symbol, the sapphire is part of the corundum family that it forms with the ruby. These two stones actually have the same chemical composition. If its best-known color is blue, this gem can take on all colors except red. A red sapphire is a ruby. It is an emblematic stone, which resists the wear and tear of time very well.
History of sapphire
Sapphire is traditionally the symbol of loyalty, nobility and sincerity. In ancient times, kings and queens wore blue sapphires because they believed they were protected from evil and envy. Sapphires have often been used throughout history to set crowns and royal attributes, like the Royal Ceremonial Crown of the Queen of England which has 17 sapphires.
One of the most famous sapphires, the Ruspoli, belonged to King Louis XIV. This 135.80 carat blue sapphire is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
Special features of sapphire
Like ruby, sapphire is part of corundum. It is therefore also allochromatic, that is to say it is transparent in its pure state. Sapphires are difficult to identify because there are a whole range of different colors. However, the cornflower blue (or intense royal blue) color is typical of sapphire and not present in any other mineral.
When we talk about sapphire, it is understood that it is blue, for other colors we then speak of a “sapphire-followed-by-its-color”, for example, a pink sapphire, an orange sapphire , … Titanium and iron are the origin of the blue color of sapphire. While as with the ruby, it is the chrome which gives its pink or orange color to the pink sapphire. Padparadschas are extremely rare sapphires, pink with a touch of orange. Padparadschas means “lotus flower” in Sinhala.
However, it is possible to see that sapphire can vary slightly from blue in daylight to purple in an incandescent lamp. More rarely, it can vary from red to brown or green.
How do you know if a sapphire is natural?
Generally speaking, sapphire is clearer than ruby. A natural sapphire contains bristles, also called rutile needles, which cross each other. These allow light to reflect inside the stone and produce an even more intense color. This is therefore a sign of the natural origin of the stone.
These rutile needles can even produce an asterile pattern, depending on the size chosen and the orientation of the stone in the right directions.
Sapphire: the birthstone of September
For people born in September, sapphire is associated with them. This gem is a symbol of strength, loyalty and sincerity. Wearing a sapphire, mounted on a ring for example, would increase one's wisdom.
Origin: where do sapphires come from?
The most important blue sapphires come from the Kashmir region, but they are rare and little mined. Kashmir is located in the middle of the Himalayan mountains, and the blue of these sapphires is of unparalleled intensity, coupled with deep transparency. Kashmir sapphires are among the most exceptional gemstones.
Sri Lanka and Myanmar also supply beautiful stones. Other origins are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar and Australia.