This rich, deep blue gemstone is from corundum mineral. Sapphire is considered a royal gem and it occurs naturally in several different hues, except red. When there are trace elements of chromium, titanium, iron, magnesium or copper present, you can see a tint of orange, blue, green, purple or yellow.
The term “sapphire” originates from a Latin term “sapphirus” and the Greek term “sappheiros”, both of which mean “blue stone”.
Sapphires are sourced from Vietnam, Thailand, India, Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Africa and Australia. Where the sapphire is sourced will determine its cut, color, carat size and clarity. Sapphires display a remarkable toughness; measuring 9 on the hardness scale. Like diamonds, sapphires are valuable in industrial applications, electronics, watches, high-durability, scientific instruments as well in jewelry-making.
Sapphires have always been held in high regard in antiquity. The Greeks wore this gemstone when they were seeking answers from oracles.
Sapphires represent sincerity, integrity, nobility and loyalty. Wearing sapphires is also associated with maintaining self-discipline, channelling inner powers and focusing mindful processes. Buddhists thought it brought on spiritual enlightenment. Many Christian kings regarded sapphire as having protection powers. Ancient Hebrews believe that the original Ten Commandments were first engraved on tablets made from sapphire.
The region of Kashmir in India was a prime source for violet- blue sapphires, especially during the late 19th century. The world’s highest record for price per carat of a sapphire is $242,000 which was found in Kashmir in October, 2015. Today, Madagascar is the world leader in sapphire production.
In 1981, the blue sapphire became a symbol of love when Prince Charles of Britain presented Lady Diana with a 12 carat blue sapphire ring. Later, Prince William presented this same ring to his wife Catherine Middleton when he made his marriage proposal in 2010.