SapphiresJuly 18, 2014
Second only to a diamond, a sapphire is the hardest gem coming in at a 9 on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness, and like a diamond, ruby, and emerald, a sapphire is a precious gem while all other gems are semi-precious stones. The sapphire has been known since antiquity; therefore, not surprising it has its myths, folklore, and superstitions. Surprisingly, though, the sapphire is a close relative of the ruby. How is this possible since there is no correlation between blue and red? Before answering that, however, we must look to the mineral corundum from which comes a sapphire.
Corundum is a fairly common colourless or opaque mineral whose gem quality is rare. But there you have it: corundum is the source of the beautiful, highly-prized sapphire that is said to be the favourite gem of all time perhaps because of its rarity and cornflower blue colour that earned it the reputation of being the only ‘true’ sapphire. Today, however, all colours of gem quality corundum, with one exception, are known as sapphire. That exception is red that then explains the comment above that the sapphire is a close relative of the ruby but only those gems with a distinct red colour can be called rubies whereas those of a pale or near-red colour would come under the label of fancy sapphires.
Chemical impurities or trace amounts of other elements – iron, titanium, chromium, magnesium, vanadium – in the corundum produce fancy or coloured sapphires. Example: Iron and titanium give us the blue sapphire while iron and chromium produce vivid yellow or orange sapphires. Where only iron exists we have the green or a weak yellow sapphire, and if chromium is the only element the pink sapphire is produced and the deeper the pink the higher the monetary value. But if the quantity of chromium increases so does the hue or colour of the sapphire to make a ruby rather than a pink sapphire. A purple or violet sapphire requires vanadium. While all are beautiful I, like many others for many years, considered that intense, velvety blue to be the only and true colour for a sapphire. And then I discovered the pink and yellow sapphires and tossed my former opinion out because the fancies are equally as exquisite and desirable as their blue counterparts.
But to be honest, there are no words that can describe the incredible beauty of the pink sapphire but if pink is your undisputed favourite colour you really should go to LL Private Jewellers to see up close and personal their amazing selection of pink sapphires. And you probably won’t be surprised when I say that the pink sapphire is now the second most popular colour with, I would venture to say, yellow coming in strongly in third place because the yellow sapphire, also breath-taking beautiful, could easily compete with the yellow diamond, just as the pink sapphire can compete with the pink diamond but at much less cost.
Additionally, if you believe in the Zodiac (Western astrology) or Vedic (Hindu astrology) you know the yellow sapphire is associated with the planet Jupiter and therefore connected to good fortune, power, wealth, and wisdom. It therefore seems like a no-brainer to choose a sapphire of any colour over any other gemstone, no matter your beliefs or birth month. But, if you’re having difficulty choosing a colour or size do yourself a favour by going to LL Private Jewellers where you can feast your eyes on these beautiful sapphires of every colour.
Other Sapphire Myths
Sapphire is the birthstone for September but where the zodiac is concerned, a sapphire represents Taurus and when worn by a Taurus, the sapphire is believed to have the power to protect the wearer from mental disorders or cure such a disorder if one exists. The sapphire also symbolizes loyalty, truth, and sincerity and bring joy, wisdom, and peace to its wearer and protect the wearer from evil spirits. From antiquity, right through the Middle Ages, the sapphire was worn as jewellery and perceived as a gem of great value that could protect the wearer from harm and even envy. Sapphires were also once believed to protect the wearer from snake bites and if a poisonous snake or spider were put in a jar with a sapphire the creature would immediately die.
For more information about sapphires and sapphires engagement rings please contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-684-6343.