Sapphire comes from the Greek word “sappheiros,” meaning “blue”. The term sapphire denotes the blue colors of corundum. The name “fancy sapphire” is also applied to any corundum that is not blue or a shade of red which would not qualify as a ruby.
Sapphire is the blue variety of corundum. It gets its color from iron and titanium and has a color range from pure blue, cornflower blue, greenish-blue, and violet-blue. Today, the most sought-after shade of sapphire is a strong vivid velvety blue to violet-blue in medium to medium-dark tones. Sapphire treatments include heat, diffusion, irradiation, beryllium, and fracture filling. Fracture filling is done with glass, resin, wax, or oil. Assume that the sapphire has been heat-treated unless otherwise noted. Sapphire can have rutile as an inclusion. The Moh’s hardness of sapphire is 9.
Sapphire was first synthesized in 1902 and used for industrial purposes including ballpoint pen tips and as bearings for watches, meters, and aircraft instruments.
Sapphire can be found in Madagascar, Tanzania, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Australia, Pakistan, India, and the United States of America (Montana).
In 1912 the National Association of Jeweler’s made Sapphire the birthstone for September. It is the stone for the 5th and 45th Wedding Anniversaries. Sapphire is associated with the zodiac signs of Libra, Taurus, and Gemini.
Some Ancient Greeks believed that sapphire would influence spirits. In both ancient Greek and Rome, sapphires were said to protect their owners from envy and harm.
Sapphire has historically been associated with heaven, royalty, and nobility. It has been associated with the power of divination, wealth, sincerity, faithfulness, harmony, peace, health, luck, good fortune, strength, trust, and truth. It protects against poison, fraud, envy, infidelity, ill omens, and the evil eye.
Medieval alchemists believed that sapphire was an antidote to poison. During the Middle Ages in Greece, they believed that sapphire treated the eyes.
Ultrasonics and steamers are safe if the sapphires are not oiled, cavity filled, or heavily flawed. Avoid exposure to heat. The safest choice is warm water, soap, and a soft brush.