Birthstone of the month: Sapphire for September
Throughout the ages, mankind has believed that sapphires represent honesty, loyalty, trust, and purity. Ancient Persians thought the Earth rested on a giant sapphire, and that its reflection gave colour to the sky. Tradition also holds that the tablets the Ten Commandments were written upon were made from sapphire strong enough to withstand hammer blows.
Given this association with all that man holds sacred, it’s not surprising that sapphires represent divine favour, and feature in many ecclesiastical and royal jewels, including the British Crown Jewels. And who can forget that Prince Charles gave Diana a sapphire ring to mark their engagement — or that it now graces the finger of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge?
Though we immediately picture a deep blue when we think of sapphires, they actually occur in a variety of colours — not only myriad shades of blue, but pink, yellow, deep orange, and even violet. At 9.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, they are second only to diamonds in their strength. The most valuable sapphires have vivid colour and strong, uniform saturation.
Myths and legends abound about these beautiful gems. One story says that Helen of Troy possessed a star sapphire, which held the key to her desirability. Arabian rulers wore sapphires to protect against injury, while sailors once thought sapphires could protect them from drowning.
Buddhists believed sapphires had a calming effect, and were an aid to meditation. Christians believed sapphires represented chastity, piety and repentance, and in particular, sapphire is associated with the apostle St. Paul.
During the Middle Ages it was thought that sapphires had medicinal value, especially for treating colic, mental illness, hysteria and depression. Sapphires worn on the index finger were said to alleviate stomach and respiratory ailments; worn on the middle finger they strengthened the mind and spleen; and on the third finger they boosted the kidneys and circulatory system. This was also alleged to be the best place to wear sapphires in order to ensure happiness and joy, which may explain why sapphires are such a popular choice for engagement rings. Finally, wearing sapphires on the little finger was supposed to benefit the reproductive system, knees, legs, and feet.
It’s certainly true that sapphires are beloved by our customers, and we’re pleased to offer a wide selection of rings, bracelets, and brooches featuring these beautiful gems both on their own, and set alongside their natural partners, sparkling, clear diamonds.