The sapphire is one of the four precious stones. The others are the diamond, the ruby, and the emerald. Only diamonds are harder than sapphires and that is one reason why they are more expensive and maybe more sought for.
Rubies and sapphire are very much alike science-wise. They are actually a version of the corundum.
For most people sapphires are related to truth, honesty, and loyalty. That is why they are perfect for engagement rings. Like the one Prince William gave to Catherine Middleton. It had been a property of the late Princess Diana before that. To many people, this ring meant that fairy-tales are possible in real life, and an ordinary girl could marry a prince.
The gemstone is also a symbol of strength, as well as wisdom and kindness.
The sapphire is found most often in Sri Lanka, USA, China, Myanmar, India, Kenia, and Tanzania.
The blue version usually comes from Kashmir and Burma, the color is pure with a velvety luster. Those from Sri Lanka are almost pastel blue. The island is the greatest producer of the gorgeous gemstone.
Blue is considered the sapphire’s true color. Actually, it is believed that the ancient Greek word for blue (sappheiros) gave it its name.
In the past, people believed that the sky was an enormous sapphire and the Earth is installed in it. Is there a better metaphor to describe this precious stone that is so close to perfection?
Probably that is why in a sapphire we can see not one but all the shades of the sky – from the deep mystical dark blue of the night sky to the sunny light blue seen above our heads in a marvelous summer day. Except for the colors of the bluish-greyish distant horizon, the other typical natural tinges of this gemstone remind us of those that appear when the sunlight is vanishing and the closest star we can see is setting. These are yellow, pink, orange and purple. The sapphires are indeed stones of the sky though they are buried deep in the realms of our “blue planet”.
Sapphires are blue because of the iron and titanium that is present in them. Other minerals lead to other coloration.
Most people associate this type of corundum with dark blue. This is a universal color that can be worn by both men and women.
Ancient Indians thought that the drink that gives immortality was blue, but the person who invented it made it as hard as stone so that it is impossible to drink it.
The people who went to the oracle of Delphi wore with themselves a sapphire, which was meant to help the questioner understand the answer given to his query.
Due to their rareness and beauty, sapphires are craved by royalties and worn as an amulet. Medieval historians claimed that aristocrats wore them to protect themselves from jealousy and physical injuries. These gemstones were worn when peace treaties were signed because it was believed that they would prevent unnecessary bloodshed and real reconciliation between the two parties would settle.
King Solomon, who was famous for his wisdom, had a sapphire ring, which he used as a stamp. The legend says that with this ring he acquired the ability to speak with animals.
Witches used them in Medival times to enhance their magic powers.
Nowadays they are used in meditation for mind cleansing. It is believed that they can help their owners achieve his or her dreams. They also attract prosperity.
There is a tradition according to which married couples exchange gifts with sapphires on their 45-th anniversary.
Rubies versus Sapphires
Yes, both rubies and sapphires are corundum, but they couldn’t be more different in their appearance and effect.
Rubies are boiling hot red, while sapphires are cool as ice blue.
The red gemstones energize and help fighting lethargy. The blue ones give a feeling of serenity to its owner. They help to open the mind for the beauty of the world and bring lightness and joy, whereas, rubies are for passionate people who are ardent in everything they do.
Sapphires stimulate the Throat and Third eye chakras.
When the Throat chakra is open and functioning normally, we express ourselves better and we communicate our thoughts and feelings with the world with ease.
The dark blue sapphires are having a beneficial effect on the Third eye chakra. It governs our consciousness and intuition. It is also related to visions and extrasensory perceptions.
Due to their hardness, sapphires don’t require a lot of effort to be cared for. Mechanical methods of cleaning should be avoided if you own a star sapphire or a fractured one.
Because the stone is so valuable, it should not be used while working and it should not be in contact with chemicals.
Obviously, sapphires are used mainly in jewelry-making. But nowadays the transparent types of this stone are used in astronomy technology to make windows for space ships with great durability and hardness.