History of Sapphire Gemstones
Prior to the Roman ear, the blue gems were referred to as sapphiros a Greek word for sapphire. However, the English word sapphire is have been derived from the Hebrew word sapir. According to the Vedic astrology, the yellow sapphire has an association with the planet Saturn and the blue sapphire is associated with the planet Jupiter. The Buddhist monks were responsible for the introduction of sapphire as Sanipriya when they moved to the Middle East; the name eventually became sapir and turned out to be sapphire in the end. According to the ancient lore, it is said that by wearing the stone it will help those faced with challenges to find the right solutions. In India, theres a belief that when sapphire is used as a pendant, it serves as a talisman, protecting its wearer from evil spirits.
Any mineral corundum (crystalline/gemstone containing aluminum oxide) are considered sapphires, except the red variety of the corundum family known as ruby. A pinkish-orange corundum is know as a padparadscha. Sapphires is September’s birthstone and mark the 45th wedding anniversary- hence the sapphire anniversary. It is also linked to the zodiac sign Sagittarius, and Pisces. Sapphires are Libra’s planetary stone.
Physical Properties of Sapphire Gemstones
Sapphire belongs to the four most highly-valued stones in the world - the other gemstones are emeralds, rubies and diamonds. The color of the sapphires are mainly due to elements such as chromium, titanium and iron. Its a gemstone that is both found naturally and can be manufactured as well, in large crystal boules. The hardness of sapphire is very remarkable and due to this characteristic, the stone is used into many applications. Sapphire stones are used in high-durability windows, watch faces, wafers for semiconductors and infrared optical components.
The largest-faceted blue sapphire is the Logan sapphire which is 422.9 carats found at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The Star of Bombay is another renowned sapphire weighing in at 182 carats.
Sapphire are typically known for its blue hue, however, there are different color varieties which you can choose from, you can have a pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, purple sapphire, green sapphire, and black sapphire. If you prefer something unusual you can opt for Star Sapphires, they have a star-like phenomenon exhibited on the gem which is otherwise known as asterism. The value of a Star Sapphire is determined not only by its carat but also by the color, intensity and visibility of its asterism.
The finest specimens of sapphire are mined in Sri Lanka, where the Star of Bombay and the Logan Sapphire were found. Other countries with sources of sapphires are Thailand, Madagascar and Australia. Whether its set in sterling silver, platinum or gold jewelry, sapphires will always be regarded as one of the greatest gemstones.