Gemmed Royal Blue
Sapphire comes in a rainbow of colors and is part of the corundum mineral family. This mineral is naturally colorless but will color when trace elements are introduced into the crystal's chemistry.
The most valued hued corundum is the blue variety, especially those Kashmir in origin that feature royal blue color and a satin-like aesthetic.
Ceylon sapphires from Sri Lanka are known for their unique cornflower blue and were a staple Art Nouveau jewelry.
Another valuable form of sapphire is the orange-pink variety known as Padparadscha. This pinkish gem is a rare find and is generally reserved for more couture pieces.
Naturally included, the sapphire has internal evidence of its growth under intense heat and pressure. Typical inclusions are fingerprints, fractures, mineral inclusions, color-banding, and hexagonal growth patterns - all evidence of a natural stone.
Rutile needles are also a common inclusion in corundum that cause the stellar phenomenon asterism. Some unusual examples of sapphire will exhibit color-change where the stone will shift in body color when exposed to different light sources.
A Brief History
Sapphire's name is derived from the Greek word 'sappheiros' which was used interchangeably with Lapis Lazuli in regards to both stones' enticing blue color.
It's deep alluring blue symbolized heaven during Medieval times and were a trademark jewel for clergy to wear in a show of their "marriage" to their faith.
The gem has strong connections to the bible and was referenced to decorate God's throne in heaven as well as being set in the breastplate of Aaron.
This gemstone has historically been synonymous with the cosmos and symbolic of purity.
Corundum is considered the third hardest mineral making it a very durable stone to be used in everyday jewelry. Sapphires are typically cut to display color, so most transparent material will be faceted as a gemstone. Other common uses for sapphire are cabochons, carved intaglio, or bead jewelry.
Sapphire had a reprisal in popularity during the 1980s into the new millennia when Prince Charles gifted Princess Diana a remarkable 12.00 carat Ceylon sapphire cluster that later became Kate Middleton's engagement ring.
Sapphire is the traditional birthstone for September and celebrates the fifth and forty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Sapphire jewelry can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush, and if not fractured, in the ultrasonic by a jewelry professional. Due to hardness, the stone should be wrapped in a soft cloth when stored to avoid scratching other stones in your jewelry box.