September Birthstones | Sapphire Overview & History

SEPTEMBER BIRTHSTONES

Sapphire

Sapphire Overview



Although sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gemstone occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which earn the classification of rubies instead.

Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper, and magnesium give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively. Sapphires in any color but blue are called “fancies.”

Pink sapphires tow a fine line between ruby and sapphire. In the U.S., these gemstones must meet a minimum color saturation to be considered rubies. Pinkish orange sapphires called padparadscha (from the Sri Lankan word for “lotus flower”) can draw higher prices than some blue sapphires.

The name “sapphire” comes from the Latin sapphirus and Greek sappheiros, meaning “blue stone,” though those words may have originally referred to lapis lazuli. Some believe it originated from the Sanskrit word sanipriya which meant “dear to Saturn.”

Sapphire gems are found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, Brazil, Africa, and North America (mainly Montana). Their origin can affect their value as much as color, cut, clarity, and carat size.

The remarkable hardness of sapphires, which measure 9 on the Mohs scale, is second only to diamond. They aren’t just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches, and electronics.

Sapphire gemstones symbolize loyalty, nobility, sincerity, and integrity. They are associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline, and channeling higher powers.


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The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society

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