September Birthstone Blue Sapphire

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The blue sapphire is one of the most popular gems worldwide, a favorite of kings and rulers. It was featured in Princess Di’s engagement ring and pendant.

Sapphire is one of the most precious and beautiful gems, prized since the Roman Empire for its deep blue color and its hardness. Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September and the gem of the 45th wedding anniversary and is one of the most popular gemstones in pendants, earrings, engagement rings, and all kinds of jewelry thanks to its vivid color and its versatility.

Blue Sapphire and Fancy Sapphire

Sapphire is made of corundum, the same mineral of which rubies are composed. Most precious sapphires sold in jewelry are blue, but in fact, corundum can occur in any color – and all of them are known as “sapphire” except for ruby red.

Blue sapphire is the most well known and highly prized. It can occur in deep, royal blue, or any variety of hues down to sky blue. Blue sapphire can also be colored with hints of violet, purple or green.

Sapphire is one of the hardest gemstones, rating a 9 on the Mohs scale (diamond is at 10).

Sapphire in Myth and History

Early myths purportedly claimed that the sky was a vast sapphire inside which the Earth was embedded. Yet sapphire is not present in historical records until around the time of the Roman empire, when the stone was one of several blue gems called “sapphiros,” Latin for blue.

Sapphire is a common English translation for the Biblical gemstone that represented the tribe of Issachar. In Sri Lanka, where sapphires were first mined, the gemstone was thought to bring wisdom and tranquility.

Princess Di received a matched set of blue sapphires in an engagement ring and pendant upon her betrothal to Prince Charles.

Magical Significance and Powers Ascribed to Sapphire

Like most gemstones, sapphire has been attributed with a long list of healing and magical powers. Sapphires are said to:

  • 2.32-Carat Kashmir-Blue Sapphire Cabochon from Burma (Unheated)bring majesty, wisdom, and nobility
  • protect against evil thoughts
  • enhance feelings of harmony, sympathy, and loyalty
  • clarify creative thinking, intuition and problem-solving
  • protect against poison, depression, and blood disorders
  • inspire mutual love, constancy, and trust

Sapphire is believed to bring respect, loyalty, and faithfulness to a loving relationship. It is the official gemstone for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th anniversaries, and star sapphire is traditional for the 65th.

The Sapphire in Fine Jewelry

Sapphire is one of the most popular gemstones for engagement jewelry, appearing in engagement rings and bracelets. The most prized (and most expensive) sapphires are those with the deepest blue color, called “cornflower blue sapphire.”

Kashmir sapphires are famed for their intensity of color, but the gems are also found in India, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, and parts of Africa, including a rich lode of sapphires recently discovered in Madagascar.

It is possible to create synthetic sapphires using a reaction called the Verneuil process. Although they can only be told apart by experts, man-made sapphires are less valuable than naturally occurring gems. Natural sapphires must be skillfully cut because they reflect light and show their colors differently at different angles.


  • International Colored Gemstone Association, “Sapphire,”, 2009.
  • International Cyber Business Services, “Therapeutic Properties of Sapphire,”, 2009.

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