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What We Know About The September Birthstone?
“September”. Nine letters for the ninth month of the year. The month that says ‘Goodbye’ to the summer heat and ‘Hello’ to the autumn rain. But also the month that celebrates one of the most gorgeous gemstones in the world – the sapphire.
In this article, you are going to learn everything that you have been missing about the September birthstone, its origins, its characteristics and of course, its importance in jewelry. An exciting adventure is ahead of us, so let’s waste no more time and start it right now! Are you in?
Appreciated as the gem for celebrating 5th and 45th anniversaries, the September birthstone makes part of the precious corundum family. Here, we have the adorable blue sapphires, the charming rubies and the so-called ‘fancy sapphires’. The colors that proudly represent this special group of sapphires are green, violet, pink, yellow, purple, orange and intermediate hues. Much to your surprise, there are also sapphires that come in an authentic brown, black and gray color.
However, for many of us, the notion of ‘sapphire’ immediately pictures a vision of a marvelous dark-blue gemstone that captivates with its allure and brilliance. Actually, it is not a coincidence, because the word itself means ‘blue’ in Greek.
The discovery of the popular ‘fancy sapphires’ took place in the 1900s in Madagascar and East Africa, where they quickly started enjoying a worldwide recognition. When it comes to our dear and unique blue sapphires, the most magnificent ones are mined in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania and Australia.
POPULAR LEGENDS AND HISTORY OF SAPPHIRES
The sapphire gemstone is considered a symbol of truth, sincerity, faithfulness and nobility. For centuries, it has been used as a statement-making decorative gadget on the royalty outfits, including the clergy members. One of the most famous ‘royal’ uses of blue sapphires is the stunning blue sapphire engagement ring that Prince Charles proposed Lady Diana with in 1981. This ring remained a timeless classic in the royal family, so decades after, Prince William adorned the hand of Kate Middleton with the same 18-carat jewel for their grand engagement. This is how blue sapphires proved once more how stunning and worthy they are in the fine jewelry world.
Besides love and romance, the September birthstone has been cherished for generations as an embodiment of virtue, fortune, wisdom and holiness. Hence, the reason why sapphire is absolutely one of the hottest jewelry trends nowadays, especially when it comes to bridal sets and engagement rings.
In ancient Rome and ancient Greece, royalty members strongly believed that sapphires are powerful gemstones that protect them from harm and envy. The Medieval clergy on the other hand, treasured the September birthstone as a symbol of heaven, while ordinary people were highly attracted to it and believed that this gem had the power of attracting heavenly blessings.
And now, a word or two about some of the most popular legends about sapphires that are still talked-about in the colored world of gemstones. A quite fascinating one is the legend about ancient Persians who believed that our planet rested on a massive blue sapphire that reflected its color to the sky. Hence, the reason why the sky is blue. It kind of makes a sense, isn’t it?
Another interesting legend is that the Stone Tablets Of The Ten Commandments were, in fact, made of sapphire and they were exceptionally strong so that they could resist the swing of a hammer and smash it.
THE FOUR “C”-S OF SAPPHIRES
There are several features to consider when buying colored gems, but the most important one, undoubtedly, is color. In fact, the color appearance of the September birthstone is what captivates the viewer’s eye and evokes the interest in giving it a closer look. This is the normal effect of sapphires whose color showcases the right measures of tone, hue and saturation. Otherwise, the gem will look dull, gray or colorless, which is absolutely a big no-no for a sapphire.
Logically, the clearer and the more captivating the blue color of the gem is, the more expensive its price. Some of the sapphires that are very popular in gemology for their highly clear color with slight to no inclusions at all, are Yogo sapphires. They are found in Yogo Gulch, Montana and are considered a part of the so-called ‘cornflower blue variety’, according to the pure, blue color of cornflowers which are the most unique blue-colored flowers in the world.
Second in popularity, right after the blue sapphire is the adorable Padparadscha sapphire -a pinkish-orange gem that captivates immediately with its one-of-a-kind appearance. Believe it or not, but the price of one Padparadscha –sapphire carat can reach up to incredible $20,000! The stone got its name from the lotus flower that showcases exactly the same color like the gem, which is mostly mined in Sri Lanka.
Sapphire gemstones with no inclusion at all are very hard to be found, and the few ones (like the Padparadscha sapphire, for example) are sold at skyrocketing prices that can be afforded only by the richest people on the planet. Therefore, the majority of sapphires used for jewelry purposes are heat-treated in order to improve their color and clarity. A good-quality sapphire gem is considered the one that shows no visible inclusions to the naked eye.
Sapphires are gemstones that do not require any particular cut to show off how beautiful they are, but just like diamonds, they can be styled in all traditional and fancy shapes. The well-cut September birthstone is symmetrical and reflects the light at the right angles to maximize the grade of luster.
Just like any other gems, sapphires vary in aspect of hardness and density, which consequently affects their carat value. Compared with diamonds, sapphires are heavier, so one sapphire carat usually looks smaller than one diamond carat. According to the so-called ‘Rule of Thumb’, one sapphire carat measures 6 mm.
Written by: Liljana Tomova
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