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All About Sapphires - The Birthstone for September

Sapphires are a type of precious gemstone known for their stunning blue colour, although they can also occur in a variety of other colours. They are a variety of the mineral corundum, which is an aluminium oxide. While blue is the most traditional and popular colour for sapphires, they can be found in shades ranging from light blue to deep, rich royal blue. Additionally, sapphires can occur in various other colours such as pink, yellow, green, purple, and even colourless (referred to as white sapphires).

Here are some key facts about sapphires:

Origin: Sapphires are found in many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Australia, Madagascar, and Tanzania. However, one of the most famous sources of high-quality sapphires is Kashmir in the Himalayas. Sapphires from Kashmir are renowned for their intense blue colour and exceptional clarity.

Durability: Sapphires are extremely durable gemstones, second only to diamonds in hardness. They score 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which means they are highly resistant to scratches and can withstand everyday wear and tear.

Symbolism and Traditions: Sapphires have been treasured throughout history and are associated with qualities like wisdom, loyalty, nobility, and truth. In many cultures, sapphires are considered a symbol of protection and good fortune. They have also been used in engagement rings, especially in royal families, including the British royal family. The famous blue sapphire engagement ring worn by Princess Diana and now by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is one such example.

Healing and Metaphysical Properties: In alternative healing practices, sapphires are believed to have various metaphysical properties. They are thought to promote mental clarity, enhance intuition, and encourage spiritual growth. Sapphires are also associated with the throat chakra, which is related to communication, self-expression, and truth.

Quality and Evaluation: The value of a sapphire is determined by its colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Generally, the most prized sapphires have a pure, vibrant blue colour with excellent transparency and minimal inclusions. The cut of the gemstone also affects its brilliance and overall appearance.

Sapphires are not only used in jewellery but also in various industrial applications due to their hardness and resistance to chemicals and abrasion. They are highly regarded gemstones sought after for their beauty, durability, and symbolism, making them a popular choice for engagement rings, earrings, necklaces, and other fine jewellery pieces.