10 February 2023
A new month means a new birthstone! The birthstone of the month of September is the Sapphire! Did you know that the sapphire exists in all colours except red? Yet everyone thinks of only one colour when hearing the word sapphire: BLUE! Just type in the word 'sapphire' on Google....
The blue sapphire is by far the most popular. When gem experts use the word 'sapphire' on its own, they are also normally talking about the blue sapphire. With this gemstone, the intensity of the colour blue is a very important factor. Thus, the price difference between a light blue sapphire and a deep blue sapphire can be huge.
Blue may be the most popular colour, but that does not mean that most sapphires are actually blue in colour. Most natural sapphires are fairly 'pale' and light in colour. A very small percentage of all sapphires have an intensely bright colour of their own. However, the colours of gemstones can often be made slightly more intense by heating the stone.
The sapphire is often associated with royalty and romance. Thus, several royal robes have been decorated with sapphires. For instance, our own Queen Maxima's crown was richly decorated with beautiful blue sapphires during the inauguration. Maxima is also regularly spotted wearing jewellery decorated with this 'royal blue' sapphire. Princesses of our British neighbours' royal family, Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, even have impressive sapphire engagement rings!
Then a bit of history! The royal houses of the ancient Greeks and Romans were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from evil and envy. During the Middle Ages, sapphires were often worn by the clergy, symbolising heaven. The people at the time believed that this blue gemstone attracted heavenly blessings.
Like the ruby, the sapphire comes from the mineral corundum. After diamonds, corundum is the hardest substance that exists on earth. All gemstones of the mineral corundum can be considered sapphires, except for the red gemstone: this is the ruby. There is no specific boundary between the ruby and the sapphire. Corundum gemstones whose colour tends slightly towards the red are more often categorised as fancy sapphires than low-quality rubies.
Sapphire can be found in several places around the world. The three best-known regions are found in Pakistan (Kashmir), Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sri Lanka, as this is where most of the stones with the finest natural bright colour, and therefore highest quality, are found. However, Madagascar and Tanzania are the two main sources of sapphire. Apart from these, there are also sapphire mines in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, America and Australia.
Almost all the world's sapphires are cut in Chanthaburi, Thailand. There are also several mines in this region, although most of the mines here are empty these days. Chanthaburi is considered one of the size trading places world wise for sapphires, rubies and other coloured gemstones. So are you looking for beautiful coloured gemstones and don't want to have to search for too long? Then we can recommend a trip to Thailand
Don't want to travel that far and still looking for a beautiful piece of jewellery with high-quality blue or other sapphire? Then take a look among all the different jewellery with sapphire on our website!