The Birthstone Of September: Sapphires
Are you blessed with a September birthdate, feeling an undeniable sense of regality coursing through your veins? You might just have the majestic Sapphire – the sole guardian of September’s throne – to thank for that! This singular gem, embracing both modern and traditional titles, isn’t just a feast for the eyes with its celestial blue hues; it is a symbol steeped in nobility and royalty, a jewel fit for kings and queens. Journey with us as we unveil the rich tapestry of symbolism, history, and fascinating attributes that the Sapphire gemstone embodies.
Why does September only have one birthstone?
Throughout history, September was only associated with one birthstone: the Sapphire. The months of the year differ in the number of birthstones they have; some boast just one, while others can claim up to three gemstones linked to their respective month.
Each month can have varying numbers of associated birthstones, categorized as either modern or traditional. Modern birthstones, which have become more common, were officially designated by the Jewelers of America in the 1950s. On the other hand, traditional birthstones were the ones more commonly associated with their respective months in the early 20th century and even before. Many of these traditional birthstones have become too rare and are not as readily available on the market in this day and age, which has led to some months having modern birthstones that differ from their traditional associations.
Features of Sapphires
The one and only birthstone associated with the month of September is the Sapphire. The name “sapphire” originates from both the Latin word “saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both of which mean “blue.”
The Sapphire is one of the four most famous precious gemstones, which also include emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. For many centuries, this gemstone has been adored and prized for its vivid pure blue color. Interestingly, this well-known blue hue actually stems from the presence of titanium; the higher the amount of titanium in the gemstone, the more saturated and blue the gemstone becomes.
The Sapphire is one of most valuable and expensive gems in the world.
However, the valuable blue Sapphire isn’t the only color in existence. Sapphires also come in colors of yellow, purple, orange, peach, green, pink, and more! This particular gemstone can also have some special varieties, including the “star effect” phenomenon. The star effect is caused when light hits the gemstone’s inclusions at the right angle, creating a star pattern of shine and brilliance. Sapphires are also similar to gemstones such as Alexandrites, regarding their ability to appear to change colors in different lighting.
The History and Symbolism of Sapphires
Let’s dive deep into the history of sapphires! Sapphires were first discovered in Kashmir around 1881. During this time, somewhere high in the Himalayas, there was a landslide which exposed large deposits of these gemstones. The Maharaja of Kashmir took his army and took control of the surrounding lands to discover thousands of these sapphires from 1882 to 1887.
There are two other important locations noted in the sapphire’s history: Myanmar and Sri Lanka. In Myanmar, there are small deposits of sapphire that occur within the mountainous landscape, alongside the bountiful amounts of ruby deposits. In Sri Lanka, sapphires have been mined and discovered for over 2,000 years. Those who mine the gemstone in Sri Lanka, referred to as the “jewel box of the Indian Ocean”, are also able to heat treat the island’s milky white geuda sapphires to a rich blue color.
Other locations where the sapphire gemstone can be found include the United States, Australia, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Thailand.
Sapphires have been known to symbolize royalty, nobility, truth, faithfulness, and sincerity. In ancient times, they were also considered to be a protective gemstone, shielding the wearer from the harms of envy, war, and plagues. Apollo, the Greek God of the sun, was honored with offerings of sapphires brought to the temples by believers praying for the healing of the sick.
In other cultures, sapphires were worn by royalty and the clergy. In the Middle Ages, clerics wore this gemstone as they associated it with symbolizing heaven, believing it would help them resist temptation and sin. Even Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were written and engraved on stone tablets made of sapphire. This belief, however, is subject to debate.
Those in Ancient Persia believed that the sky was blue due to the earth resting upon a giant sapphire. They also hailed the gemstone as the ‘Celestial Stone,’ believing that the Sapphire possessed great spiritual powers.
With the sapphire being the gemstone associated with the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries, this stone of royalty and faithfulness is a great gift for those celebrating these milestones, as well as a September birthday!
Maintaining and Caring for Your Sapphires
Sapphires have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes sapphires one of the hardest of the colored gemstones, and the second hardest when including the diamond. To put this in perspective, quartz has a hardness of 7 – 7.5 and is present in the particles of dust seen floating in the air and settling on uncleaned objects in your home. These particles are hard enough to remove the polish from your table and the finish from your car. Diamonds have a hardness of 10, which is the hardest gemstone, and the softest includes talc, which is a gemstone that even your fingernail can scratch.
These minerals can only be scratched by the hardness level above it, so sapphire owners wouldn’t need to worry too much unless you’re planning on having diamonds around. However, your precious gemstones still deserve care and maintenance to keep them looking as sparkly and pristine as possible. It is recommended to use warm water and soap and a very soft brush to keep your sapphire gemstones clean.
Sapphires are a great choice for everyday jewelry that are subject to a little wear and tear, for example rings, as they are tough and have no cleavage, meaning they won’t break when struck.
To learn more about the history and proper maintenance of your sapphires, visit our Ultimate Sapphire Guide for more information.
Replacing Your Missing Sapphire
Thinking about restoring a loved one’s sentimental birthstone piece? You’re in the right place to restore their precious memories.
Gemstones provide life and brilliance to any piece of jewelry but also have a high potential to be damaged. Whether it be a loose, lost, or scratched-up Sapphire, we take restoring the life of your treasures seriously. Any gem, any damage, we’ll make your jewelry sparkle as bright as the day you got it.
We have a team of specialists on hand to properly source every type of gem needed for your treasured item. We understand your gemstones are unique and require specific and careful attention. Our Professional Stone Sourcing team makes sure that all of your gems, even the ones that sometimes go unnoticed, are replaced by stones of the right caliber for your piece.
Visit our Gemstone Replacement Services page to learn more about restoring the brilliance of your Sapphire.
The Ultimate Birthstone Guide
“If you were born in September, your month’s birthstone is September.
If you didn’t already know, there are some months that have multiple birthstones, whereas some only have one. Traditional birthstones are gemstones that were most commonly associated with its respective month in the early 20th century and even beyond, with Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers associating these gemstones with the star signs. Those that are more commonly known in this day and age are the modern birthstones, which were officially named by the Jewelers of America in the 1950’s.
If you would like to learn more about birthstones in general, visit our Ultimate Birthstone Guide!“
Clean & Polish Services
“A basic clean, polish, and inspection is part of the routine care and maintenance needed to keep your jewelry looking like new. The inspection process includes looking for loose stones, bent prongs, and any damage to the metal or stones that need to be repaired.”
Stone Setting Repair
“A stone setting repair can be a simple re-tipping of a worn prong (which is considered routine care and maintenance) or the complete rebuilding/replacing of a damaged prong. In the case of severe damage, the entire head of the ring may need to be replaced.
Regardless of whether or not the prongs are compromised due to normal wear and tear or a result of accidental damage, we can provide the routine care and maintenance in order to ensure you do not lose a stone in your setting.”
Gemstone Replacement Services
“The process of a Gemstone Replacement is simple enough, yet requires trained eyes to be able to make a flawless switch. We aim to leave no trace of our work, which means not only will your setting be perfected, but the gemstone we choose will complete your jewelry piece effortlessly.”
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