ALONGSIDE DIAMOND, EMERALD AND RUBY, SAPPHIRE IS ONE OF ONLY FOUR GEMSTONES TO BE CLASSIFIED AS ‘PRECIOUS’. Known for its distinctive blue colouring, this September birthstone is one of the most popular gemstones in the UK.
The History of Sapphire
Mined as early as 800 BC, sapphire takes millions of years to form. It is believed that the Latin word ‘saphirus’ and Greek term ‘sapherios’ gave this stone its name, both meaning blue.
Revered across the globe for its beauty, it is often associated with good luck and faith. In Ancient Greece, royalty believed that sapphires protected them from harm, while the Persian’s believed that this blue stone was chips of the pedestal supporting the earth, the reflections of which could be seen in the sky.
More recently, sapphire has been favoured by the British Royal family, with The Duchess of Cambridge’s iconic halo ring a much-emulated style since it was popularised by Princess Diana after her engagement to Prince Charles.
Sapphire is one of the hardest gemstones, second only to diamond. Sapphire is the blue variety of Corundum, to which ruby also belongs. The purest corundum is colourless, however it’s range of imperfections give us the kaleidoscope of incredible colours found in these popular gemstones today.
While the most iconic hue, blue is not the only shade of sapphire available. Fancy sapphires come in a range of exuisite colours inlcuding pink, yellow, orange, green and purple. One of the most highly valued fancy sapphires is the Padparadscha sapphire which shines with a pink-orange hue. This unique stone has become widely admired and was the feature stone in Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring.
Sapphire Engagement Rings
Sapphire is a popular choice for an alternative engagement ring style, perhaps as the gem’s hardness is second only to diamond making it a durable stone for everyday wear. When presented in engagement rings, sapphire represents faithfulness and sincerity which makes it the perfect stone for one of life’s most momentous occasions.