Origins of the Sapphire

Opinions differ on the source of the name of the sapphire stone. Some claim its origins are from Sanipriya (Sanskrit) meaning "dear to the planet Saturn". Some mention Greek "Sappheiros" or Latin "Saphirus" meaning blue. The sapphire is also mentioned in Exodus as one of the precious stones set within the Ephod of the high priest, whereas in the book of Isaiah it is mentioned as the corner stone of the New Jerusalem.

Although the sapphire is only second to the diamond in hardness, it is considered to be the most beautiful and mystic in nature. Throughout history many legends and occult stories have told of its qualities.

In ancient times it was believed that firmament is only a reflection of sunlight in sapphire stones.

Kings, Counts and common people believed it was a talisman against evil and wore it around their necks to attain luck and fortune.

For many nations it symbolizes values such as friendship and loyalty, abundance and prosperity, and truth and commitment for loving couples.

Sapphires are considered by many to have medicinal attributes, from preventing diseases to curing illnesses, sores and tumors.

Mining

The Sapphire’s origins are in the mineral corundum, found in alluvial deposits or underground workings. A distinction is made between red corundum, which is processed to ruby gemstones, and all other colors which are processed to sapphire gemstones.

Corundum deposits are mainly found in Cashmere (India), Myanmar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Eastern Australia, Thailand and China.

Sapphire colors and tones range dramatically: blue is the most common and well-known color, while violet, purple and green follow.

Criteria used to sort sapphire stone quality are:

Size (weight)

Color (hue, saturation and tone)

Shape (cut)

Quality

Geographical Origin

Uses

Sapphires are most commonly used as jewelry and fashion accessories such as timepieces and bracelets. They are also used in devices containing infrared optical components, watch crystals and wafers in the semiconductor industry.