Are you or a loved one celebrating a birthday in September? Consider the gift of sparkling sapphires, the breathtaking September birthstone. Sapphire is one of the five cardinal gemstones and has a vibrant history as colorful as its brilliant blue hue. But did you know there is more to this precious stone than meets the eye? Here are 12 fascinating facts about sapphire that you may not know:
1. Sapphire gets its name from the Greek word sappheiros and the Latin word sapphirus, both of which mean "blue." Before the discovery of sapphire, these terms were used to describe Lapis Lazuli, a semi-precious stone that also occurs in a rich blue color.
2. Although blue is the most popular sapphire color, this gemstone comes in a variety of heavenly hues, including pink, yellow, green, purple, and white.
3. Sapphires are an ancient treasure, prized for thousands of years among several cultures. Sapphire has historically been associated with royalty and nobility.
4. Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum and shares the same chemical composition and mineral structure as ruby.
5. The rarest variety of sapphire is known as padparadscha, a captivating pinkish-orange gem traditionally found in Sri Lanka.
6. Sapphire is considered the second most durable gemstone available, making it ideal for jewelry.
7. Sapphire is used to create watch crystals, scientific instruments, electronic wafers, and high-durability windows.
8. Sapphire is found in only a handful of locations around the world, including Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
9. Sapphires have adopted many meanings over the centuries, as cultures from every corner of the globe have attributed various mystical meanings to sapphire.
10. The price of sapphire is evaluated based on several factors, the most important being color.
11. Several famous sapphires have emerged over the centuries, including the Star of India, the Rockefeller Sapphire, and Princess Diana's engagement ring.
12. An elusive variety of sapphire exists that has the unique ability to change color when viewed under different sources of light. This rare form of sapphire is mined from locations around the world and is valued based on the strength of its color change