Sapphire Jewelry


Sapphire jewelry has long symbolized faithfulness and sincerity, making it a special gift for romantic occasions. As September's birthstone, sapphire jewelry makes for a perfect, ever-lasting gift. The name sapphire comes from similar Latin and Greek words meaning blue. It was once thought by ancient cultures that the sky was a great reflection of the Earth resting on a giant sapphire. With the increase in popularity of white metals, so too, have sapphires become more popular. Beautiful cornflower-blue gemstones, set against white gold or platinum, create a wonderful contrast that attracts attention to sapphire jewelry.

While blue is the most well known color of sapphire jewelry, it is not the only color available. In fact, sapphire, which is really the mineral corundum, can be found in any other color except red. Red varieties of corundum are known as Ruby. It is the elements iron and titanium that gives sapphire its blue color, while other elements result in different colors varying from black to orange to clear, green and pink. Sapphire jewelry can be found in most all of these colors. Becoming more rare to find is the exotic Star Sapphire. This mysterious variety is believed to be caused by needle-like inclusions of rutile that result in a silky sheen causing an asterism, or star, to appear. Star sapphires have often been used in men's sapphire jewelry and have even been considered spellbinding.

The finest sapphires were once considered to come from Burma and Kashmir. Today, those sources yield a very limited quantity of sapphire. Much of the sapphire jewelry in today's market comes from gemstones found in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia. Large sapphires are considered quite rare and are sometimes named. Star of India is perhaps the largest cut Star Sapphire weighing 536 carats. In the United States, heads of three prominent presidents have been carved out of sapphires, each weighing approximately 2000 carats.

Moh's scale of hardness classifies corundum, and subsequently sapphire, as having a hardness of 9. While this is the second hardest mineral known to humankind, it should be noted that it is only 1/140th as hard as diamond, the hardest natural substance. Conversely, it is seven times as hard as Topaz, number 8 on the list. Sapphire is an excellent choice for jewelry as it is very durable and may be steam and ultrasonic cleaned. As with all gemstones, care should be taken against direct blows since they may crack the stones in your sapphire jewelry.

 


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