Posted on September 01, 2016 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments
Sapphire is the birthstone traditionally associated with the month of September. A member of the corundum family, the sapphire is followed by a rich history and has been revered by cultures around the world.
A symbol of truth and constancy, the sapphire is an ideal stone for commemorating enduring love.
“Sapphire” comes from the Greek word sappheiros, meaning “precious stone.” Indeed, the Greeks were one of the many cultures that celebrated the gem and incorporated it into their spiritual practices. Ancient Greeks wore sapphires when seeking wisdom from the Oracle at Apollo’s Shrine at Delphi. Seekers of truth relied on the stone to help them interpret answers from the higher powers.
Cross-culturally, sapphires have been associated with insight, truth, heavenly grace, and even clairvoyance. For example, sapphires were used as emblems of spiritual enlightenment and devotion by the Buddhists while according to Ayurvedic tradition, sapphires are associated with the throat and third eye chakra and used to facilitate deeper levels of consciousness and self-awareness. The ancient Hebrew tradition viewed the sapphire as a stone of prophecy. In fact, sapphire is the fifth stone in the Breast Plate of Aaron and is inscribed with the tribe Issachar. Medieval European clergy wore sapphires in ecclesiastical rings to enhance the wearer’s spiritual insight and attract celestial blessings.
During their long tenure as a prized gem, sapphires weren’t only used in strictly spiritual and religious contexts. Members of European royalty wore sapphires to symbolize wisdom and virtue and attract good fortune. In more contemporary, pan-spiritual contexts, sapphires represent sincerity, dependability, truth, and mental acuity. Sapphire is given to September babies to banish evil and negative forces while attracting the positive influences of the planet Venus.
For practitioners of crystal therapy, sapphires serve as a “transformer” crystal that helps the user find new paths and horizons, making it a perfect stone for the student, researcher, adventurer, and explorer. According to this tradition, sapphires may also alleviate physical symptoms including eye infection, headaches, fevers, nosebleeds, ear conditions, and blood disorders.
Sapphires aren't just blue--they come in an array of stunning shades!
Although sapphires are most often associated with a rich, deep blue, these corundum gems actually come in several natural shades, which depend on the mineral compound that combine with the aluminum oxide present in the stone. For example, a low iron content in a sapphire may result in a yellow or greenish stone. The padparadscha sapphire is a beautiful marriage between pink and orange. Other colors of sapphire include white, orange, lavender, green, and brown. With the exception of rubies, all corundum gems are classified as sapphires.
Sapphires are an incredibly durable stone, scoring a 9 on the Mohs Scale. The only stone harder than a corundum is a diamond. This makes sapphire a practical choice for jewelry that's meant to be worn every day, everywhere. In other words, sapphire is an excellent choice for an engagement ring.
Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs