September birthstone: Blue Sapphire

A deep blue cloudless sky. A clear mountain lake. The deep blue of a sapphire is one of the most beloved and intriguing colors known to man, a color men have spent thousands of years searching for in every corner of earth. In ancient times, people searched for a stone that would reflect the endless blue sapphire color of the sky. So its no wonder that when they found it in the sapphire gemstone, it was named the birthstone for September. September’s birthstone, in addition to being used to symbolically represent that month, is also one of the world’s favorite gemstones for use in every kind of jewelry, including engagement rings.

The ancient Greeks believed the sapphire to symbolize wisdom and purity, and reserved them for kings and priests. They believed the world itself was set upon a giant sapphire, whose color could be seen in the late summer sky. Other ancient cultures believed sapphires could protect the wearer from envious enemies and poisoning, and even that a poisonous snake could be killed be being placed near a sapphire.

Sapphire has a high degree of mineral hardness bested only by diamond, making it durable and secure enough for use in every kind of jewelry setting. It was set as the official birthstone for September by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912, and is also commonly used to commemorate the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversaries. A more rate form of sapphire, the star sapphire, is used to mark the very rare and special occasion of a 65th wedding anniversary. The star sapphire is one with tiny inclusions shaped like needles, which give it an optical property known as asterism, or a star-like appearance. This star shape appears most prominently in a cabochon cut and can have between six and twelve rays or even a cats-eye effect with a single thin band of light down the middle of the stone.

Sapphires have been popular since ancient times, but they have never been as hot as they were this year. When Prince William of England, son of the beloved late Princess Diana, proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton, with his mother’s 18-carat diamond-studded sapphire engagement ring, the world went wild for sapphire. Of course, sapphires had also shot to popularity when Princess Diana first wore the ring in the 1980’s, but Kate Middleton’s status as an international fashion icon, as evidenced by the royal-blue Issa dress she wore to highlight the gorgeous blue color of her ring, has catapulted sales of the gemstone to never-before-seen heights. No longer just the September birthstone, the sapphire is now one of the most popular and sought-after stones for necklaces, earrings, and engagement rings. As the stone represents the important but old-fashioned qualities of sincerity and faithfulness, it seems only right that it receive its rightful turn in the spotlight.

11 .Sterling silver necklace by lunahoo

Aunque cuando hablamos de zafiro pensamos en azul, es una gema que puede tener otros colores, puede ser incoloro, rosa, naranja, amarillo, verde, violeta y negro. Hacia 1800 se averiguó que el zafiro y el rubí representan al corindón como piedra preciosa, actualmente se llama zafiro a todos los corindones no rojos con calidad de piedra preciosa.

En el zafiro azul las sustancias colorantes son el hierro y el titanio. Las inclusiones de agujas de rutilo le dan un brillo sedoso, y si las agujas de rutilo están alineadas paralelamente causan el efecto ojo de gato o una estrella de seir puntas: un zafiro estrella.

Los zafiros de gran tamaño son verdaderas rarezas, y algunos reciben nombres propios. El American Museum of Natural History/Nueva York posee el "Estrella de la India", seguramente el mayor zafiro estrella azul del mundo jamás tallado (536 ct).
A principios del sXX se sintetizaron zafiros con propiedades muy parecidas a las de los zafiros naturales. Desde 1947 se conocen también zafiros sintéticos con calidad de piedra preciosa.