Sapphire is one of four precious stones with diamond, ruby and emerald. Its name comes from the ancient Greek sappheiros (blue colored stone) or perhaps from the Hebrew sappir (the most beautiful thing). Since the beginning of the twentieth century, we know how to manufacture in the laboratory synthetic sapphires and synthetic rubies, whose chemical composition and physical properties are the same as those of natural stones. It was in 1902 that the French chemist Auguste Verneuil discovered However, these synthetic stones can be detected by their generally curved crystallization lines, at least for the oldest productions. For its high scratch resistance property, synthetic sapphire is used as a watch glass or a camera lens, especially in smartphones.
Sapphire is the most precious and valuable blue gemstone. It is very desirable due to its excellent colour, hardness, durability and lustre.
In the gem trade, ‘sapphire' without any colour prefix refers to the blue variety of the mineral. However, it occurs in a vast range of colours, except from red. The red variation of the corundum has a separate name: ruby!
While blue sapphires traditionally come from Sri Lanka and Burma, they are produced in other countries, including Australia, Cambodia, China, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Nigeria , Tanzania, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. In the eighties, about 70% of the sapphires produced all over the world came from Australia. However, the Australian sapphire does not enjoy a good reputation: frequently, it is considered unfairly as having an ink color too pronounced or a green component too underlined.
Sapphire is more common than its twin ruby. We find some everywhere in the world, as for example in Australia, Brazil, Madagascar. The most important deposits, and those containing the most beautiful stones are generally in Asia: the mines of Kashmir, in India, in Sri Lanka where cornflower is produced (blueberry colour), in the mines of Mogok in Burma.
Sapphire would have virtues both physically and spiritually. It would strengthen eyesight, fight fever and stop nosebleeds if applied against the forehead. It would have a beneficial action on hair, skin and nails, fighting against baldness for example.
It would help to treat problems of nervous origin, rheumatism, gout, joint pain.
From a psychic point of view, it symbolizes honesty, truth, fidelity. He would help his wearer to carry out his meditations, to rise spiritually. The medieval saint Hildegarde of Bingen affirmed that by licking it frequently, one could become more intelligent!
Sapphire is the lucky stone of September. Sapphire is often offered to celebrate a 5th wedding anniversary.
Sapphire has sometimes been confused with lapis lazuli. Thus, some think that the Tables of the Law received by Moses on Mount Sinai were in sapphire, others in lapis lazuli. This last rock was sometimes called sapphire in Europe, until the twelfth century.
The Egyptians associated the sapphire with truth and justice.
Charlemagne wore sapphire jewelery which had been offered to him by a caliph in the ninth century. Filigree gold and decorated with precious stones, it was added in the nineteenth century a large sapphire cabochon through which we distinguish what is considered a fragment of the True Cross. This treasure of the cathedral of Reims is preserved in the Palace of Tau.
From the thirteenth century on the decision of Pope Innocent III, the cardinals of the Catholic Church began to wear a ring with a sapphire in the right hand, the one that makes the gesture of blessing.
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