- by Arun Yadav
- Jun 20, 2017
The world “sapphire” comes from the Sanskrit word “Shanipriya,” from “shani,” meaning “Saturn,” and “priya” meaning “dear.” So, sapphire comes from the term “dear to Saturn.”There are few gemstones more internationally renowned than the gorgeous sapphire. The September birthstone has been used in jewelry for queens, kings, maharajas, romantics, poets, and movie stars across the ages. Known for its brilliant blues, few people know that sapphires can also be bright pink or spectacular purples. This gem is a truly versatile stone that anyone would be lucky to feature as part of their collection.
Physical Properties and Colors
Sapphire is a precious gemstone that belongs to the variety of mineral called “corundum.” “Corundum” means it is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide. It is fascinating to think that each unique stone is a result of scientific reactions happening inside our Earth.Yet, you don’t have to be a geologist to appreciate the common deep blues of sapphires. Sapphires can be a variety of other colors as well. Such as purple, yellow, orange, and—if found in the right locale—they can even be pink. These sapphires are known as “fancy sapphires.”Additionally, you can have red corundum stones, but we know these gemstones as rubies.Sapphires are mined all over the world; in places such as Australia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and many other places. While rare to find, the hardest thing about sapphires is the sapphire stone itself.After diamonds, sapphires are the hardest gemstones we have discovered (9 on the Mohs scale). Because of this, they are not only used for jewelry and decoration but are also used for more functional purposes such as in high-durability windows and wristwatch movement bearings. It is hard to imagine sapphires anywhere where someone could not enjoy their beauty.
Sapphires have been sought-after for centuries, and, as a result, there are some very impressive samples spread across the globe. Perhaps most famous is the Stuart Sapphire in London, U.K. The Stuart Sapphire is a 104-carat blue sapphire whose original founding place is unknown, but it is a cornerstone of the British Crown Jewels.The gemstone is an oval shape and is about 3.8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. At some point, a hole was drilled through the stone so it could be worn as a pendant. On the back is a miniature plaque with a history of the crown.The sapphire has been used in crowns worn by King James II, King George III, Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and, most recently, Queen Elizabeth II. Tourists can glimpse the splendor of the royals and the Stuart Sapphire in the Tower of London.
Star of India
Perhaps the most unique and precious sapphire on public display is the Star of India.This flawless gemstone is one of the largest in the world—563.35 karats—and features a star on either side. It has more of a baby blue color due to the milky quality of the stone caused by traces of mineral rutile.George Kunz discovered the Star of India in Sri Lanka in the early 1900s. Kunz was commissioned by the richest and most famous banker of the time, J.P. Morgan, to acquire an impressive gem collection for an exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Kunz surpassed all expectations when he returned with the Star of India.The gemstone made headlines again in 1964 when it was stolen from a museum, along with several other priceless gemstones. The stone was recovered the next year and now resides safely in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
While you will not be making jewelry for the Queen of England, you might as well be. You will feel like royalty whenever you feature a brilliant sapphire. Sapphires are perfect for necklaces, rings, bracelets, or even a crown.One of our favorite things to do with blue sapphire beads is to make beautiful earrings. You can even use sapphire chips. Assembly is simple enough for a newbie but particular enough to keep an old pro interested. Earrings made of blue or pink sapphire beads are perfect for a special occasion such as a wedding or bat/bar mitzvah. While the tutorial suggests a traditional blue sapphire, why not try some pink sapphire beads?Sapphires also make wonderful pendants and rings. No matter how you decide to feature your sapphires, you will not be disappointed.With their deep, brilliant colors and hard composition, they can be used in a variety of ways. However, we all agree they are best featured as a prominent piece of anyone’s jewelry collection, whether you are a queen or just want to feel like one.