Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Birthstone: September

Known as the "Stone of Saturn", the alluring Sapphire is said to represent wisdom and nobility. In earlier times, it is said that lovers would exchange these gems as gifts in order to assure the faithfulness for their partners. In other words, if you were living foul, your deep blue nuggets would be as dull cobblestones. (Pre-historic polygraph tests?)

The earliest recordings of sapphire mining goes back to around the 7th century. Most quality stones can be found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Thailand, Tanzania and Kashmir.

They come in a wide range of colors such as yellow, black, white, orange, pink, brown and of course blue. Red sapphires are considered rubies and should not be confused although chemically and structurally the two are one and the same.

When heat treated, their color is greatly improved by the reduction of cloudiness caused by inclusions. It's rare to find large specimens of sapphire, however, the largest known stone is the grayish blue "Star of India" which boast 563.35 carats and is housed at the American Museum of Natural History. It was cut specifically to reflect light from its inclusions producing an odd six legged star pattern.

Another very popular sapphire was one worn by Princess Diana. Although she kept an impressive collection of family jewels, she chose an engagement ring with a huge sapphire surrounded by 14 flawless diamonds. A perfect choice for a princess, as these gems were worn through out history by kings and queens.

True diva.

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