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Sapphire history

The sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September. The name sapphire is derived from the Latin word ““saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue. Some believe that the name sapphire is derived from its association with the planet Saturn. The name can be roughly be translated to mean “dear to the planet Saturn” in many different languages.

Sapphires have been prized as great gemstones since 800BC. Rulers of ancient Persia believed the sky was painted blue by the reflection of sapphire stones. And a great poet once described the sapphire as “the blue of a clear sky just minutes after sundown.” Blue sapphires were a holy stone to the catholic church and to Ancient Persians, who believed they made the sky blue with their reflections. To some religions, the blue color of the sapphire represents the heavens. Sapphires are stones of the apocalypse, and ancient lore held that the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written, were actually sapphire. This has to mean that either the script was very tiny, or the sapphire was made by the hands of someone other than mother earth, as its size would have had to have been quite adequate!

Kings wore sapphires around their necks as a powerful defense from harm. They preserved the wearer from envy and attracted divine favor. In the 12th Century, the sapphire was known as the most appropriate stone for ecclesiastical rings. The Cingalese believed that the star sapphire served as protection and a guard against witchcraft. The great Oriental traveler, Sir Richard Francis Burton, had a large star sapphire which he referred to as his “talisman,” for it always brought him good horses and prompt attention wherever he went. Just the mere sight of the stone was believed to bring luck and he showed it to people everywhere he went. King Solomon wore a sapphire ring. And in modern times, the sapphire grew notorious when we saw Prince Charles give a sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana.

The Museum of Natural History in New York is home to the one of the most notorious sapphires in the world, the “Star of India,” a sapphire of 563 carats! The sapphire has for a long time, been identified with chastity, piety, and repentance. It brings wisdom and truth, increases perception and the understanding of justice. It helps find peace of mind and serenity and promotes a life of sincerity, helping preserve one’s innocence while learning life’s truths. Sapphires also are associated with romantic love, representing fidelity and romantic devotion. I it also used for a quest to increase one’s faith, hope and joy and to keep thoughts pure and heavenly.

Do you know which famous prince gave his beloved a sapphire engagement ring? Did you know that sapphire is significant to many of the world's religions? Learn all there is to know about sapphire in our collection of information about this beautiful blue stone. Read about the cultural and religious history of sapphire, the physical properties of sapphire, and how to care for your sapphire jewelry.
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