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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.

from the former Czechoslovakia. The Romans also prized opals greatly and used them widely for jewelry. They called the opal “the queen of gems” because it embodied the colors of all the other gems. They revered opal as a symbol of hope and purity and regarded it as second only to the prized emerald. In the 1st century, Roman scholar and naturalist Pliny The Elder (AD23-79) wrote that opal “has an unbelievable mixture of colors.” He praised it as the ultimate in gemstones, due to its mysterious and iridescent qualities. Opals were used for jewelry and were also carved as cameos. Opal has been a treasured gemstone around the world. The Aztecs have long mined opal in Central and South America. The Romans called Opal “Cupid Paederos”, a child as beautiful as love”, and wore it a symbol of hope, purity, and love, believing it had power to cure one from disease. Opal in the Middle Ages was used to treat diseases of the eye, and in later times, blond women used to wear opal earrings and hair ornaments, believing it would keep their hair from going gray. The crown of the Holy Roman Emperor contained a striking Opal, called “Orphanus”. Described "as though pure white snow flashed and sparkled with the color of bright ruddy wine, and was overcome by this radiance", this opal was said to guard the imperial honor. Opal was also found in the crown jewels of France. A legend tells a story of how Napoleon gave Josephine a brilliant Opal with red sparkles that he called “the burning of Troy”, asking her to become his Helen. Shakespeare used an Opal in one of his plays to draw a parallel between Opal’s changing colors and the ever-changing moods of a woman. In “Twelfth Night” he wrote: “Now the melancholy God protect thee, and the tailor make thy garments of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is opal." No monarch has loved Opal more then Queen Victoria of England. She and her daughters created a trend for wearing Opal, and she was said to frequently give Opals as wedding presents, as a symbol of hope, happiness, and truth. Today, it is traditionally given on the 12th and 18th anniversaries of marriage. You may have heard that the opal brings bad luck and is an evil stone. In fact, this has been a ridiculous belief for a long time all over the world. However, those in the know, are aware that this unfortunate reputation and myth actually is the fault of one man, Sir Walter Scott. Sir Walter Scott’s bestselling novel, Anne of Geuerstein, written in 1829, was the story of Lady Hermione, who is falsely accused of being a demoness, and dies shortly after a drop of holy water accidentally falls on her opal and destroys its color. The public took this to mean that this genius author was warning of the bad luck an opal can bring, so they stopped buying the beautiful gemstone. Sir Walter Scott succeeded in destroying the European opal market for almost 50 years with really, no real merit whatsoever. Within months of the novel being published, the opal market crashed and prices were down 50%. Thankfully, nearly 50 years later, in 1877, an amazing black opal was found in South Wales, Australia, and the opal market was finally revived. These black opals took the world by storm. The discov

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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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