The deep blue pools of sapphire gemstones have long been a staple of embellishments and adornments. They have also been coveted by many for a wide range of mysticism, attributes, and associated properties, giving them a rich history in folklore.
Sapphires have been around for centuries and have been adored for as long as they have been found. The bulk of the world’s most valuable sapphires today are found in Sri Lanka, but sapphire mines exist around the globe. Countries like India, Vietnam, the United States, Nepal, and Madagascar are also hot spots for the blue beauties, though each contain their own share of specific inclusions.
Inclusions, or chemical impurities, are various elements and particles that are usually specific to a geographic region and have an overall influence on the purity of a particular sapphire. These inclusions give way to what is known as the three classes of sapphires: classic metamorphic, non-classic metamorphic, and classic magmatic. A sapphire’s classification will help to further determine its value in the gem world.
The Blue Pools of Sapphires
Though these inclusions affect the overall value of the gems, some of them also give way to the trademark blue pools of sapphires we have come to know and love. Originating from corundum – the same mineral as sapphire’s closely related cousin, the ruby – sapphires get their color from various elements that are present during formation.
In its purest form, corundum is essentially colorless. When other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium are added, however, the color of the developing gem is altered. Despite being best known for their deep blue hues, sapphires can be found in practically every array of color – except red. Red corundum – created when chromium is present – is strictly considered ruby. All other colors of corundum are considered sapphires.
Rich Sapphire Lore
Known as the birthstone for those born in September, as well as the anniversary stone for the 45th wedding gift, sapphires have long been associated with integrity, fidelity and sincerity as well as other believed mystical properties. Dating back to medieval times, royalty would frequently wear the gemstones as symbols of power, class, and for the symbolic relation of the stone’s deep blue color to the heavens.
There are countless notations throughout history of people associating sapphires with heavenly beings. In fact, many civilizations even used them as a means to stay close to those who had passed away, believing the blue gems were small pieces of the heavens above.
Famous Sapphires Throughout History
One of the most famous sapphires, the Logan Blue Sapphire, is known for being the second largest cut sapphire on the planet. It’s nearly flawless clarity and highly desirable cornflower blue color make this 422.99 carat gem one of the world’s finest.
Another well-known sapphire, the Rockefeller Sapphire, weighs in at 62.02 carats and was once the most expensive sapphire in the world. In 2001 it sold at auction for $2.82 million but lost its title as highest priced sapphire when an unnamed gem at 22.66 carats sold for $3.1 million in 2007.
Perhaps the most famous sapphire of all is that worn by the current Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Her engagement ring, the infamous 18 carat sapphire and diamond ring once worn by her mother-in-law, Princess Diana, was given to her by Prince William in 2010.
Clearly steeped in royalty and magical lore, sapphires have captivated wearers for ages. Take a peek at some of our favorite sapphire options for adding to your own collection today.