September is the month when summer ends and the -ber months begin. Christmas is closer than ever, and the holidays are starting to feel just barely out of reach. With that being said, this month’s birthstone represents a “calm before the storm,” if you will. The birthstone, Sapphire, is a popular gemstone that sports deep, cool blue colors.
Today, we’ll learn that Sapphire is more than just a blue gem and that it has very close ties with another specific birthstone. Its history throughout time is also only as rich as any other gemstone.
What is a Sapphire?
Sapphire is a gem variant of a mineral that’s known as corundum. Corundum is the third hardest mineral in the Mohs scale, right behind diamond and moissanite. If you’ve read the other birthstone articles, then you should already be familiar with the other gem variant of corundum – ruby. Yes, the same fiery hot ruby that symbolizes courage, passion, and love. Both sapphires and rubies share the same mineral makeup, and the only real difference between the two lies in their color.
What’s interesting to note that while rubies come as either deep reds, bright pinks, or anything in between, almost all other colors are classified as a type of Sapphire? For example, a yellow corundum gem would be labeled as yellow Sapphire, and a bright, pale pink corundum gem would be labeled as pink Sapphire. Pink sapphires are a debatable topic, though, and many organizations will generally accept pink sapphires as rubies instead.
Like rubies, sapphires that are naturally formed also feature something known as “needles.” These are made out of a mineral known as rutile and are only present in naturally-formed Sapphire. These needles sometimes intersect and form asterisk or star shapes in a phenomenon known as asterism. Sapphires that exhibit this type of phenomenon are known as star sapphires, whereas rubies with this structure are called star rubies. Because the star pattern isn’t guaranteed with every Sapphire, star sapphires and star rubies hold immense value.
Not all sapphires naturally form with rich blue colors. Often, the sapphires are treated to bring out more color from within. This is done by heating the naturally-formed Sapphire in furnaces at very high temperatures for up to weeks at a time. This causes the Sapphire to gain the signature deep blue color it is famous for.
What does Sapphire Signify?
A great analogy to visualize the relationship between Ruby and Sapphire is through the concept of sword and shield. Ruby basically serves as the “sword” in this case – aggressive and active emotions such as passion and courage are associated with the gem. Meanwhile, Sapphire takes a more defensive stance – it was a common tool used by wearers to guard themselves against evil. It was worn not by warriors and soldiers but by kings and priests, figures of a different type of power. A power that exists in mind but not in the body.
This leads us to the primary meaning behind Sapphire. Sapphire represents deep wisdom, knowledge of something great. This is why it is commonly worn by priests and kings alike. Their knowledge of religion and state, respectively, are embodied through this gem. Of course, this doesn’t mean that only priests and kings can wear Sapphire – if you wish to gain insights and wisdom, the Sapphire can channel that sort of energy to you.
Sapphire is also known to represent trust and loyalty. If the courage of ruby is essentially trusting in oneself, Sapphire is essentially trusting in others. Sapphires are also an ordinary gift to couples who have had their 45th wedding anniversary. In this case, the Sapphire reinforces the bonds that the couple has made together through the decades. It is also a form of well-wishing that the couple will continue to maintain their trust and loyalty for one another in the years to follow.Conclusion
Rubies and sapphires are essentially two sides of the same coin. They are yin and yang, serving different purposes despite coming from the same mineral. September’s birthstone is one that symbolizes positive emotions such as trust and loyalty and can be a great gift to anyone born during this month.