Sapphire surprises: 7 things you don’t know about September’s birthstone

As summer turns to fall, we welcome September’s birthstone, the sapphire. This vivid blue gemstone has been prized for centuries. It’s dreamy, yet tough. Mystical, yet grounding. Cool yet filled with passion.

Here are 7 surprising facts you didn’t know about sapphires.

  1. They’re the same mineral as rubies. Both sapphires and rubies share a common source: the mineral corundum. Only the color of the crystal makes them separate gemstones. Corundum crystals with a strong red color are considered rubies; lighter stones are known as “pink sapphires.”
  2. They’re harder than any other stone except diamonds. Sapphires (and rubies) rank 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Only diamonds rank higher, with a hardness of 10.
  3. Not all sapphires are blue. These gems naturally occur in a variety of colors, which are called “fancy” sapphires. Colors can include pink, yellow, orange, and purple. There’s even a colorless version. Their color all depends on what other minerals are mixed with the crystal when it’s forming. Some people are using colored sapphires as an alternative to high-priced fancy (colored) diamonds.
  4. “Star” sapphires are the result of an imperfection. Asterism, which means “like a star,” is the result of small needle-like inclusions that are embedded in the stone. A star usually shows up in a 6-prong pattern. Star sapphires are increasingly rare (and accordingly very expensive) and have fascinated people for centuries.
  5. It’s all about the color and cut. The darker and more luminous a sapphire’s color, the more expensive it is. The skill with which a sapphire is cut can have an impact on how it reflects light and color. The center of a stone that doesn’t reflect light well is called a “window.” And a large window will decrease the value of the stone.
  6. Some sapphires change color. “A stone can change from blue in daylight to purple under incandescent light.
  7. They’re an eye to the future: According to the International Gem Society, ancient Greeks used sapphires to help interpret oracles’ visions. The gemstone was believed to help the wearer see into the future and ward off the evil eye. In the Middle Ages, people believed that sapphires had healing powers for the eyes.

 So, September birthday boys and girls, love and cherish your beautiful sapphire birthstone. And don’t forget to have it appraised so if it gets lost or damaged, your precious jewelry can be protected. Call me at (617) 304-0174.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

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