Sapphires are the September birthstone, so it’s the perfect time to learn more about these gorgeous gemstones.
- September’s birthstone is the sapphire—a precious gem of wisdom, loyalty and nobility. This stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers.
- Sapphires have been treasured for thousands of years. The ancient Romans polished sapphires to be worn as jewelry.
- The best-known sapphires are the rich blue variety, but they actually come in every color of the rainbow—including pink, yellow, orange, and green. Red sapphires are better known as rubies (both are varieties of the mineral corundum).
- Sapphires get their colors from trace elements in the mineral corundum. It is turned to blue sapphire when it contains iron and titanium, and trace elements of chromium can turn corundum pink, while more chromium turns it into a ruby.
- The rarest type of sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called padparadscha, a name that comes from the Sinhala word for lotus flower.
- Sapphires are among the most durable naturally occurring elements in the world. Gemstones are rated on their ability to withstand scratching based on a system called the Mohs Scale of Hardness, and sapphires score a 9 out of 10. The only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. The durability of sapphires makes them an excellent choice for engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry that you plan to wear every day.