7 FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT SAPPHIRES
Sapphire’s breathtaking blue sets the standard by which other blue stones are measured, and its radiance has captured our imagination for millennia. As one of the “big three” precious stones, sapphire’s many, many fans reach far beyond September birthdays and 45th anniversaries. How does it hold so many in thrall? The color and brilliance cast a spell not easily broken.
Friends In High Places
History links sapphire to royalty as far back as Solomon who wore a sapphire ring. That’s probably why sapphire is associated with wisdom. Kings and Queens treasured its dazzling shade, believing sapphire protected them from harm and envy. And in the Middle Ages, the high clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize heaven. I think it’s possible they also wore them because sapphires are beautiful, and they were wealthy enough to afford them.
A Once and Future Ring
Lady Diana Spencer was a pre-school teacher when she received the most famous engagement ring in history: a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds. Most people don’t know she selected the ring herself choosing it from the Garrard Collection because it reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring. It was neither custom made nor unique, but it began a trend that has continued. And why not have a sapphire center stone? Sapphire symbolizes truth, sincerity, and faithfulness, making it ideal for an engagement ring. Today Princess Di’s famous ring adorns the finger of her son’s wife, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
What sapphire blue can do for you?
Are you ready for this? Sapphire brings spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. Those
are priceless gifts, but sapphire does more. It imparts wisdom, insight, and discernment to choose rightly when faced with obstacles and difficult situations. (Doesn’t that sound like Solomon’s famous dilemma of two mothers claiming one child?) But that’s not all. Sapphire has the power to make peace between warring parties. Are you impressed yet? Read on.
Today’s natural healers promote sapphire for its positive effect on a variety of health issues – everything from hearing problems and inflammation to burns and cancer. And its calming effect soothes a mind fighting depression and brings joy to the wearer to those lucky customers who wear it.
A Storied Sapphire
The Star of India — at 563.35 carats one of the largest and certainly the most famous blue star sapphire — was actually discovered in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) two to three centuries ago. The rough stone was sold to Moorish traders who took it to India, which was under British rule. The English considered Ceylon a part of the India colony and by rights, so the Moors should have sold the sapphire to them. Instead they sold it to a European dealer. Eventually it was mistakenly named the Star of India instead of the Star of Ceylon.
How big is 563.5 carats?
Of course I could just say “very big,” but truly this remarkable sapphire is the size of a golf ball. It is famous not just for its size and flawlessness but for the fact that its sharp six-rayed star appears on both sides.
A Star of India Adventure
Wealthy Gilded Age financier J.P. Morgan commissioned a Tiffany gem expert to buy an impressive gem collection for display at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The Star of India was among the gems acquired for Morgan. It traveled safely to and from the Exposition, and then Morgan donated it to the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West in Manhattan. In 1964, it was stolen along with other gems of note. To everyone’s relief, it was retrieved along with one other gem just two days later. The thieves? Jack Murphy, a one-time surfing champion turned notorious cat burglar and two cohorts. Needless to say, they spent time in prison.
What’s your favorite color?
Sapphire comes in many colors except, of course, red, also known as “ruby.” But without a color indication, “sapphire” refers to blue sapphire. Within blue there are many variations from lighter to darker shades some with a hint of grey. My personal choice would be a medium vibrant violet blue. Fortunately we have sapphires in a range of the vibrant blues.