Sapphire is the September birthstone, derived from the ancient Latin word sapphirus – meaning blue. The sapphire has long been a favourite in jewellery design, not only because of the striking colour but also because of its durability being second only to diamonds in hardness. It was believed that the stone represented wisdom and purity and sapphires have been used as an adornment by priests and royalty since ancient times.
In early times it was believed the earth was set on a sapphire and that is why the sky has a vivid blue colour. Others believe that the ten commandments were carved on an emerald.
The striking blue stone is from the Corundum family which produces stones in a rainbow of colours – the red stone is known as Ruby and all other shades are known as Sapphires. Sapphires are mined mainly in India, Africa, and Asia. The star of India, at 563 carats, is one of the most famous Sapphires in the world and can be seen in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.