British birthstone of the month. September = Sapphire

Sapphire in the rough. Photo sourced from .gia.edu
Sapphire in the rough. Photo sourced at .gia.edu

The word sapphire originated from the Greek word sappheiros, the same name may have also been used for the Lapis Lazuli stone.

Sapphires were formed 150 to 200 millions of years ago. Rocks inside of the earths crust were put under intense pressure and very high temperatures, causing the atoms in the rocks to change and recombine to create the mineral corundum. Sapphires are a form of corundum and are amongst the strongest natural gemstones, second only to diamonds.

Sapphires are mined all over the world, including Australia, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. The most valuable sapphires are mid blue in colour but sapphires actually come in a variety of other colours including yellow, orange, green and pink. Red sapphires are better known as rubies.

The most valuable sapphires are a mid blue colour. Photo sourced from stonegrouplabs.
The most valuable sapphires are a mid blue colour. Photo sourced from stonegrouplabs.

 

Multi-coloured sapphires. Photo sourced from deleusejewelers.com
Multi-coloured sapphires. Photo sourced from deleusejewelers.com

Another interesting fact is that most natural sapphires undergo heat treatment. This helps to improve their colour and clarity,  keeping the colour constant under all light conditions and protecting them against chipping. One of the world’s most famous sapphires was given to Princess Diana as an engagement ring, which is now worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Princess Diana's famous sapphire engagement ring. Photo source from ringswithlove.com
Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring. Photo source from ringswithlove.com

Another example of royal sapphires that have recently been in the headlines is a beautiful coronet that was designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria to wear on their wedding day in 1840.

A temporary ban has been placed on the coronet preventing it from being sold abroad. It is considered to be one of the most important jewels of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The coronet is mounted with eleven stunning sapphires, which are set in gold and the diamonds are set in silver.

Lets hope that someone out there has a spare 5 million!

Queen Victoria's Sapphire and diamond coronet. Photo soured from wartski.com
Queen Victoria’s Sapphire and diamond coronet. Photo sourced from wartski.com

 

As well as being September’s birthstone, sapphires are also given to celebrate 45 years of marriage.

Watch this space to find out about our new sapphire necklace!!!  Coming soon.

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