From the zesty lime green of August’s birthstone Peridot, we move into September's birthstone which is the cool blue of Sapphire. There are many types of Sapphires which is what makes it a particularly interesting and exciting gemstone. A Sapphire is said to protect loved ones from negative energy as well as restore and calm the mind.
The origin of Sapphires
Sapphires come from the mineral, Corundum which is made up of aluminium and oxygen. Rubies also come from this mineral and by definition, they are the red variety of Corundum. Corundum is the hardest mineral after Diamond and is measured at a 9 on the hardness scale where as a Diamond is measured at 10. It is worth mentioning though that Diamonds are still 140 times harder than Corundum.
The name Sapphire comes from the Greek for Blue however, sapphires can come in a rainbow of different colours. The blue sapphires can either come in a marine blue, a deep royal blue or a cornflower blue and the other sapphire colours are yellow, green, violet, pink and orange.
The Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring is probably the most famous Sapphire of modern times. Chosen by Princess Diana as her engagement ring in 1981 and made by jeweller, Garrard & Co, it features a whopping 12 ct Ceylon Sapphire surrounded by a halo of 14 white Diamonds.
After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, princes Harry and William chose some of their mother’s possessions as mementos. The ring has deep personal meaning for Prince William as he felt that by proposing to Catherine with his mother’s engagement ring in 2010, it was his way of ensuring that a part of his mother was with him on their wedding day. Following the 2010 proposal, the popularity of Sapphire engagement rings went through the roof and they still remain a very popular choice today.
Originally purchased for £28,000 in 1981, the ring is now estimated to be worth around £300,000.
The rarest and arguably the most beautiful of Sapphires is the Padparascha which comes from Sri Lanka with its name derived from the delicate lotus flower. Padparadscha is a delicate pink-orange in hue and the rarest and most prized are the natural, untreated stones which have the most clarity.
Princess Eugenie’s Engagement Ring
Princess Eugenie was presented with a stunning Padparascha Sapphire ring by Jack Brooksbank when they got engaged in 2018.
Her ring is comprised of a pink-hued two-carat Padparadscha Sapphire, surrounded by a Diamond halo and two 1.5 carat pear-shaped Diamonds on a yellow gold band.
Jack’s reasons for selecting a Padparasdscha Sapphire for his fiancee’s engagement ring are incredibly romantic:
"Why I loved it so much is because it changes colour from every different angle that you look at it, which is what I think of Eugenie. That she changes colour and is just so amazing. And we thought that was an amazing sign."
A “Star Sapphire” is when a stone has a certain property called “Asterism” which means that when a light is shone on a cabochon-cut stone (where it has been polished to a rounded finish) the reflected light produces a six or 12 rayed star. This phenomenon is due to the crystal structure within a Sapphire which has dense needle-like inclusions called “rutile needles”.
Not only is the Sapphire September’s birthstone but it is also the gemstone for a 45th wedding anniversary. Some believe that the deep blue of a Sapphire represents the deep love a couple still has for one another after almost half a century together. What better way to commemorate longevity of marriage than with a stunning piece of Sapphire jewellery.