Many gem scholars agree that the tradition of birthstones arose from the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible (Exodus 28, 15-30). The breastplate was a ceremonial religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel and corresponded with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year.
Sapphire is the modern September birthstone and the gem designated for the 5th, 23rd and 45th wedding anniversary; a star sapphire is typically given on the 65th wedding anniversary.
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral species corundum. Sapphires occur in all colors of the rainbow with the exception of red, which is ruby. The name corundum comes from the ancient Sanskrit “kuruvindam”, while the name “Sapphire” comes from the Persian word “safir”, meaning “beloved of Saturn”, (or Greek sapphiros). It is noted in several texts that sapphire was the lapis lazuli of the ancient world, probably because the stones both have the same intense blue coloring.
Sapphire is mined in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Other producers are Burma, Kampuchea, Kenya and Tanzania. Sapphires are commonly heated to improve their color and reduce cloudiness that is caused by rutile inclusions. The rutile inclusions are responsible for the “star” or “cat’s eye” in star sapphires.
Sapphires found on Etsy
After doing a search on etsy for sapphires, I was amazed at the incredible variety available. I was also stunned at how high-end some of the listings are. Here’s the most expensive listing on etsy that has sapphires in it. It retails for $35,000! Although not a member of etsyBEAD, the designer certainly has a creation worth mentioning.
This luscious pair of earrings is from etsyBEAD’s very own Glamorosi and feature blue sapphires as well as another blue stone, kyanite.
This gorgeous necklace from one of etsyBEAD’s newer members, beadyIze, showcases the variety of hues with all blue sapphires in a terrific cascade.
Remember, sapphires don’t just come in blue, as Nomolos Design shows us in their spectacular matching necklace and earrings called ‘harvest’.
The above set by Nomolos Design is also part of our current bi-weekly etsyBEAD Theme of the Week sale. be sure to take a look at all the amazing pieces featured in this sale, both with and without sapphires!!