Sapphires - The Enchanting Blue Gemstone
Sapphires are one of the most beloved and sought-after gemstones in the world. Their striking blue color and durability make them a popular choice for jewelry, especially engagement rings. In this article, we will explore the beauty and history of sapphires, their properties, and how to care for them.
What are Sapphires?
Sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, and they come in a range of colors, including blue, pink, yellow, and green. Blue sapphires are the most well-known and popular, and they are formed from trace elements of iron and titanium in the corundum crystal. The intensity of the blue color varies, and the most valuable sapphires have a rich, deep blue hue.
History and Symbolism of Sapphires
Sapphires have a rich history and have been cherished by cultures around the world for centuries. In ancient times, they were believed to have protective powers and were used to ward off evil spirits. The ancient Persians believed that the blue color of the sky was a reflection of sapphires, while the ancient Greeks associated sapphires with Apollo, the god of prophecy and oracles.
In the Middle Ages, sapphires were used by the clergy as a symbol of holiness and virtue. Kings and queens throughout history have adorned themselves with sapphires, including Queen Victoria of England, who received a stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Prince Albert in 1840.
Properties of Sapphires
Sapphires are one of the hardest gemstones, with a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, second only to diamonds. This makes them extremely durable and suitable for daily wear. Sapphires also have a high refractive index, which gives them their intense brilliance and sparkle.
Sapphires are often heat-treated to improve their color and clarity, and this is an accepted and common practice in the gemstone industry. However, it is important to note that not all sapphires are heat-treated, and untreated sapphires can be quite valuable.
Caring for Sapphires
Sapphires are relatively easy to care for, and regular cleaning with a soft brush and mild soap can keep them looking their best. They can also be cleaned with a jewelry cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Sapphires should be stored separately from other jewelry to avoid scratches and damage.
Sapphires are a timeless and enchanting gemstone, with a rich history and deep symbolism. They are a durable and brilliant choice for jewelry, especially engagement rings. Whether you prefer the classic blue sapphire or a unique pink or yellow sapphire, these gemstones are sure to captivate and delight for generations to come.