The color that comes to mind for most people when they imagine the September birthstone color is a deep, velvety blue. A shade like the evening at dusk to the vivid blue of the sky on a bright summer day. The Greek word 'Sapphirus' means blue and is where the term sapphire originated.
We associate the color blue with peace and harmony. Like diamonds, sapphires are given to strengthen love and trust. It is the stone most associated with mutual understanding and faithfulness, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and is often set surrounded in diamonds.
The Logan Sapphire shown above is a flawless specimen from Sri Lanka. The stone, roughly the size of an egg, is one of the world's largest and most famous sapphires. It is named after Mrs. Polly Logan, who donated the gemstone to the Smithsonian Institution in 1960.
I am very excited to write about sapphire because it is the gemstone I use most in my work. The stone is a pleasure to incorporate into my designs because of its incredible sparkle, and the virtual rainbow of color choices.
Blue is by far sapphire's most popular color, however; only one of its beautiful hues. The palette ranges from bright pink and mandarin orange to pale green, lilac, and vibrant yellow. The deep red is another gem variety of the same mineral family, Corundum. It is called a ruby, but that is another story and another month's birthstone. I use all the colors. I find each one unique and inspiring.
In addition to blue, Sapphires exist in pink, green, yellow, orange, purple, and even colorless or black. Each color has its quality variations. In general, the more intense the color and the fewer the distracting zones of unattractive color, the more valuable the stone.
Pink sapphires occur in shades from light to dark pink. The deeper the pink color, the higher their value. In the U. S., a minimum color saturation must be met to be for a Corundum to be called a ruby. Any stones in the red family that don't meet the minimum standard are categorized as pink sapphires.
The yellow ones can range from pale lemon yellow to bright tangerine. Gem experts like the oranger tones better while most consumers prefer a lighter yellow.
Greens range from light to dark bluish green through yellowish green and are usually low in color saturation. Khaki or olive stones are readily available but aren't as desirable because of their weak or unattractive coloring zoning.
Those in the trade refer to pure corundum as colorless sapphire or white sapphire. They often used in place of diamonds as a genuine but affordable alternative. Black sapphires are usually opaque grey stones and some designers use them instead of onyx.
Padparadscha sapphires are an intense pink-orange and referred to as the king of sapphire colors. They are stunning but also very expensive so rarely used in commercial jewelry.
I've only touched on the many colors but if you're interested in learning more I recommend this article on the GIA website.
Back to Blue
At the moment I am on the hunt for the perfect blue sapphire. Yesterday I held a gorgeous 1 carat Ceylon sapphire, remarkable to say the least. Today I was in awe when I saw these two beauties, each over 2 carats. One is velvety, the other bright and I adore them both. I will keep you posted on the ring's progress, of course, it is a surprise so keep it a secret!
My most recent creation is a ring that showcases sapphires in blue and green and has a unique story. While my parents were on vacation in Italy, my mother bought a stunning ring as a souvenir from a shop on the famed Ponte Vecchio in Florence. This medieval bridge spanning the Arno River is renowned for the best goldsmiths in Italy.
My brother, sister, and I were very young. It was the first time my parents had gone away together since their honeymoon. My grandmother took care of us, and as a way of expressing her gratitude, my mother gave her this beautiful ring.
I based the design on the structure of the ring my mother gifted to my grandmother. Rather than 18k gold, my interpretation is in silver and set with cool tones of pale green and deep blue. The cluster of gemstones in the center resembles a flower. I love how tall it sits on the finger. Che Bella!
Sapphires and the British Monarchy
In addition, to being the birthstone for September, the 45th anniversary is honored with sapphire. Ordinarily the 45th or sapphire wedding anniversary would carry over to mark regal anniversaries as with silver, golden, and diamond jubilees.
However, in 2017, Blue Sapphire Jubilee marked the 65th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II the longest reigning monarch in British history. I could find a clear explanation as to why blue sapphire. Perhaps it was because the anniversary took place in September or simply because the royal family and especially Queen Elizabeth II has a long history of wearing blue sapphires.
The Queen's love of sapphires may have influenced Princess Diana to chose her engagement ring from Prince Charles. It became the most famous engagement ring in the world, features a large blue oval surrounded by 14 round diamonds. When Prince William proposed to the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, he put the same ring on her finger.
I hope all you September born readers enjoy your fabulous birthstone and feel like royalty every time you where sapphires.
Is blue your favorite sapphire or do enjoy it in a different hue?
See the Other Eleven Birthstone Colors
When I wanted to explore birthstone color, I knew just who to call on to write these articles -- Kimberlin Brown. an amazing jeweler who is inspired by the beauty of flora, fauna and the ocean's seascapes. All of her collections are created by hand in her New York City studio. Take a moment to pop over to her website to see her latest work -- kimberlinbrownjewelry.com. Kimberlin shaped the articles and I added my color expertise. We hope you enjoy the results.
Feature Image Credit: Stockfresh
I am amazed at the ring pictured. My grandfather was a jeweler and he designed a ring for me, I was quite young so it is simpler. The ring has a 5 petaled flower with 5 sapphires in the center, close to what is pictured. Yes, it is my birthstone. Just had to share!.
Wow, that is really amazing. How fun to see a piece similar to the one your grandfather designed for you. I’m so glad you shared the story of your ring. Like Kimberlin, your grandfather sounds like an amazing jeweler.