SAPPHIRE

SAPPHIRE / CORUNDUM


For centuries, sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance. The association was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Until her death in 1997, Princess Di, as she was known, charmed and captivated the world. Her sapphire ring helped link modern event with history and fairy tales. In ancient Greece and Rome, Kings and Queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary folks thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles. In folklore, history, art, and consumer awareness, sapphire has always been associated with the color blue. Its name comes from the Greek word sappheiros, which probably referred to lapis lazuli. Most jewelry customers think all sapphires are blue, and when gem and jewelry professionals use the word “sapphire” alone, they normally mean “blue sapphire.” In the trade, “blue sapphire” refers to stones ranging from very light to very dark greenish or violetish blue, as well as those in various shades of purple blue. Large,