There is something about the color blue that makes it the most favored color in the world. Psychologists say that there is something calming about the color as it reminds us of the sky on a clear day or the crystal clear depths of the ocean. Without knowing anything about blue sapphire stones from a gemologist’s point of view, they are among the most popular stones simply because of their color. However, in terms of a gemstone, sapphires are second only to diamonds in their hardness, coming in at 9 on the Mohs scale which makes them durable and easy to care for, and of course quite valuable.
What Exactly Is a Blue Sapphire?
The ‘funny’ thing about a blue sapphire is that you could say it is the same stone as a ruby only it is blue and not red! Both are gemstones of the corundum family of minerals but a blue sapphire gets its color from both titanium and iron impurities being present in the crystal while rubies derive their vivid red color from chromium. A sapphire then is any member of the corundum family that is colored anything but ruby red, and blue sapphire stones are not only the most beautiful, they are the most valuable. Going a step further, cornflower blue from gems mined in Kashmir is actually the most valuable of all the blues. Sapphires are only found in a few locations around the world, the most notable being Kashmir (India), Burma, Australia, Thailand, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Vietnam.
It’s All in the Cut
While you could say that any gemstone is only as valuable as the clarity and cut, this is especially important when it comes to a blue sapphire. Because of the variance in the refraction of light, a blue sapphire actually changes hues when held in different directions. This is why it actually takes a master stonecutter to bring out the best in a blue sapphire by cutting it so that the optimum color is achieved. Each and every facet needs to be cut with perfection to provide the color and luminosity desired. One mistake can ruin the entire stone. Keep in mind that a top quality sapphire is particularly rare and extremely hard and difficult to cut in the first place, which is why it takes a master craftsman to bring out the best in this gem.
Lore and Mythology of Blue Sapphire Stones
Since at least 800 BC, blue sapphire stones held a special place of prominence with royalty. Ancient Persian monarchs believed that the sky was blue because it reflected the color of sapphire stones and kings around the world wore necklaces fashioned from sapphires to defend them against harm. The Church saw fit to make blue sapphires the official stone for ecclesiastical rings in the 12th Century and even Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Princess Di which led to a widespread trend of giving a sapphire betrothal ring in lieu of the more traditional diamond. As the birthstone of September, blue sapphire stones are popular as gifts for anyone born in that month and is the official stone for a couple’s 5th and 45th anniversaries. Anyone on an inner journey seeking pure and heavenly thoughts call on the metaphysical properties of blue sapphire stones.
Natural blue sapphire stones are extremely rare which is why they can be quite expensive. Because the value is dependent on the transparency of the stone and the quality of the cut, great care should be given to choosing the right stone for any jewelry setting. Many people find the stone first and then seek a setting that will do the stone justice. Keep in mind that white gold or platinum will allow the brilliant blue to remain true to its color while yellow gold may cast a ‘greenish’ radiance through the stone. But in any event, blue sapphire stones are royal stones and proper care should be given to a setting fit for such an elegant gem.