The sapphire

Where does the name “sapphire” come from?

The etymological root of the word “sapphire” comes from the Hebrew “sappîr” which means “blue stone”. This is surely why, before the progress of scientific gemology in the 1800s, all blue stones were designated by this term, and more particularly lapis lazuli during antiquity and the Middle Ages.

What is the color of sapphire?

By default, the color blue is associated with sapphire and the most sought-after shade is a frank cornflower blue. However, the gem can be of any color (except ruby ​​red) or even colorless for leucosaphirs.

Like all gems, sapphire has inclusions of different kinds: minerals, channels or even liquid inclusions.

However, far from being imperfections which would devalue the stone value, as is the case for the diamond, these inclusions guarantee its authenticity and its natural origin since synthetic sapphires do not have any. The nature of the inclusions also makes it possible to determine the type of deposit from which the sapphire was extracted.

Naturally, too large or too many inclusions affect the color and appearance of the sapphire, which generally depreciates the value of the gem with the exception of rutile inclusions which enhance it. Indeed, inclusions of rutile needles give the sapphire, like rubies, soft reflections called "silks". Depending on their orientation within the stone, these inclusions produce either a chatoyance, that is to say a luminous phenomenon reminiscent of the slit pupil of a cat's eye (the sapphire is then called "cat's eye") , or an asterism effect, that is to say a luminous phenomenon which forms a star or a cross on the surface of the stone (the sapphire is then said to be “starry”).

The Sapphire, what is its symbolism?

Today, the stone is synonymous with righteousness, happiness, friendship, truth, hope, contemplation, honesty and fidelity. It also symbolizes the births of September and the 16 years of marriage.

Where are the main sapphire deposits located?

Like rubies, the two oldest known sources of blue sapphires are Myanmar, which has been exploiting them for about 3,500 years, and Sri Lanka, which exported them to the Greeks and Romans and whose first deposits were discovered there. is 2500 years old.

Today, sapphires are mainly mined in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Madagascar.

However, they can also come from India, Myammar, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia or even Australia.

How to maintain a jewel set with sapphire?

It is possible to clean your sapphire with steam or ultrasound.

However, sapphires whose fractures, gaps or cracks have been filled are more fragile and sensitive to heat; steam and ultrasonic cleaning are therefore not recommended. It is therefore recommended to entrust your jewel to a jeweler.

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