The sapphire possesses the beauty of the thrones of paradise.
It shows the hearts of the simple, of those guided by certain hope and of those
whose life radiates charity and virtue. Well worthy to be worn by kings, the
firmament has the color and its beauty seems the sky and its clarity…
Marbode, author of a famous lapidary of the middle Ages
describes the fascinating brilliance of sapphire, limpid and deep at the same
time. Of the four precious stones (diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire), it is
usually quoted last. The most beautiful virtues are nevertheless associated
with him: purity, justice and fidelity.
Characteristics of Sapphire
Sapphire is corundum like ruby, its twin brother. Chromium
gives the color ruby red while titanium and iron transmits blue to sapphire.
Sapphire is more abundant but the great specimens are exceptional.
Classified in the group of oxides, sapphire has no cleavage
(natural plans of breakage). Its facies (aspect) can be pyramidal, prismatic,
tabular or in a cask. Of a great hardness, 9 on a scale of 10, it lines all the
bodies except the diamond.
Sapphire is formed in metamorphic rocks (rocks transformed by
a sudden rise in temperature or pressure) or magmatic rocks (rocks from the
center of the earth propelled to the surface following volcanic eruptions). It
is found in silica-poor rocks: nepheline, marble, basalt…
Most often, sapphires come from small alluvial deposits known
as secondary deposits: rivers descend from mountains carrying stones at the
foot of torrents and in the plains. The extraction methods are usually
artisanal: dug wells or simple washing of sand and gravel using pans,
traditionally wicker. Primary deposits involve difficult extraction of rocks at
A sapphire must have a nice shine. The milky appearance of a
sapphire, then called “chalcedon”, is undesirable. Microscopic cracks
causing an effect of ice or foam devalue sapphire, dots and grains as well. All
these defects risk lowering the sapphire to the rank of “fine stone”.
On the contrary, a sapphire of perfect blue beauty can be worth a great price.
Wholesale Gemstone Chakra Pendants
The colors of the minerals are determined by the more or less
minute presence of certain chemical elements. Chromium, titanium, iron, cobalt,
nickel or vanadium combine and color various corundum.
Only red corundum, ruby, and blue corundum, sapphire, are
considered gemstones. The others, variously colored, are considered as
“fancy sapphires”. Their name “sapphire” must be followed
by their color, (yellow sapphire, and green sapphire …). Until the late
nineteenth century, their relationship is not clearly established, they are
called “Eastern Peridot” (green sapphire), “oriental topaz”
(yellow sapphire), “oriental amethyst” (purple sapphire)…
A stone sometimes has several clearly differentiated colors
or has reflections such as girasol sapphire. The colorless and transparent
corundum is a white sapphire or “leucosaphir”. There is a sapphire
with a spectacular coral color. Native to Sri Lanka, this rarity bears the
special name of “padparadscha” (lotus flower in Sinhalese).
The color of the sapphires can be perceived differently
according to the light sources. Some indigo blue sapphires look almost black in
artificial light. Others become purple in the light of the sun. Sapphire also
has pleochroic properties: the color varies according to the angle of
Traditionally, sapphire is cut with diamond dust. The
polishing is carried out using a powdered abrasive based on ordinary corundum
and declassified: emery also used in the polishing of optical glasses.
Faceted sizes enhance the sparkle of sapphires. Stones with
remarkable inclusions, such as the cat’s eye sapphire (forming a vertical line
like the cat’s pupil) or the much sought-after star-shaped sapphire (a
six-pointed star), will reveal their beauty after an old-fashioned classic size
called “en cabochon “.
Appellations and Confusions
several misleading names:
- The “sapphire of Brazil” is a blue topaz
- The “spinel sapphire” is actually a blue
- The “water sapphire”, a cordierite.
The saphirine often found in association with corundum, is
actually a silicate. It owes only its name to its blue color similar to that of
Of producing synthetic sapphire since 1920. They replace
natural sapphires in industrial applications. Jewelery also uses them as well
as synthetic star sapphires obtained since 1947.
Heat treatments (around 1700 °) and irradiations aim at
modifying or correcting the color and the transparency. The use of these
methods must be mentioned.
The sapphires of the Ratnapura region have been known since
ancient times. Gems are extracted from the mauve (blue forget-me-not), rare
star sapphires, and colored sapphires including padparadscha . And even today,
almost half of the sapphires come from ancient Ceylon. Among these, some
Logan 433 carats (more than 85 g). Surrounded by diamonds, it
is cut into a cushion. Exceptional purity and brilliance can be admired at the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington (below left).
The fabulous 563-carat Indian Star (below) and the Midnight
Star, 116-carat (above right), astonishing in its violet-purple color. These
two wonders are visible at the Museum of Natural History of New York.
It is a rare primary deposit unfortunately almost exhausted
for forty years. Sapphires, extracted from kaolinite, come directly from the
heights of Kashmir at more than 4500 meters of altitude. Deep blue velvety,
they are considered the most beautiful of all. The current sapphires supposedly
“Kashmir” usually come from Burma.
The region of Mogok, cradle of rubies, also contains
beautiful sapphires from the pegmatite. In the past, most oriental sapphires
came from the independent kingdom of Pegu, located northeast of the current
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington displays a
magnificent Burmese star sapphire: the 330-carat Asian Star, medium dark blue.
Extracts of basalt in the Chanthaburi region and the
Kanchanaburi region, the sapphires, of good quality, are dark blue or
blue-green sometimes starred. There are also colored sapphires.
Sapphires were quarried from Queensland basalt rocks as early
as 1870 and from New South Wales mines since 1918. Their quality is often
average but rare rare black specimens have been discovered there.
The exploitation of the deposits, on the Missouri shore near
the town of Héléna, began in 1894 and stopped in 1920 before sporadically
resuming in 1985.
The historic site of Puy-en-Velay in Haute-Loire is exhausted
but it would have long provided Europe with sapphires and garnets. Very
recently, a discovery of sapphires at the bottom of a river near Issoire in
Puy-de-Dôme triggered an exciting scientific investigation. It is a question of
retracing the course of the stones to find the primary origin, their place of
birth, among the innumerable volcanoes of Auvergne.
Other producing countries include South Africa, Kenya,
Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in Africa; Brazil and
Colombia in America; Cambodia and China in Asia.
Wholesale Crystal Energy Generators
of the name Sapphire
The word sapphire comes from the Latin sapphirus derived from
the Greek sappheiros (“precious stone”). Hebrew Sapphire and Syriac
Saphilah are certainly the oldest origin of the word. We find in archaic
languages the term shapar used to designate first “the things of fire”,
then “shiny aspect”, and then by extension “beautiful things”.
One of the Bestiary manuscripts written by the monk-poet
Philippe de Thaon around 1120/1130 is written in French, the ancestor of
French. It meets for the first time the sapphire in its French form: sapphire. Much
later, during the Renaissance, Jean Nicot (famous for the introduction of
tobacco in France) published in the dictionary “Thresor of the French language”
a slightly different form: sapphir.
The adjective sapphire, or rarer sapphire, characterizes
everything from the color of sapphire. There used to be a blue eye drop called
The Old Testament mentions sapphire several times, especially
in Exodus. It is often said that the Tables of the Law would have been sapphire.
In reality, sapphire does not refer at all to the material of Tables. It
concerns the vision of God by Moses and his companions:
The evocation of the sapphire is more understandable as well
and allows noting the antiquity of the symbolism of the stone. The sapphire
blue is always associated with celestial power: Indra in India, Zeus or Jupiter
among the Greeks and Romans.
Antique sapphire does not always match blue corundum. The
sapphires of the Greek scholar Theophrastus (- 300 BC) and the Pliny the Elder
sapphires (1st century AD) are perplexing. Their descriptions of golden dots on
a blue background rather evoke lapis lazuli. Ceylon corundum, known for at
least 800 BC, is more related to cyanus, aeroids of the Romans, or hyakinthos
than to the Greeks.
In ancient times, the intensity of the colors is attributed
to the so-called sex of the stones. For example, a dark blue sapphire is
considered to be a male, while a little pale yellow sapphire is labeled as
There are few antique engraved sapphires. The Department of
Antiquities of the National Library retains an Egyptian intaglio (intaglio
engraving) of the 2nd century BC representing the curly head of a Ptolemaic
queen or princess. We also see an intaglio representing the Roman emperor
Pertinax who reigned three months in the year 193.
In terms of benefits, sapphire relieves headaches and soothes
the eyes (virtues often attributed to blue stones). Dioscoride, doctor and
pharmacist Greek (1st century AD), precursor lithotherapy, recommends sapphire
powder, mixed with milk to heal boils and other infected wounds.
the middle Ages
From the 4th century, the hordes of Franks, Visigoths, and
other invaders settle in our country and bring their know-how. They master a
complex goldsmith technique already used in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs:
cloisonné. This process consists of creating thin compartments using copper or
gold to house various colored stones. This technique will persist in
Merovingian and Carolingian art. One can admire at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice,
in Switzerland, the reliquary box of Teudéric, the ewer said of Charlemagne,
and the vase said of Saint-Martin, all adorned with sapphires.
From the twelfth century, medieval medicine confirms the
virtues of sapphire recognized since ancient times:
“To be chaste, pure and clean, without any stain on him when
one is wearing it “are the conditions required to enjoy these benefits.
Sapphire is also a stone of freedom if the prisoner is lucky
enough to have it in his prison. It
suffices then to rub the stone on its irons and on all four sides of the
prison. This ancient belief is to be compared to the secret world of alchemists
who consider the sapphire as the stone of the air. Does the expression “plays
the girl of the air” come from there?
Christendom adopts heavenly sapphire. Symbol of purity, it is
frequently associated with the Virgin Mary. The cardinals carry it on the right
hand. The pious king of England, Edward the Confessor does the same. According
to legend, he would have offered his ring decorated with a beautiful sapphire
to a beggar. This poor man would be St. John the Evangelist returned to earth
to experience it. In the Holy Land, Saint John entrusts the ring to two
pilgrims who bring it back to the English sovereign.
The king is canonized in the 12th century. At the opening of
his tomb, the sapphire is removed from him. Enshrined in a Maltese cross, the
“Saint Edward’s Sapphire” overcomes since 1838 the imperial crown of
Queen Victoria and her successors.
In Italy, the Santa Casa de Loreto (Holy House of Loreto)
would be truly the house of Mary. In Nazareth, the place is converted into a
chapel since the Apostles. The Crusaders, driven out of Palestine, organize the
translation of the house in Italy, by boat, between 1291 and 1294. The three
stone walls become a rich basilica and over the centuries, the offerings of the
pilgrims constitute a real treasure.
In a story of 1786 for Madame Elizabeth sister of Louis XVI,
the Abbot of Binos reports having contemplated a wonderful sapphire. It
measured, it seems, a foot and a half high on a base of two feet (pyramid of
about 45cm x 60cm). Exaggeration or reality? No one knows because the treasure
has totally disappeared today.
The Louvre exhibits a religious work decorated with sapphires
dating from the fifteenth century: “the Table of the Trinity.” It is a
kind of mounted piece set with precious stones. The sapphires predominate, the
largest is intaglio engraved probably effigy of Jeanne de Navarre, Queen of England
in 1403. She offers this present to the Duke of Brittany, his son. Anne of
Brittany transmits the inheritance to the Royal Treasury of France by her
marriage with Charles VIII.
Sapphires adorn jewelry and utilitarian objects. The hanaps
(large glass vase-shaped with a lid) are richly provided: golden silver hanap
sitting on a fountain-shaped foot garnished with two garnets and eleven
sapphires … Hanap or, with a fretelet (button shaped fruit or flower) trimmed
with a rose gold and pearls with a large sapphire in the middle. These
sapphires encountered in royal inventories do not all come from the East.
Times and Sapphire
The property-named “Grand Saphir” appears in the
collections of Louis XIV in 1669. In the absence of written transaction in the
records, it is generally considered that it is a gift. This magnificent
present, blue velvet color with violet reflections weighs 135 carats and comes
from Ceylon. The Grand Saphir comes out a few times from its chest to dazzle
prestigious visitors. He is then placed in a gold frame alongside his friend,
the blue diamond.
It was long believed that this jewel was a rough stone. In
1801, the mineralogist René-Just Haüy notes that the stone has been the subject
of a careful faceting carefully respecting its natural symmetry and its
original shape of rhombus. Since its acquisition, Grand Saphir has never
undergone other scrap. It is visible at the Museum of Natural Histories of
The Grand Sapphire is frequently confused with the sapphire
of “Ruspoli” but it is about two different gems. The Ruspoli has an
almost identical weight, but it is cut differently (cushion-shaped). He also
comes from Ceylon where, according to tradition, a poor man, a wooden spooner,
would have discovered him. It owes its name to the Italian prince Francesco
Ruspoli, one of the first known owners. This sapphire knows an eventful route:
sold to a French jeweler, it then successively belongs to the fortunate Harry
Hope, to the Royal Treasury of Russia and then to the Romanian Crown. Finally
sold to an American buyer around 1950, we do not know what has become of him
The origin of the famous sapphire set of Queen Marie-Amélie,
wife of Louis-Philippe is also full of mystery. Louis-Philippe, still Duke of
Orleans, buys these jewels to Queen Hortense, daughter of the Empress Josephine
and adopted daughter of Napoleon I. No writing, no portrait has allowed to
explain the origin of the ornament visible in the Louvre since 1985.
In 1938, a young boy found in Australia a black stone with a
pretty appearance of more than 200 g. The stone stays in the house for years,
it is said to be used as a door-lock. The father, minor, will eventually
discover that it is a black sapphire.
Wholesale Sacred Geometry Set
benefits of sapphire against physical wounds
- Relieves migraines and headaches
- Soothes rheumatic pains, sciatica
- Regenerates skin, nails and hair
- Treats fever and inflammation
- Strengthens the venous system
- Regulates blood effusions
- Relieves sinusitis, bronchitis
- Improves vision disorders, especially conjunctivitis
- Stimulates vitality
It is used as an elixir to relieve headaches and ear pain,
purify the skin, fight against acne and strengthen the nails and hair.
Benefits of Sapphire on Psychism and Relational
- Promotes spiritual elevation, inspiration and
- Calm mental activity
- Soothes anger
- Encourages dynamism
- Raise fear
- Stimulates concentration, creativity
- Soothes depressive states
- Restores joie de vivre, enthusiasm
- Develops self-confidence and perseverance
- Regulates hyper-activity
- Increase the passions
- Strengthens the will, the courage
- Promotes sleep and positive dreams