If you’re still young enough to remember your birthday, you probably also remember the special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet you don’t really know the SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power the ancients felt would be bestowed about you by wearing it.
September Birthstone: Sapphire
Birthstone Properties: Brings physical and emotional balance.
Alternative Birthstone: Agate
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gemstone given for anniversaries of the 5th and 45th years of marriage. Taken from the Greek word for blue, “sapphirus”, sapphires have a time-honored tradition with priests (who considered them symbolic of purity) and king s (who considered them symbolic of wisdom.)
Sapphires were mined as early as the 7th Century BC in India and what is now Sri Lanka. Today they are found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Madagascar, and the United States.
Against Which All Others Are Measured
Sapphires, like rubies, are a variety of corundum. The sapphire’s color spectrum includes pink and lavender varieties, a rare orange hue, and, of course, the velvety blue sapphire that earned the gemstone its name.
Because of the way in which corundum crystals are formed, large sapphires are rare…and valuable. The priceless 563-carat Star of India, on display at New York City’s Museum of Natural History, is the largest and most famous of “star sapphires” (sapphires that are cut to reflect light from inclusions within the stone to reveal a bright six-legged star pattern).
To Your Health
So strong was the power of a sapphire, it was alleged that a venomous snake put in a vessel made of sapphire would quickly die. Sapphires therefore earned the reputation as an excellent all-purpose medicine and were ingested as an antidote to poison. Additionally, sapphires were ground into powders as a remedy for everything from colic to rheumatism and mental illness.
Sapphires were also believed to be able to stop bleeding and cure disorders of the eye.
The Eyes Have It
Egyptians associated the clear sapphire with the eye of Horas — the all-seeing, all-knowing “eye in the sky” — while the gemstone was used by the Greeks to to tap into the subconscious mind by stimulating the opening of the “third eye.”
A Mirror of the Soul
Husbands and wives in ancient times frequently exchanged gifts of sapphires. Although the fact that sapphires represent sincerity and faithfulness was undoubtedly the primary reason it was a popular marriage gift, another motive may have been at work: it was believed that a sapphire would not shine if worn by someone who was wicked or impure.
Sapphires were considered to be so powerful they continued to protect the original owner even after being sold.
Say it With Sapphires
Clear sapphires, like diamonds, are the guardians of love. When exchanged with a loved one, sapphires enhance feelings for one another and attunes the two psyches. Sapphires have the power to banish envy and jealousy, and are said to promote chastity in virgins and fidelity in marriage.