September’s birthstone, the sapphire, has been popular since the Middle Ages. The celestial blue color of this gemstone symbolizes heaven and attracted divine favor and wise judgment.
Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed that it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.
Classical violet-blue sapphires traditionally came from the Kashmir region of India between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The world record price-per-carat for sapphire was set by a gemstone from Kashmir, which sold at auction for $242,000 per carat (more than $6.74 million total) in October 2015.
Australia was a significant source of sapphires until deposits were discovered in Madagascar during the 1990s. Madagascar now leads the world in sapphire gemstone production.
Sapphire became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Prince William later gave this ring to Kate Middleton when he proposed in 2010.
Today, top-quality blue sapphire remains one of Mother Nature’s rarest gemstones.
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