Most commonly known for its shades of celestial blue, sapphire actually comes in almost every color but red, which is exclusive to its sister ruby in the corundum family. Next to diamond, sapphire is the second hardest gemstone, ideal for all types of jewelry, especially rings.
September's birthstone, sapphire is also the preferred gift for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries, historically symbolizing truth and promise keeping. In fact, sapphire is a popular gem choice for brides who want to express their unique personality. Fans of sapphire engagement rings include Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne, Princess Diana, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Ivana Trump, Kirstie Alley and Debra Messing.
Sapphire was believed to inspire peace, joy, wisdom and prosperity as well as good health and well-being. Gem of sincerity, sapphire illuminates the true inner beauty of those who wear it.
Although the name is derived from the Latin word for blue, sapphirus, sapphire is actually available in yellow, peach, orange, cognac, pink, violet, purple and green, as well as colorless, white, gray and black. The purer the color of a natural sapphire, the greater the price it can command. Better quality sapphires are usually eye-clean. Typically, sapphires over 2 carats are more difficult to find.
Sapphires are routinely enhanced by traditional heating methods to produce, intensify or lighten color and/or improve clarity. To clean sapphire, use soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush. Mechanical cleaners are generally safe.