Welcome to Gemstones 101, a series at Takayas Custom Jewelry where we shed a little light on the amazing gemstones we love to feature in our jewelry projects. This week’s entry puts the spotlight on September’s royal birthstone, the vivid sapphire!
A variety of the mineral corundum, sapphires encompass every color of the rainbow this crystalline form of aluminum oxide can take on – except for red, which is granted the name of ruby. Our traditional conception of a sapphire tends to be a deep, ocean-blue jewel, created through trace amounts of titanium and iron within its crystal structure. Other elements can create a vast array of different hues and effects, from the two-toned “parti” sapphires of Australia to exceptionally rare color-changing sapphires!
Long before diamonds took center stage, sparkling and scratch-resistant sapphires were the most popular stone choice for the special ring you would present to your beloved. The emperor Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to his cherished Josephine with a sapphire engagement ring in the late 1700s. Even in the modern era, one of the most famous (and most imitated) engagement rings of all time is the 12-carat Ceylon sapphire stunner given to Princess Diana in 1981, which now adorns the finger of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. An enduring symbol of nobility, faithfulness, and sincerity, sapphires make a wonderfully heartfelt statement fit for any type of jewelry!
On top of being arrestingly beautiful, sapphires also possess a remarkable hardness that make them a great choice both for jewelry and for more practical applications. Wristwatch crystals, infrared optical components, phone screens, and more are often created using synthetic sapphires, also known as sapphire glass. With so many incredible talents, it’s difficult to resist the allure of these gorgeous jewels.
From classic blue sapphire rings to elaborate bracelets and necklaces that shine in a dozen colors, your next birthstone-themed jewelry project can incorporate just about any concept you could dream of. If you hail from the month of September, you should count yourself one lucky individual!