Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum. The word "sapphire" is from the Greek word “sappheiros”, which means blue. Historians believe this originally referred to lapis lazuli, but later evolved to define the gemstone that we know today. With a rating of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, sapphires are the second hardest mineral next to diamond, which tops the list at 10. This hardness makes gem-quality sapphires extremely desirable in jewelry production of every type.
Most people tend to think of sapphires as blue, but there are many different colors of sapphire. These are commonly referred to as “fancy sapphires” like green, purple, white, or yellow sapphires. The one exception is the red sapphire, which is called “ruby”, known for its brilliant and deep red color.
Sapphires of good quality can command high prices, as they are only found in a handful of places around the world (Sri Lanka, Kashmir, and Burma are perhaps the most well known regions). Of course blue is the color most associated with sapphires, and Sri Lanka has long been known the be the most consistent producer of these highly prized gemstones. Good quality blue sapphires are not too dark, and not too light, but rather strike a balance that highlights the intensity of its color.
While sapphire is the birthstone for September, the Zodiac has the sapphire as the main gemstone for Taurus (those born April 20 - May 20).
Clean your sapphire in warm soapy water, and rinse well. Avoid the usual household chemicals that can corrode gemstones like bleach and acids.