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The Ultimate Guide to September Birthstones

Birthstones are gemstones that represent the month of a person’s birth – possessing attributes that are unique to each gemstone, the countless myths and legends associated with them appeal to audiences around the world.

Fine jewellery and engagement ring experts at Steven Stone have revealed everything you need to know about August’s birthstone, sapphire.

What do we know about Sapphire?

Sapphire is a precious gemstone – a variety of the mineral corundum – consisting of aluminum oxide with trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, vanadium, or magnesium. It’s extremely durable due to its vibrant colour, durability and hardness.

Although the term sapphire usually refers to the blue variety of corundum (ruby is the red variety), the birthstone comes in a rainbow of other colors.

As well as being the September birthstone, sapphire is also the gem that commemorates fifth and 45th wedding anniversaries.

Is Sapphire expensive?

It might look luxe but sapphire doesn’t need to cost the earth. As is the case with all gemstones, the price all depends on the carat weight, clarity, cut, and colour.

The most prized Sapphires are from Myanmar, Kashmir and Sri Lanka and there’s two varieties. The rarest sapphire is the Padparadscha, which is a super rare pink and orange stone. The most valuable sapphires are, however, the Kashmir variants, which are a gorgeously velvet blue hue from the mountains in India.

What does Sapphire symbolise?

The sapphire gemstone symbolises intellect, morality, good fortune, dedication and loyalty – hence why the stone is so popular for engagement rings, wedding rings and bridal jewellery.

Traditionally, sapphires have two main symbolic qualities – to attract wealth and to protect the wearer from envy and infidelity. Royals in the Middle Ages also plumped for sapphire jewellery because it was thought to bring peace, banish social anxiety and help them in legal discrepancies.

What’s the history of Sapphire?

The sapphire has been treasured for centuries across the globe. The name “Sapphire” comes from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’ or the French ‘saphir’.

For countless centuries, sapphire has adorned royalty and the robes of the clergy. The elite of ancient Greece and Rome believed that blue sapphires protected their owners from harm and envy. Clerics of the Middle Ages wore sapphires because they symbolized Heaven. Ancient Persians believed the earth actually rested on a giant sapphire, which made the sky blue.

Celebrities who wear Sapphire Jewellery

Kate Middleton

The most famous person to wear sapphire jewellery is Kate Middleton.

Worth £300k, Kate Middleton’s engagement ring – which was formerly Princess Diana’s – features a 12 carat Ceylon sapphire that originates from Sri Lanka. Like with most precious gemstones, the quality and value of a sapphire is graded by its colour and hue, which can range from a light, pale blue to a dark, royal blue.

According to our experts, the sapphire is a deep, royal blue, of AAAA quality, making it amongst the most valuable of its kind. Globally, the sale of blue sapphires increased by around 300 percent at the time, and even now, thanks to Netflix show The Crown, sales of sapphires continue to surge, with vintage style halo designs being extremely popular.

Becky Hill

UK pop singer Becky Hill announced her engagement earlier this year, showing off an incredible engagement ring which looks very similar to Kate Middleton’s Ceylon sapphire engagement ring.

Taking a close look, our jewellery expert, Maxwell Stone said: “Becky Hill’s ring looks like it has a hexagon halo setting, with plain shoulders and yellow gold band. From the images she released on Twitter, the centre stone looks to be a 1.5ct blue sapphire, which would be worth around £10,000 ($15,000) on today’s market.

Gwyneth Paltrow

In early 2020, Gwyneth Paltrow attended the producers Guild Awards in Los Angeles and it wasn’t just her outfit that stuck out – the actress was wearing a massive and gorgeous blue sapphire engagement ring from her fiance, Brad Falchuk.

Taking a close look, our experts described the sapphire to be either round or cushion cut, meaning that it’s capable of putting out maximum shine and reflection. Untreated for colour, which increases its worth, Maxwell valued it at $300-600,000.

Victoria Beckham

While most of us expect to receive just one engagement ring, Victoria Beckham has racked up a collection of 15 since her husband, David, first proposed in 1998.

In 2010, she added an oval cut sapphire on a platinum pave band to her collection.

Maxwell said: “This is an incredible sapphire. The best quality natural blue sapphires are an intense, velvety, deep royal blue. This colour of this sapphire would be considered AAA or AA quality, the rarest and most valuable. The stone looks to be around 15 to 20 carats giving it a value of £5,000,000.”

Penelope Cruz

Javier Bardem proposed to Penelope Cruz with a vintage 3-carat sapphire gemstone, surrounded by diamonds to make it look floral. The stones are set on a gold band and are a beautiful example of natural sapphire.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor’s marriage to Michael Wilding in 1952 came with a huge cabochon blue sapphire engagement ring, complete with diamond side stones. 

During her marriage to Richard Burton, she also acquired a Bulgari necklace that featured a 32 carat Burmese sapphire pendant.

18ct White Gold Sapphire & Diamond Cutdown Halo Studs
18ct White Gold Sapphire and Diamond Cutdown Halo Pendant
Platinum 950 Platinum Cushion Cut Sapphire & Diamond Ring (3.22ct)

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not take a look at our full jewellery collection? If you don’t see anything that takes your fancy, we also offer a bespoke service, where our jewellery designers will create a unique piece of jewellery that ticks all the boxes – from diamond earrings to engagement rings.

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