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Few gems are considered as regal and magical as sapphires—the royal gemstone and September’s birthstone.
Here are some fun and fabulous facts about sapphires, courtesy of GIA.
- Blue sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, the same mineral that rubies come from.
- The sapphire is derived from the Greek word "sapheiros," which means blue.
- On the Mohs hardness scale, sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness.
- Although sapphires come in many colors, the most valuable and sought after are deep blue sapphires.
- In addition to being the birthstone for September, sapphires are also the gemstone for celebrating 45th wedding anniversaries.
- The ancient Greeks believed sapphires were a symbol of wisdom and purity.
- The ancient Persians believed the Earth was supported by a giant sapphire and its reflection made the sky blue.
- According to Jewish midrash, Moses was given tablets of sapphire that were carved from God’s throne, making them the most precious gemstone.
- The late Diana, Princess of Wales, famously chose a blue sapphire and diamond ring for her engagement to Prince Charles.
- After the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, reproductions of her ring became so popular with the public that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”
- After inheriting it upon her death, Prince William gave his mother’s ring to Kate Middleton when he proposed to her. The Duchess of Cambridge can almost always be seen wearing it in public.
- The 104-carat Stuart Sapphire is on the back side of the British Imperial State Crown and is currently on display as part of the British Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London.
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