Much attention may be focused on diamonds but September's birthstone, the sapphire, is one of highest valued by kings and the rich and famous, because they are extremely beautiful and rare. These rare and beautiful gemstones could only have been produced under very special conditions, and has been linked in faith-based religions to the Biblical flood. Today, we find sapphires recognized as glamorous as often as diamonds.
Geologists continue to investigate the chemistry of these gemstones and their locations. These stones are the second hardest of all natural minerals, after diamonds. They are used as natural grinding materials because of their hardness. The powder form is known as emery and is found in emery boards, which are used for nail files.
In order for sapphire to be transformed from its original source into a hard mineral it must have taken a tremendous amount of pressure and heat. This transformation could only have happened in the heat of the earth’s interior. These gemstones are found near the surface in eastern Africa and southern Asia. They could have been carried there by erupting volcanoes and moving crustal plates in the earth. Sapphires are mostly located in stream beds. Rubies and sapphires are some of the most important of the colored gemstones. They account for over fifty percent of the global gem trade.
In the early times of the Christian Church, the metals and stones that were used to make the Bishop’s ring was designed according to the individuals taste. In the twelfth century it was decreed that the rings must be fashioned from pure gold and set with un-engraved stones. The gem of choice was the sapphire, September’s birthstone. It was believed that this stone possessed the qualities that are essential to the distinguished position it holds.
Sapphires are another variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum is a very hard mineral that is composed of oxygen and aluminum. Only the crystals that have more clarity and are clearer are classified as sapphires. This is most often based on the color. However, some of the best stones are found in alluvial deposits which were carried in magma to the earth’s surface.