The birthstone for September, the sapphire is associated with purity of the soul. This stone is a relative of the ruby and also another form of the mineral known as corundum. Corundum is a drab grey mineral in its natural form. All forms of this mineral are known as sapphires except for the red ruby.
Because of the presence of iron and titanium within the structure of the crystal, sapphires are blue in color. The color ranges from very light, pale blue to a deep indigo. The medium-deep shade of blue, known as cornflower blue is the most valued shade.
The sapphire birthstone for September also appears in several other natural colors and shades. These may be colorless, yellow, gray, pale, orange, pink, green, brown and violet. These are known as fancy sapphires. Several different impurities that appear in the crystal are responsible for these different colors. Colorless stones appear to have no contaminants while the presence of ferric iron causes yellow sapphires to appear. You can view the Logan Sapphire Brooch in Washington DC at the National Museum of Natural History where it is on display. This stone is 422.99 carats.
Queensland and New South Wales in Australia are the biggest known source of sapphires in the world. These are blue stones with an inky, dark appearance. At one time Kashmir, India was regarded as the main source of the cornflower blue sapphire which is located in alluvial deposits. The Yogo Gulch Mine situated in Montana yields the smaller stones which are mostly used in industrial work. This stone was worn by priests to protect them from fleshly temptations and having impure thoughts, from before the Middle Ages. Sapphires were worn by Medieval Kings in Europe in the form of brooches and rings. They believed that these stones were able to protect them from envy and harm.
Warriors would give their new young wives a sapphire necklace believing that this would cause them to be faithful. It was commonly believed that if an unworthy individual, adulteress or adulterer wore a sapphire, the color of the stone would go darker. These gemstones were also once used as protection against snakes and it was believed that when any poisonous reptile was put in a container with a sapphire, it would die immediately. If you were irritable and you wore a sapphire, your mood would change to a good one. This was another of the beliefs of the thirteenth century French who also stated that the power of this stone could also transform your stupidity into wisdom. This would indeed be the answer to much if it proved to be true!