The sapphire, a gemstone as enigmatic as it is beautiful, has journeyed through the annals of history, capturing the hearts and imaginations of various cultures around the world. This gem, celebrated for its dazzling array of colors and remarkable physical durability, transcends mere ornamental value, embedding itself deeply in the realms of spiritual and mystical beliefs. Its allure is not just in its visual appeal but also in the rich tapestry of lore and legend that it carries.
From the regal blue that is most commonly associated with it, to the rarer hues of pink, yellow, and even green, each sapphire tells a unique story. These stones have been symbols of power, purity, and wisdom. Kings and queens adorned themselves with sapphires not only to display their wealth but also to protect themselves with the spiritual powers these gems were believed to possess.
Moreover, the sapphire’s toughness, second only to diamonds, makes it a fitting metaphor for enduring strength and resilience. This physical characteristic, combined with its vibrant beauty, has made it a favored choice for ceremonial and decorative pieces, transcending trends and eras.
In spiritual and healing practices, sapphires have held a place of honor. They are thought to bring inner peace, clarity of thought, and serenity to those who wear them. Their supposed powers extend to various forms of physical and spiritual healing, making them a revered stone in various mystical traditions.
Thus, the sapphire is not just a gemstone. It is a symbol of the beautiful confluence of human history, culture, spirituality, and the enduring fascination with the natural world’s wonders. As we delve deeper into the story of the sapphire, we uncover not just the tale of a stone, but a narrative that intertwines with the very fabric of human civilization.
Sapphire is thought to make the melancholy cheerful and maintain the power or vigor of the body. The stone helps the eyes, boils, rheumatism, and colic. The high priest of Egypt wore a sapphire upon his shoulder, and Aelian says that it was called truth.
Sapphire refers to the gemstone in its pure form or it may refer to green chrysoberyl when green beryl (emerald) replaces red beryl (ruby). When used in pieces of jewelry, it’s typically colorless. But corundum existing in different colors are referred to as sapphires with colors like pink, yellow, orange and purple. All these colors come from impurities trapped in the crystal structure, so they have the same chemical composition which is aluminum oxide [Al 2 O 3 ] .
Light transmission measurements show that a piece of blue sapphire transmits 97% while a piece of ruby only 69%. This can be attributed to a difference in refractive index. As seen in the picture below, red light is refracted away from the normal when entering sapphire while it’s partially reflected once it hits ruby.
Blue sapphire has a very high relief factor of 46% while ruby only 26%. This means blue sapphire will appear much more brilliant under direct lighting.
The Buddhists still ascribe a sacred magical power to it, and hold that it reconciles man to God. The sapphire is a good amulet against fear, promoting the flow of animal spirits, hindering argue and gout, promoting chastity, and preventing eyes from being affected by smallpox. (see Gem Healing) A.G.H.