Free shipping on all orders over £100, special delivery!

0% Interest free credit available

Sapphire: September Birthstone, History And Meaning

Sapphire Ring at Allum & Sidaway

The word sapphire, originating from the Greek word sappheiros, is used to describe this mesmerising precious gemstone. Perhaps best known for its beautiful deep blue hues, it is a variety of the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminium oxide, with trace amounts of other elements, such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium. 

The sapphire is among the most durable naturally occurring elements in the world, second only to diamond in strength, and scoring 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. The scale used to score gemstones on their durability.

This heavenly blue stone is surrounded by ancient myth and legend and often attributed with mystical powers. Stories from ancient Persia depict the Earth sitting upon a huge blue sapphire pedestal. They believed that the stone reflected upwards toward the heavens giving the sky its beautiful blue colour. 


While typically blue, sapphires can be found in many other colours. “Fancy” or “parti coloured” sapphires are often found in yellow, orange, green, brown, purple and violet hues. Red is the only colour of corundum that is not referred to as a sapphire, as these are considered to be rubies. The rarest of sapphires are a pinkish orange colour called padparadscha, the Sanskrit word for lotus flower. The fascinating thing about sapphires and rubies, is that these gemstones have the same chemical composition, and the same mineral structure. Trace amounts of impurities determine if a gem corundum will be a brilliant red ruby or a beautiful blue sapphire.

Sapphires can exhibit a phenomenon called the “star effect,” or asterism. This occurs when needle like inclusions create a six-ray star pattern on the surface of a cabochon cut sapphire, often called a “star sapphire”.

Sapphires come in many sizes. They are readily available under 1 carat and can come as large as 20 carats in fine quality, but these stones are exceptionally rare.

Royal Connections

A royal favourite, stunning sapphires, in dazzling regal blue tones, have been the choice of many monarchs throughout the ages, and is perhaps the reason for the term ‘royal’ blue. The famous Stuart Sapphire, a cabochon sapphire, weighing 104 carats, has adorned Royal Crowns since 1214. It was so admired by the young Princess Victoria that she had it set into the Imperial State Crown, for her coronation in 1838. The sapphire was then moved to the back of the Imperial State Crown in 1909, during the reign of King Edward VII, where it remains today, a treasured piece in the collection of the British Crown Jewels


The blue sapphire is recognised as the birthstone for September, it is used to mark a 45th wedding anniversary, and is the stone associated with a sapphire jubilee, which is celebrated after 65 years. The ‘Blue Sapphire Jubilee’ was the term used to mark the 65th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

With its durability, and a long history symbolising holiness, faith, peace and protection. Sapphires have become a popular choice for engagement rings, particularly in recent years.

Katherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wears probably the most famous sapphire engagement ring in the world. The ring, formerly owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, features a 12 carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded with 14 solitaire diamonds, set in white gold. 


Corundum, or sapphire, is found all over the world and is also used widely in industry for abrasive and cutting purposes, due to its strength and durability.

Historically, the Kashmir region of India was noted for the production of famous Kashmir blue sapphires, while sources of production today include Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tanzania, Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, Madagascar and the USA.

The majority of fine gemstones are found in very small quantities in only a few places, most notably Sri Lanka, which has produced these precious gemstones for thousands of years and is still a major producer of the finest untreated stones in the world.

The “Star of Adam”, the world’s biggest blue star sapphire, was discovered in a mine in Sri Lanka in 2016. The gem weighed in at a massive 1,404.49 carats and was given an estimated value of at least a $100 million. It is unlikely to be set into any kind of jewellery due to its size, and it appears destined to become a priceless museum piece.

Many of the world’s largest and most valuable sapphires originated in Sri Lanka.

Sapphire Jewellery

 Some of the world’s finest jewellery contains sapphires. These beautiful gemstones are equally as alluring set into small pieces of jewellery, such as rings, necklaces, earrings and brooches as they are in the famous collections owned by film stars, princesses and monarchs. For timeless, durable elegance choose a sapphire. A perfect gift for a September Birthday, the cool crisp colours of this exquisite blue birthstone so accurately reflecting the cool crisp nature of this time of year.

At Allum & Sidaway we have a selection of sapphire birthstone jewellery . Visit one of our stores or purchase from our impressive range of sapphire ringssapphire necklaces or sapphire earrings on our online store. 

Shop All Sapphire Jewellery

Previous post
Next post