August 21 – September 22
The great Oriental traveler, Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890), took an impressive sapphire along on his journeys. He readily showed this to people he encountered, who believed that the mere sight of it could bring good luck.
Many gemstones are associated with good fortune. When you think about it, we tend to assign this trait to objects we believe to be rare or of great value. Gemstones, of course, fall into this category. The Sapphire is a unique case, however. It is one of the four gemstones considered to be the most precious in the world. The other three are the emerald, the ruby and the diamond. Furthermore, the Sapphire is one of the hardest gems, second only to diamonds.
The name Sapphire is derived from the Greek “sapheiros” and the Latin “saphirus.” Both words mean blue. Interestingly, scientists have established that the characteristic blue of the sapphire is due to the presence of iron and titanium “impurities” within the stone. But, clearly, our appreciation for perfection and beauty is not swayed by such scientific terminology. What scientists call “impurity” is nature’s artistic palette. The Sapphire has been valued and abundantly used by royalty throughout the ages, for it represents virtue, wisdom and holiness.
While blue is the color we most readily associate with the Sapphire, the stone also occurs naturally in purple, green, yellow and black, and some Sapphires are colorless. The most beautiful specimens have been found in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar, Brazil and Australia. Sapphires were mined in Sri Lanka and India as early as the 7th Century BC.
One of the most poetic myths about the Sapphire is found in Persian lore. Ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a magnificent Sapphire and that it was its reflection that colored the sky. The sky and high grounds have been a source of awe and inspiration since the beginning of humanity. These often symbolize higher thinking. In the Middle Ages, many believed that one could elevate their own thoughts by wearing a Sapphire.
Today, we assign lofty meaning to this magnificent gem. Most of all, it symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness. This is why it is a favorite stone for an engagements ring. Traditionally, it is used also to mark a 5th and 45th wedding anniversary. As an everyday gem, the Sapphire is believed to promote joy and protection during long journeys. As with any gem, however, it takes on a very personal meaning depending on the connection you might have to the person or events surrounding its acquisition.
Character traits associated with the Sapphire include practicality, modesty, diligence and stability. If this is your birthstone, the Aster is your flower, you are a Virgo and you share a birthday with many influential people: Leonard Bernstein, Sir Sean Connery, Agatha Christie, Micheal Jackson, Bob Newhart, H. G. Wells, Lyndon Johnson and Mother Teresa, to name a few.
Never doubt your ability to influence others positively as well!