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A Guide to Sapphire: Meaning, Properties and Everyday Uses

Written by: Jessica Kramer

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Time to read 8 min

Blue sapphire

Introduction


Sapphires are precious gemstones made of corundum, an aluminum oxide mineral. They come in a rainbow of colors, but blue is the most well-known and desired sapphire hue. Highly valued for their beauty, durability, and rarity, sapphires have a rich history tied to royalty, spirituality, and mystery. 


The name sapphire is derived from the Greek word "sappheiros" meaning "blue stone." The most prized sapphires are a vibrant cornflower blue, although they naturally form in almost every color but red. Red corundum gems are instead classified as rubies. While blue is the classic sapphire, these gemstones also occur in hues like pink, yellow, green, purple, orange, and black. 


It has symbolized virtues like wisdom, faith, and chastity for centuries. Their blue color was thought to reflect the heavens and instill peace of mind. Sapphires adorned the crowns of ancient kings and queens, believing the gems would protect against harm and attract divine favor. The world's major religions cherished sapphires, using them to ornament important relics and manuscripts. Their mystical blue color even earned them the reputation in medieval times as the perfect antidote to poison.


Meaning and Symbolism


Sapphires have long been associated with wisdom, truth and virtue throughout history. Ancient civilizations believed the gemstone promoted mental clarity, knowledge and enlightenment.


The vivid blue color of sapphires symbolized the sky and heavens. Because of this, it was seen as the stone of royalty and spiritual authority. Kings and queens treasured the stone as a sign of divine sanctification. High priests and clergy also adorned sapphires as emblems of sacred alignment. 


In Buddhism, it represents spiritual enlightenment and mental purity achieved through meditation. The stone is thought to focus the mind, clearing away distraction and negativity. For this reason, they are regarded as ideal aids for concentration and self-discipline in Buddhist practice.


The ancient Greeks wore sapphires for guidance when seeking answers. The stone was believed to access wisdom and unravel mysteries. Greeks also associated the gem with Apollo, the god of prophecy and oracles. 


In medieval times, this gemstone symbolized heaven. The celestial blue color evoked the sky, and was considered the purest hue. It adorned clergy and churches as physical reminders of the divine.


Today, it still represents wisdom, mental clarity and enlightenment. The stone is valued for its ability to focus the mind and spirit. Its tranquil blue energy promotes inner peace and self-discipline. 

Sapphire crystals

Healing Properties


Sapphires are believed to have potent healing energies for both physical ailments and emotional-spiritual growth. 


Physical Healing

  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Soothes fevers and cools the body's internal temperature
  • Detoxifies the blood and lymphatic system
  • Strengthens blood vessels and improves circulation

Emotional Healing

  • Promotes inner peace and positive thinking
  • Dispels negative energy and thought patterns  
  • Deepens meditation and enhances spiritual awareness
  • Connects you to higher wisdom and purpose
  • Inspires hope, faith and optimism 

It can bring physical strength and emotional tranquility by channeling its blue rays. Its energies are cooling, calming, and soothing. It activates the throat and third eye chakras, allowing you to express your truth and vision.


Everyday Uses


Sapphire can be incorporated into daily life in creative ways to utilize its energy for personal growth and well-being. 


Jewelry


Wearing jewelry on a regular basis allows you to tap into the stone's energy throughout the day. Ringsnecklaces and bracelets in sapphire can instill confidence and motivation when you need it most. The vibrant blue hues have an uplifting effect on mood and mental clarity.


Meditation


Holding the gemstone during meditation helps to quiet the mind and bring focus to your intention. The stone's energy resonates with the third eye and throat chakras, enhancing intuition and communication. Take time each day to meditate with it and gain a deeper sense of inner wisdom.


Home Decor


Decorate your home or office with crystals or gemstones to enhance the energy of the space. Place sapphires in areas where you do important work, make decisions or spend relaxation time. The stone's vibration will promote peace, inspiration and positive thinking.

Raw Sapphire

Protection and Cleansing


Sapphire is known for its protective qualities against negative energies and envy. Its vibrant blue rays create a shield against anger, resentment, and prejudice. It repels unwanted or toxic thoughts and feelings, promoting inner peace.


To cleanse and recharge this gemstone, there are several effective methods:

  • Smudging - Cleansing the gemstone by passing it through the smoke of a smudge stick or incense activates its purification properties. The rising smoke carries away stagnant energies.
  • Moonlight - Leaving it in direct moonlight overnight allows the moon's beams to refresh its vibration. The moon's cycles align with releasing stale energies and renewing higher frequencies. 
  • Sunlight - Daylight is energizing and empowering for this gemstone. Placing it in direct sunlight for a few hours activates and amplifies its natural protective powers. The sun's rays infuse it with positive energy.
  • Crystal Cleansing - Grouping sapphire with cleansing crystals like selenite, quartz or amethyst for 12-24 hours harmonizes and rebalances its energetic field. The proximity with purifying crystals restores sapphire's protective qualities.

Regular cleansing rituals keep this gemstone's energy clear and vibrant. Taking care of it ensures it can effectively shield against envious or hostile forces. Its radiant protective blue aura is maintained by proper cleansing and recharging in natural light or with crystals.


Choosing Sapphires 


When selecting a sapphire, there are several factors to consider to ensure you find the highest quality stone for your needs.


Natural vs Synthetic

  • Natural sapphires form over millions of years and have unique imperfections that add to their beauty and value. Synthetic sapphires are manufactured in labs to mimic natural stones but lack the charm of naturally formed gems.
  • Opt for an earth-mined stone if authenticity is important. Synthetic options are more affordable and have the same chemical composition.

Quality Factors

  • Color - It ranges from rich blues to pinks, yellowsgreens and more. The most prized are medium to deep blue. Fancy colors like pink and yellow are rarer. 
  • Clarity - Inclusions and blemishes are expected in natural stones. Avoid heavy inclusions in the center of the stone. Minor flaws on the sides add uniqueness.
  • Cut - Well-cut stones maximize light return for brilliance. Common cuts are oval, cushion, round and emerald. Cut quality impacts beauty.

Ethical Sourcing 

  • Seek from ethical and sustainable sources. Reputable dealers provide details on where stones were mined.
  • Support fair trade gem suppliers that ensure safe working conditions and environmental stewardship. This provides income to mining communities.
  • Avoid sapphires that may be tied to conflict, human rights abuses, or environmental harm. Do research to find eco-friendly and socially responsible sources.

However, the most important factor in choosing the right gem is to find a stone that you love! While the following factors are great indicators of what the masses seek, be sure to find a stone that resonates with you.


Caring for Sapphires


Sapphires are durable gemstones but they still require some basic care and maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping your jewelry looking its best:

  • Clean gently using warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners which can damage or erode the stone over time. 
  • Store jewelry in a fabric-lined box or pouch, separated from other gems and metals. This gemstone is hard but can still be scratched by harder materials like diamonds.
  • Take rings, bracelets and necklaces off when engaging in strenuous activity like exercise, gardening or handiwork. The movements and impacts involved can loosen claw or prong settings over time. 
  • Have jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected by a jeweler once a year. This will check that prong settings are secure and ensure there is no buildup of soap, oils or dirt on the gem.
  • Consider removing rings when washing dishes, showering or applying cosmetics. Exposure to cleaning agents, hot water and abrasive surfaces can wear down sapphire over decades.

With some basic care and maintenance, your sapphire jewelry will maintain its stunning blue color and last for many years of everyday wear. Be gentle with this gemstone and safeguard it from harsh impacts, chemicals and temperature extremes.


Sapphire Varieties


Sapphires come in a range of beautiful colors, each with their own special properties. 


Blue Sapphire


The classic blue sapphire ranges from a light sky blue to deep midnight blue. Blue is the most popular and often the first to come to mind. It is associated with wisdom, loyalty, and nobility.


Pink Sapphire 


Pink sapphires convey love, romance, and femininity. They are thought to attract affection and heal emotional wounds.


Yellow Sapphire


Yellow sapphires promote clarity, intellect, and discernment. Their bright golden color emanates optimism, joy, and warmth. 


White Sapphire


White sapphires represent purity, innocence, and new beginnings. Their crystalline color aids spiritual enlightenment and inner peace.


Black Star Sapphire


The rare black star sapphire displays a striking star pattern when viewed under direct light. It symbolizes protection, grounding, and resilience.


Fancy Color Sapphires


Fancy sapphires include unique hues like purple, orange, green, and brown. Special varieties include the peach-pink padparadscha and the multi-colored parti sapphire. These unusual colors have properties all their own.

sapphire crystal stone

Notable Sapphires


Some of the most famous and valuable sapphires include:

  • The Logan Blue Sapphire: This magnificent 422.66-carat blue gemstone was discovered in Sri Lanka in the early 1900s. It's known for its rich, vibrant blue hue. 
  • The Star of India: This legendary 563.35-carat star is one of the largest and most famous sapphires in the world. It was discovered over 300 years ago in Sri Lanka. The orangy-brown stone exhibits a strong six-rayed star pattern.
  • The Stuart Sapphire: At 104 carats, this blue sapphire is part of the British crown jewels. It adorns the front cross of the Imperial State Crown worn by Queen Elizabeth II. Its origins date back to the 19th century.
  • The Midnight Star Sapphire: This black star gemstone weighing 116 carats is on display at the American Museum of Natural History. It exhibits a vivid six-ray star and deep black color.
  • The Star of Adam: This is a massive star gemstone weighing 1,404 carats. It was mined in Sri Lanka in the early 1900s. Besides its immense size, it has exceptional clarity and a distinct six-rayed star.
  • The Star of India: At an astounding 2,475 carats, this is one of the world's largest blue-star sapphires. It was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1901. The stone has a blue-grayish hue with a well-defined six-rayed star pattern.

The large ones over 100 carats are extremely rare and command incredibly high values at auction.


Conclusion


Sapphires have long been prized for their stunning blue hues and mystical properties. As we've explored, these precious gemstones possess a rich symbolic history and have been associated with wisdom, loyalty, and divine favor across cultures. Beyond their aesthetic value, they are believed to impart healing through their calming and protective energies.


When choosing a sapphire, look for vivid color and minimal inclusions, with stones of at least 2 carats for optimal brilliance. Clean them with mild soap, water, and a soft brush, avoiding harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners. Store your gemstone safely in a fabric-lined box away from other gemstones to prevent scratches. 


Known for their hardness and clarity, sapphires are believed to calm tempers, soothe pain, and enhance psychic abilities, making them a revered gemstone throughout history. Meditating with a crystal enhances psychic abilities and brings spiritual enlightenment.