Sapphire is September's birthstone and 5th and 45th Anniversary gemstone.
Sapphire's infinite range of colors and varied hues have captured our imagination through out time. The powers of the sea and sky were even once believed to reside within blue sapphires. Today it is the most popular gemstone for women - symbolizing trust and loyalty - and is widely used in bridal jewelry.
While composed primarily of aluminum oxide, the trace elements that make their way into sapphires give it the range of colors. The popular blue tones are attributed to the presence of titanium and iron elements. While sapphires are more commonly found in the chromatic crystalline form, they can also be found as an opaque crystal with a star effect (star sapphire). Rarer examples include sapphire that change color under different types of light.
The major sources for sapphire are Australia, Cambodia, Madagascar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), and even Montana in the United States. Sapphire is one of the most affordable of the "Big 3" colored gemstones - following Emerald and Ruby. As hard as sapphire is, it can be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes. It is a general practice for sapphires to be lightly heated in order to boost its full color potential. There are a modest few unheated sapphires available: while not necessarily commanding a better color, they most certainly command a much higher price!