As the vibrant hues of summer start to fade and the cool breeze of autumn begins to sweep in, the month of September heralds the arrival of the sapphire birthstone. It is a gemstone steeped in history, powerful associations, and stunning beauty. If you’re born in September or simply captivated by the allure of sapphires, we’ve got all the information you need to create a September birthstone ring to love for a lifetime.
Engagement Ring Inspiration
September Birthstone History
Sapphire, the birthstone for September, derives its name from the Greek word "sappheiros," which refers to the color blue. Largely renowned for its deep blue shade, sapphire has long been associated with nobility, wisdom, and divine favor. In ancient times, sapphires were believed to protect their wearers from envy and harm. The ancient Persians even thought that the Earth rested on a giant sapphire, imparting its exquisite blue hue to the sky.
Sapphires also found their way into the regalia of medieval clergy, who believed the gemstones represented Heaven. They adorned religious artifacts, including crosses and scepters, symbolizing divine favor and wisdom. The allure of sapphires persisted through the Renaissance, adorning the robes of clergy and nobility alike, enhancing their prestige and grace.
In recent decades, sapphires have continued to be highly coveted in the world of fine jewelry. Advancements in technology and mining techniques have led to the discovery of new sapphire deposits in regions like Madagascar, Kashmir, and Tanzania, offering a diverse array of colors and qualities. These stones have also become a favorite, modern choice for engagement rings.
Throughout history, sapphires have graced the jewelry collections of royalty and celebrities. One of the most famous sapphire engagement rings ever belonged to Princess Diana, which is now worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. This iconic ring features a stunning blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds, a testament to the everlasting elegance of this precious gemstone.
September Birthstone Color, Symbolism, & Alternates
The captivating blue color of sapphires has a deep significance, drawing parallels with the vastness of the sky and the endless oceans. This spectrum of blue hues, from the profound navy reminiscent of a starlit night to the brilliant azure reminiscent of a clear summer sky, embodies tranquility, depth, and constancy. The color's calming effect has led to the association of sapphires with feelings of calmness and serenity, making them a symbol of peace and consistency – beautiful symbolism for a marriage. This remarkable color is a result of the presence of trace elements, primarily iron and titanium, within the gemstone.
This enduring blue hue has been linked to royalty, wisdom, and divine favor in various cultures. In ancient times, sapphires were thought to protect their wearers from envy and harm, acting as guardians of truth and virtue. They were worn by kings and queens to symbolize power, wisdom, and holiness. This historical significance has embedded the blue sapphire with the essence of nobility and honor, making it a gemstone that carries a legacy of respect and reverence.
For those seeking an alternative to the classic blue sapphire, there are many sapphire options in various, vibrant colors. Pink and peach sapphires, also known as “rubies” when they exhibit a deeper red hue, are a popular choice, symbolizing love and passion. Another alternative is the rare and exotic padparadscha sapphire, which displays a unique blend of pink and orange tones, resembling the colors of a tropical sunset. And a yellow sapphire is a bright and cheerful choice with options ranging from pale yellow to a canary yellow with incredible depth of color.
September Birthstone Characteristics
Sapphires are a striking gemstone that besides offering a variety of colors to choose from, have characteristics ideal for an engagement ring.
Sapphires are cherished not only for their captivating color but also for their exceptional durability. With a hardness rating of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness. This outstanding durability makes sapphires ideal for all types of jewelry, including engagement rings that can withstand the rigors of daily wear.
Rarity & Origin
The most prized sapphires are sourced from regions like Kashmir, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Kashmir sapphires are renowned for their deep, velvety blue color and are considered some of the most valuable gemstones in the world. Sapphires from Myanmar are known for their intense blue hue with a hint of violet, while Sri Lankan sapphires exhibit a wide range of colors, including blue, pink, yellow, and orange.
The value of a sapphire is determined through a combination of features including color, clarity, size, and origin. The most valuable sapphires boast a pure, vibrant blue hue with excellent clarity. Larger stones with vivid color and minimal inclusions command higher prices and can be especially rare depending on the color of the sapphire.
Sapphires are often treated to enhance their color and clarity. Heat treatment is a common practice in the industry, which involves heating the gemstone to high temperatures to improve its color and remove impurities. While heat-treated sapphires are widely accepted, it’s essential to inquire about any treatments when purchasing a sapphire to make an informed decision.
To maintain the brilliance of your sapphire jewelry, it’s essential to handle it with care. Avoid exposing sapphires to harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, or sudden temperature changes, as these can damage the gemstone. Regular cleaning with mild soap and warm water, along with gentle brushing, will keep your sapphire jewelry sparkling.
Range of Blue Sapphires
Shopping for Sapphires
When shopping for a sapphire, there are several key aspects to consider to ensure you make the perfect choice:
Color: Look for a sapphire with a rich, vibrant hue that appeals to your taste. Consider factors such as tone, saturation, and the presence of secondary colors.
Cut: Choose a cut that enhances the sapphire’s brilliance. Popular cuts for sapphire jewelry include oval, round, and cushion. Well-cut sapphires exhibit excellent light reflection and sparkle.
Clarity: While sapphires have natural inclusions, seek stones with minimal visible flaws and a lack of inclusions in vulnerable areas, like the surface or pointed edges. Sapphires with good clarity appear transparent to the naked eye, enhancing their overall beauty.
Carat Weight: Determine the size of the sapphire based on your preference and price range. Keep in mind that larger, high-quality sapphires are rarer and command higher prices. Certain color sapphires, like yellow, are also more commonly found in larger sizes so they are not as expensive in larger carat weights like the highly sought after blue hues.
September Birthstone Engagement Rings
Sapphires are a versatile and unexpected choice for an engagement ring. And with so many color choices and setting styles, the combinations are endless to create a stunning September engagement ring. If you want a classic blue hue, Noelani is a beautiful multi-stone ring centering a gorgeous cushion-cut sapphire flanked by diamond clusters. And Oceana embodies old-world charm with a flower setting of a diamond halo surrounding an oval sapphire on a sculptural, nature-inspired band.
Montana sapphires have rapidly gained in popularity due to their ethereal bluish-green and greenish-blue hues. Alma is a classic vintage piece including black rhodium on the diamond-set band for a strong antique feel. And Adamaris is the epitome of a nature-inspired style with leafy design elements, an organically shaped band, and a cool blue sapphire reminiscent of water.
If less common colors are appealing, yellow sapphires are a standout as showcased in Alamina, which features a cushion cut yellow sapphire flanked by sparkling diamonds, and Devi, which centers a perfect 1 carat round yellow sapphire in a rose bud styled setting crafted in rose gold. And for the bride who loves the untraditional, green sapphires are an elegant choice that demands a double-take. Ipinea is the perfect example of that aesthetic with a simple and sweet organically designed yellow band leading to a cushion cut, halo-set green sapphire. Baretta returns to the vintage charm with a solitaire setting on a diamond encrusted band accented with black rhodium.
Sapphires are not just exquisite gemstones; they are timeless symbols of wisdom, nobility, and enduring love. Whether you’re considering a sapphire engagement ring, anniversary ring, or as accent stones on a wedding band, the allure of sapphires will undoubtedly add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any piece of jewelry.