Last updated: August 31, 2016
Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. It’s extraordinary color is the standard against which other blue gems—from topaz to tanzanite—are measured.
For centuries, sapphire has been associated with royalty and romance. The association was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Until her death in 1997, Princess Di, as she was known, charmed and captivated the world. Her sapphire ring helped link modern events with history and fairy tales.
In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary folks thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles.
In folklore, history, art, and consumer awareness, sapphire has always been associated with the color blue. Its name comes from the Greek word sappheiros, which probably referred to lapis lazuli. Most jewelry customers think all sapphires are blue, and when gem and jewelry professionals use the word “sapphire” alone, they normally mean “blue sapphire.” In reality, pink and yellow sapphires are magnificently popular around the world as well.
A special orangy pink sapphire color is called padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. Stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labeled with this marketable name. There’s no telling how many padparadschas have been sifted from Sri Lankan river gravel throughout history. Sri Lankans have a special affection for the color that’s traditionally been linked with their country.
Sapphires (and Rubies) are the hardest gemstones in the world with the exception of diamonds. This along with the fact that blue sapphires blend well with all clothing and accessories make them ideal for Engagement Rings. NYC Wholesale Diamonds carries a complete selection of Diamond and Sapphire Engagement Rings, Wedding Bands, Earrings, Necklaces, and Tennis Bracelets. Call 1-800-BIRTHSTONE for a quote.
A unique, personal jeweler who works nationwide, Keith Saxe is GIA and FIT trained and has been a trusted high end diamond jewelry specialist for 28 years. He is the founder and president of NYC Wholesale Diamonds located at 47 West 47th Street Suite 3A in the New York City Diamond District. His website is www.NYCWD.com and he authors a blog at www.NYCDiamondBlog.com. Keith has recently been named to The Diamond Council of America, is a member of the Jewelers Board of Trade, and Jewelers of America. He offers GIA Certified Ideal Cut Diamonds, and state of the art fine jewelry designs at low wholesale prices. Keith has been named the N.Y. Diamond District’s Favorite Jeweler by the N.Y. Post’s Savvy Shopper column, had his diamond education articles published, been recommended in the New York Times, national gift reporter Robyn Spizman’s ‘Perfect Present Guide’ and ‘The GIFTionary’, as well as having his Diamond Halo Engagement Ring design featured on ‘The Knot.’