Sapphire, The Birthstone of September - Tells you all about Sapphire, its characteristics, locations, and prices.

Essay by Solidus November 2003

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Sapphire is the birthstone of September. It is an amazing gem that is commonly associated with the heavens, since it is the color of the sky. It has symbolized truth, sincerity and faithfulness. The name is most probably derived from the Greek word "Sápheiros" or the Latin "Sapphirus".

Gems are beautiful, rare, and highly prized minerals, and Sapphire is definitely a nice one. The stone is a variety of the Corundum family, which also includes rubies. Their blue color is from small amounts of iron and titanium. Sapphires can also be found in many other colors such as yellow, black, green, violet, white, and orange. Non-blue sapphires are referred to as fancy sapphires. There are so many different colors, and all of them are tantalizing.

The gem is an oxide, and it has a composition of Al2O3 (aluminum oxide.) Sapphire is a very hard mineral with a hardness of nine, which is only second to diamonds.

The stone has a hexagonal crystal system and has a specific gravity of four. Specific gravity is the ratio of a mineral's weight compared with the weight of an equal volume of water.

The most valuable sapphires came from Kashmir, India. The best deposit was discovered in a remote mountain in Kashmir in 1980, but the corn-flower blue sapphire deposit is most likely exhausted by now. Thailand is now the most important source of blue sapphires while Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Australia, and the state of Montana are important sources for blue and fancy sapphires.

Sapphires are an expensive item! A 1-carat, emerald-cut stone would cost approximately $600. There are many different qualities of Sapphire, so prices may vary. Generally, cut, quality, and many other features determine the value of a Sapphire.

In conclusion, Sapphire is a fascinating gem. It is...