Many different stones fall under the category of precious or semi-precious stones, but the sapphire is one of the best known of all. Its beauty, rarity and durability are astonishing. Just like ruby, sapphire consists of the mineral corundum. The sky-blue colour is the result of contaminated iron particles in the stone. But why is buying a blue sapphire ring such an excellent idea and what is the story and history behind this special stone?

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Where does the name "sapphire" come from?

The name “sapphire” has changed through the years, and goes back to Hebrew from Old Persian. Some language experts believe the name originates from a Sanskrit term, which at the time meant ‘loved by Saturn'. According to Hindustani superstition, a sapphire brings good luck to the wearer under the influence of the planet of Saturn. In the past, all blue stones, so also blue diamonds, were called sapphires. Although, a clearer distinction has been made since the 19th century.

What is a sapphire and in what colours are they found?

Sapphires are a variation of the mineral corundum which is colourless. Sapphires get their colour from the presence of iron. After diamonds and moissanite, sapphires are the third hardest material on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Blue sapphires are the most common, but sapphires come in other colours, too. There are yellow, orange and purple sapphires. With our customised service you can, for example, buy different colour sapphire jewellery.

Create your tailor made jewel with sapphire

What is the difference with a blue diamond?

Both blue sapphire jewellery as well as blue diamond jewellery contain a coloured precious stone. Coloured stones are very popular nowadays, but not everyone can afford the price of coloured diamonds. The standard price of good-quality white diamonds is more expensive than sapphires, and blue diamonds are worth even more. For example, the blue Oppenheimer diamond went under the hammer for 50.82 million euro in 2016 at Christie's in Geneva.

View this diamond & sapphire necklace

So, a blue sapphire engagement ring or pendant is not as expensive as the same jewellery with a blue diamond. The most expensive sapphire in the world does, however, have a rather hefty price tag. It is also the largest sapphire in the world, and it was found in a mine in southern Sri Lanka. According to experts, the value of this sapphire, christened the 'Star of Adam', is between 90 and 160 million euro, and that is for a stone that is too large to be used in jewellery.

High-quality sapphires are certainly not of an inferior beauty compared to diamonds, although they do sparkle less. Buy a blue diamond or blue sapphire? The choice is yours!

What is the symbolism behind sapphires?

The beautiful colour is one reason to buy a sapphire, but the symbolism and its healing powers could also be a decisive factor in your choice. The symbolism behind the sapphire differs from one civilisation to the next. People used to believe that a blue sapphire protected you against magic and witchcraft

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Others believed that the precious stone gave you strength, honour, virtue and immortality. The sapphire also stood for wealth and prevented arguments and distress. As a spiritual blue precious stone, sapphires save face, the mind and reason. Today, sapphires mainly symbolise truth, love, purity and sincerity.

The sapphire's sky-blue colour is the reason the stone has been attributed to so many powers. Alternative healers believe that sapphires contain energetic and healing properties. In India, they were convinced that blue sapphires could open the third eye. That is the point for accessing exceptional wisdom and insight. When the ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi, they always had a blue sapphire with them.
The sapphire's sky-blue colour is one reason that the sapphire is attributed spiritual properties.
The Bible also mentions sapphires a few times. Sapphires supposedly encouraged feelings of deep devotion and a peaceful soul. Sapphire jewellery was and still is very popular among spiritualists for this reason. They wore the stone as a symbol of heaven. In the 12th century, Pope Innocent III instructed his bishops to wear a gold ring with a sapphire to get closer to the spiritual truth and to stay virtuous. Some Christians refer to the star sapphire as the Stone of Destiny: the star's three crossbars stand for Faith, Hope, and Destiny. They used the sapphire as a talisman during trips to protect them against illness, the Evil Eye and demons.

Why is the blue sapphire often called a 'royal precious stone'?

Sapphires have always been popular due to their astonishing beauty. According to Jewish tradition, the 10 commandments were carved in sapphire. The reference to heaven is probably not a coincidence, but a result of the admiration for the cornflower blue colour. It was probably for the same reason that Greece chose sapphires as its national stone. People with royal blood, nobility and spiritualists had their cloaks decorated with blue sapphires. It was a symbol of wealth and power and the stones were also said to protect them against jealousy and deceitfulness. As such, according to legend, Helen of Troy possessed a star sapphire. Napoleon gave his wife Josephine a seven-part set of jewellery with 29 sapphires.
Sapphires decorated the clothes and jewellery of many kings and queens.
Lady Di and Kate Middleton with sapphire engagement ring
The British Royal Family has a particular predilection for sapphires. Two gorgeous sapphires, the Saint Edward and the Stuart, are part of the British Crown Jewels. And many will still remember Lady Diana's stunning and very expensive sapphire engagement ring. 

View engagement ring inspired on the ring of Lady Di

It was a white gold 18-carat ring set with a 12-carat blue oval sapphire surrounded by 14 small diamonds. The ring stayed in the family after her death. Diana's son William gave the blue sapphire ring to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, as an engagement ring.

Diana also had other blue sapphire jewellery. As such, Kate is now the owner of a gorgeous pair of sapphire earrings. The pair matches her sapphire engagement ring and were part of the wedding gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Three famous sapphires

Sapphires are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful precious stones. Due to their beautiful blue colour, they are sometimes sold for incredible prices. And yet, it is not only the colour that is important, the history of sapphires also plays a role. We present three pieces of sapphire jewellery with a big history.

  • Napoleon's sapphire engagement ring: The ring that Napoleon gave to Josephine is set with a spectacular pear-shaped sapphire and diamond in a mirror image. This sapphire ring in a Toi & Moi design is thus an ideal engagement ring. The ring was sold at auction for 1.17 million dollars in 2013.

  • Stuart Sapphire: The Stuart Sapphire is one of the precious stones decorating the English Crown Jewels. This sapphire has a rather turbulent history. Its location was often unknown throughout history. In any case, it was taken to France after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. In 1807, the stone returned to the United Kingdom from Italy. Today, the Stuart Sapphire can be seen in the Tower of London.

  • The Blue Belle of Asia: This unique precious stone was sold for 17 million dollars in 2014. It broke the record for the most expensive sapphire in the world sold at a public auction. It was bought in 1937 as a gift for Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation. However, the Queen never received it. The necklace the sapphire is set in, is now part of the private collection of a Saudi collector.

Is sapphire ok for an engagement ring?

Lady Di and Kate Middleton with sapphire engagement ring
With its intense blue appearance, the sapphire is perfect as an accent colour for an engagement ring. Wedding jewellery with sapphires has been gaining in popularity since Kate Middleton was given Lady Diana's sapphire engagement ring. You could also choose this timeless and contemporary jewellery for your 16th wedding anniversary or 'sapphire anniversary'. 

View this entourage ring with oval sapphire now

Which month has the sapphire as its birth stone?

Toi & Moi sapphire engagement ring from BAUNAT
Every month has a birthstone. It would give happiness or well-being to the person celebrating their birthday in that month. Whether fact or fable, it is still a lovely tradition to gift a loved one jewellery containing their birthstone. The sapphire is the birthstone for people born in September. If you would like to propose to your girlfriend in September, then choose an engagement ring with a sapphire as precious stone.

Discover this Toi & Moi engagement ring now

The sapphire is also the birthstone of the astrological star signs of Aries and Virgo. In Chinese astrology, the stone is the birthstone of the Tiger. Astrologists associate the blue sapphire with the planet of Venus. That is why the precious stone represents Friday, the day associated with Venus.

What applications are blue sapphires used for?

In the Middle Ages people still fiercely believed in the healing properties of blue sapphires. As such, Charles V is said to have had a sapphire ring with which he touched people's eyes to heal them.
According to alternative healers, sapphires have spiritual and healing properties.
Yellow gold diamond earrings with sapphire from BAUNAT
A more worldly application can be found in industry because of its hardness (sapphires are the third hardest material in the world). Sapphires have proven useful in infrared concepts, durable windows, the glass for wristwatches, micro-electronics, smartphone screens and in bullet-proof glass. One of the most known applications for sapphires is of course in jewellery. You really sparkle in a pair of sapphire earrings. They give an astonishing effect when surrounded only by diamonds.

View all BAUNAT sapphire earrings

To what should you pay attention when buying a sapphire?

Would you like to buy a beautiful pair of sapphire earrings or a sapphire bracelet? Then, there are a few things to consider. With green emeralds, red ruby and blue sapphire, the colour intensity determines the value of the stone. The deeper the blue, the more valuable the sapphire is. Furthermore, the clarity (few inclusions) and cut play a role in enabling the colour to really come into its own. An expert gem cutter will consider the direction of the crystal structure.
A kiss on the hand may feel very, very good, but a diamond and sapphire bracelet lasts forever
The origins of the sapphire can also reveal a lot. Sites for blue sapphires include Eastern Australia, China, Thailand and East Africa. But the highest quality sapphires traditionally come from Kashmir, Myanmar and Sri Lanka above all. The most expensive sapphire, the Star of Adam, and the sapphires in the British Crown Jewels were mined on this island in the Indian Ocean.

How can I incorporate blue, and a blue sapphire in particular, into my wedding?

 Bride with sapphire engagement ring - BAUNAT
Do you want to feel like a real princess? Do you want a unique wedding or engagement ring and one with significance? Would you like to be original at your wedding? Look no further! A sapphire wedding ring and a blue theme are the solutions for you. Sapphires not only look incredible, but incorporating blue in your wedding jewellery, such as a sapphire necklace, also has a symbolic value. 
 Bride with sapphire engagement ring - BAUNAT
Nowadays, blue is a trendy choice for a colour theme for a wedding. You can take it much further than simply wearing a sapphire and diamond engagement ring and/or blue wedding jewellery. Ask all your bridesmaids to wear blue dresses. A golden tip: Consult a wedding dress specialist and choose dresses from the same series as the wedding dress so that the styles match.

Start the most special day of your life in style by arriving at your wedding in a blue wedding car. Light-blue classic cars are suitable for couples who like a vintage style, and navy-blue luxury cars are the perfect choice for newly-weds who prefer a classic style.

View this stunning jewel with sapphire now

Golden tip: Choose blue bridesmaids' dresses from the same collection as the wedding dress.
Many brides are not keen on wearing their wedding gown all day. After a while, it can become uncomfortable, certainly if your beautiful wedding dress has a long train. A good solution is to get a back-up dress for the party. Then you could pick a stylish blue dress to get you through the rest of the evening. Complete your new style with a pair of chic blue pumps or why not even go for a pair of comfortable blue sneakers to conquer the dance floor? The sapphire earrings and sapphire pendant you wore during the wedding ceremony will complete your outfit. The light from the spotlights will guarantee your sapphire wedding ring sparkles even more. Nowadays, you can even buy rings with a raw sapphire.

Why should I buy sapphire jewellery from BAUNAT?

You are surely no longer in doubt that it's a good idea to buy sapphire jewellery. The sparkle and significance of these beautiful precious stones are almost unparalleled. Why should you then choose BAUNAT?

Our experts only work with the highest-quality materials. You are then assured that your sapphire ring or necklace will always be of the very best quality. We also buy our precious stones directly from the source. We thereby avoid unnecessary intermediaries and we can sell our jewellery online 30% to 50% cheaper.

Can you still not decide which engagement ring or pair of earrings to buy? That's absolutely normal. BAUNAT's jewellery experts are always available to provide advice when finding the right jewellery to suit your style.

Also consider having sapphire jewellery custom-made. Working with our experts you can design jewellery entirely how you want it. BAUNAT provides a 3D drawing so you can see what your jewellery will look like beforehand.

Find out more about other precious stones

There is much more to discover about sapphires and other precious stones or precious metals. Would you like to become a real jewellery expert? Then make sure you read the blogs below.

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