LEGEND and LORE: Sapphire has been associated with divine favor. The Buddhists believed that the sapphire favored devotion and spiritual enlightenment. It is the birthstone for the month of September:
"A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze.
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
'Twill cure diseases of the mind. (5)
MAGICAL PROPERTIES: The ancient Greeks linked sapphire with Apollo, and wore it as an aid to prophecy when consulting oracles. For this reason, it is considered an aid for developing the "third eye". It was also considered to be able to guard its owner from being captured. It is worn and utilized in rituals to strengthen the ability to tap and send forth power.
HEALING: Sapphire has been use as an aide to healing ailments of the eyes. It is also considered a booster for the immune system, protecting the body in general from disease.
Sacred to the god Apollo, the sapphire was often called the "celestial stone" because of its deep blue color. Religion plays a large role in the lore of the sapphire. It was an ecclesiastical gem, symbolic of purity. To derive the most benefit from this holy stone, therefore, it was necessary to be pure oneself. Sapphires were used to cure all eye ailments, purify the blood, fortify the heart, and relieve flatulence. Mixed with milk, this gem dried up ulcers, boils, and pustules. Sapphire was lethal to venomous insects and reptiles.
Sapphires were believed to have gender: dark stones were designated female, light ones were male. September's birthstone is thought to make its wearers amiable, wise, virtuous, and strong.
SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION: Sapphire is a member of the Corundum family, along with ruby. Both are basically aluminum oxide. It's chemistry is Al2O3. All colors of Corundum are considered to be "sapphire" unless they are red (Ruby.) It ranges in color from pink, blue, green, violet, gray, yellow and many shades in between. Black sapphire is colored by an admixture of magnetite, hematite or spinel (emery). Corundum is one of the hardest stones, rated at 9. The streak is white.
ENVIRONMENT: The crystals are Hexagonal; sometimes tapering prismatic; also pyramidal, tabular. It is often striated.
OCCURRENCE: Gem quality sapphire have been found at only a few places in North America: at Yogo Gulch, Judith Basin Co., Montana, and at several places in North Carolina. Thailand, Ceylon, and Burma are the principal sources.