Sapphire is a classic gemstone that comes in shades of blue. This gem makes a fabulous piece of jewellery. Read about its history and origins and find out how to care for it.

What is a sapphire?

One of four precious gems, this gemstone is scientifically known as corundum, which is crystallized pure aluminum oxide. Heat and pressure are the catalysts for creating corundum.

The presence of small chrome or iron particles gives the stone its color. You probably imagine some shade of blue when you think of this gemstone, but there is a wide spectrum of shades from a dark navy to an almost white blue.

Aside from the various shades of blue, there are also pink, white, yellow and black stones. These non-blue varieties are referred to as "fancy." Imagine how different you would be with a fancy pink sapphire necklace.

Where do they come from?

These elegant blue gemstones largely come from various parts of Asia to include India and Sri Lanka, Australia, parts of Africa and Brazil. A majority of the blue variety come out of Australia and Thailand.

However, Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is the location of the world's oldest mines. The most coveted gems come from Kashmir and Burma, because of their pure rich shades of blue.

The Kashmir and Burmese gemstones are very valuable and even more so when you can find a top-quality stone. Transparent, intense and rich color translates into big bucks for these gemstones. You will be the envy of the ball in a fabulous sapphire and diamond necklace.

Lore and legend

This gemstone is mentioned in the bible as well as in Greek mythology. Mystical beliefs surrounding it include protection from evil and guidance in life. No matter what, sapphire earrings and a sapphire necklace look great and if they add a little luck to your day- even better.

The birthstone for September

While the gemstones in all their shades of blue are popular, they are adored by people born in September because it is their official birthstone. One of only four precious gemstones, this birthstone looks great in a variety of settings.

Silver and platinum look especially nice with any shade of blue. Platinum diamond and sapphire rings are popular for a change to traditional diamond engagement rings.

How to clean your gemstones

This gem is a durable stone. It ranks a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness so you can wear them almost every day. They are safe to wear daily without worrying about chipping, cracking or scratching the stones.

Pair it with a diamond and you have a very durable piece of jewelry. But, don't test its strength. After all, everything has a breaking point.

Because of its durability, you don't have to be overly delicate in your cleaning. Drop by the jewelry store and have them blast it with a steamer or drop it in the ultrasonic cleaner. If you want to clean it at home, just soak your sapphire and diamond ring in warm soapy water. Easy, right?

So, whether you were born in September or you just like a beautiful gemstone, this one is a classic. With jeans or an evening gown, you will exude elegance and sophistication with a wonderfully designed sapphire ring or bracelet.