Mobile Top Button Desktop Top Button

15 Amazing Facts About Sapphires (The September Birthstone)

15 Amazing Facts About Sapphires (The September Birthstone)


It’s sapphire season! Discover gorgeous sapphire gemstone jewelry in this birthstone’s many hues.

Discover 15 intriguing facts about September’s stunning birthstone:


Sapphires have been treasured as some of the most precious gemstones for thousands of years. Popular in ancient Roman, ancient Persia, and throughout the Middle Ages.


When you think of sapphires, you probably think of a rich blue color, but sapphires actually come in almost every color of the rainbow—including pink, peach, orange, yellow, green, teal, and purple. Red sapphires are better known as rubies (both are varieties of the mineral corundum).



Sapphires get their colors from trace elements in the mineral corundum. Classic blue sapphires contain iron and titanium, and trace elements of chromium can turn corundum pink, while more chromium turns it into a ruby.



The rarest type of sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called padparadscha, a name that comes from the Sinhalese word for lotus flower. Traditionally from Sri Lanka, these gemstones are sifted from Sri Lankan rivers.



The word sapphire is derived from the Latin and Greek words for “blue”: sapphirus and sappheiros, which may have originally referred to another type of blue stone called Lapis Lazuli.



Sapphires are among the most durable naturally occurring elements in the world. Gemstones are rated on their ability to withstand scratching based on a system called the Mohs Scale of Hardness, and sapphires score a 9 out of 10. The only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond, which has a 10 on the Mohs Scale. The durability of sapphires makes them an excellent choice for engagement rings and other jewelry you plan to wear every day.


Because of its hardness, sapphire also has industrial uses. The Apple Watch Series 3 features lab-created sapphire crystal in its screen to make it more scratch resistant, as do several Swiss watch companies.


Sapphires are found in many places throughout the world, including Australia, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, Malawi, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the United States, and more.


Throughout history various cultures have attributed mystical powers to sapphires, including heavenly powers, truth, innocence, peace, and good health. In ancient times it was believed that sapphires protected their wearers from evil. Because of the blue color, which they associated with the heavens, Europeans in the Middle Ages believed that sapphires cured eye diseases and preserved chastity, along with providing other heavenly blessings.  Sapphires have also been used to symbolize nobility and faithfulness.


Deep blue sapphires have long been associated with royalty (which likely contributed to the naming of the color “royal blue”). Royal blue sapphires were often worn by medieval kings, some of whom believed that the gemstones would protect them from their enemies.



French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave to his beloved wife Josephine a two stone sapphire and diamond engagement ring in 1796. The ring, which sold at auction for close to a million dollars in 2013, features a pear-shaped sapphire next to a pear-shaped diamond facing opposite directions, on a simple gold band.


The most famous royal sapphire today is the engagement ring given by England’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, and now worn by Princess Catherine. It features an 12-carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.


Sapphire engagement rings certainly aren’t only for royals. Before the twentieth century, blue sapphires were the favored gemstones for engagement rings. Sapphires were quite popular in Victorian engagement rings, when they were often surrounded by smaller diamonds to create floral designs.


Many people are surprised to find that sapphires can exhibit a phenomenon called the “star effect,” or asterism. This occurs when inclusions create a star pattern of rays on the surface of a dome-like cabochon-cut sapphire, often called a “star sapphire.”


Perhaps the most intriguing type of sapphire is the “color change” variety. These gemstones exhibit different colors depending on the lighting, subtly shifting from blue in daylight to bluish-purple in incandescent light.

If you love the look of sapphires, explore our create your own sapphire engagement rings and our sapphire fine jewelry. Head to our  Sapphire Education page to learn more about September’s birthstone!

Final Thoughts

Are you a September baby?  Which color of sapphire is your favorite? Let us know on InstagramFacebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

Shop the Story

You Might Also Like from the blog

Get Inspired

Tag us on Instagram @brilliantearth

Comments (21)

Kristie Kringle Says:
January 19th, 2019 at 2:25 pm

My birthday is in September. I collect jewelry made with different colored sapphire. My favorites are a color changing ring and a bracelet with 26 blue star sapphire rounds!

Sam Martin Says:
December 15th, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Sapphires have always been my favorite stone!! I had a beautiful ring surrounded by diamonds I found at a pawn shop .. Paid only $400! Went to get it appraised it was worth $2000! Brcause of the cut style and apparently it was extremely old!! Omg! I miss that ring!!

Marjorie Yarnell Says:
October 17th, 2018 at 7:26 pm

What is October’s gem stone?

Harry Cutbirth Says:
August 22nd, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Love dark blue sapphires..birthstone of someone special

Paulette Says:
August 13th, 2018 at 6:10 pm

This is my favorite Stone and yes it is my birthstone so pretty I used to have the Star Sapphire shaped in a heart someone stole it out of my locker at gavit High School during swimming class. ???

Alda domingsil Says:
July 31st, 2018 at 9:03 pm

I love the blue sapphire

Brenda Says:
July 29th, 2018 at 5:25 pm

My birthstone is Sapphire. I favor the deep blue hue. The peach colored stone is very brautiful! The 15 facts about the various colors of the sapphire stone are amazing! Great to know.

Marie Jean Says:
July 24th, 2018 at 4:52 pm

I am October child . A day before Halloween. I adore green Jade and sterling. Crown jewels are also nice

Noel Ryan Says:
April 24th, 2018 at 1:35 am

Good article, however sapphires can often be a different hardness even within the one stone, therefore it is not only possible but probable that a sapphire can scratch another sapphire just like a diamond can.

lilly Says:
March 1st, 2018 at 8:35 am

love it

lily Says:
February 26th, 2018 at 9:05 am

just kidding haha you thought I was for real

lily Says:
February 26th, 2018 at 9:04 am


lily Says:
February 26th, 2018 at 9:03 am

so pretty

lily Says:
February 26th, 2018 at 9:03 am

love it

ELIJAH Alcindar Says:
November 20th, 2017 at 10:36 am

Fxxvfgv chug cffc

Justine Jira Says:
June 28th, 2017 at 1:00 am

Sapphire my Birthstone

jerome Says:
February 7th, 2017 at 3:20 pm


preston Says:
May 24th, 2016 at 11:12 am

Sapphires are my birthstone

Mercedes Says:
September 1st, 2015 at 11:25 am

I’m only 14 but I want one!!!!!!!!!

Mercedes Says:
September 1st, 2015 at 11:25 am

Love Them!!!!!!

darran raphael Says:
August 3rd, 2015 at 5:19 am

Sapphires are beautiful

15 Fun Facts About Sapphire, September's Birthstone | Brilliant Earth