The sapphire, protector of innocent, celestial guardian of truth, bringer of health and youth, symbol of heavens and birthstone for month of September, is in fact same stone as ruby, mineral corundum.
The blue corundum, ranging in color from lightest blue to deep blue and black, is same stone as ruby, only difference being in color. The choicest color is soft velvety blue, approaching cornflower in shade and exhibiting that color vividly by artificial as well as by natural light. The deeper-colored stones are known as male, and light-colored ones as female sapphires. Although choice sapphires are rare, a much greater quantity of good and large stones are to be had than of rubies, and therefore price of a large sapphire does not advance in same proportion as price of a large ruby.
The word “sapphire” which means blue is of same form in nearly all early tongues, thus showing that they were in use by ancients. Sapphires are found in many parts of world and are usually found in same locality as ruby. The largest number and finest quality of these stones come from Thailand and India, and are found and recovered in much same way as ruby.
The sapphire is next to diamond in hardness and it is this quality that makes it impervious to wear and insures its sharp edges and corners against years of use. Like ruby value of sapphire is determined by its color. The finest stones are a deep blue and deeper color more highly it is prized if its translucency is not impaired. Although sapphire with its many shades of blue is considered most desirable stone, it is also found in other colors such as red, green, yellow and pink.
The Oriental emerald or green sapphire does not approach beryl or true emerald in depth of color, but because of its superior hardness and brilliancy, added to its extreme rarity, it is most valuable of green gems. The Oriental amethyst or purple sapphire sometimes reflects a red color by artificial light, and is valued highly as a gem stone; common amethyst is softer, less brilliant, and loses by artificial light. The various other colored sapphires, such as yellow or Oriental topaz, light green or Oriental aquamarine, greenish-yellow or Oriental chrysolite, and aurora red or Oriental hyacinth, are all valuable as gem stones when they are pure, well cut, and have pronounced colors—in fact, name Oriental is given to distinguish corundums from less valuable minerals of same colors which they resemble, but which they greatly surpass in beauty and value because of their brilliancy and superior hardness.