September birthstone: Sapphire
|A selection of both rough and cut Kashmir sapphires. Palagems.com|
|My sapphire palette with silks from Marsha Neal Studios.|
The stone's symbolic meanings ore many. Sapphire can symbolize wisdom, truth, beauty but most meanings link the stone to clarity, clarity of mind, clear thinking, increased learning ability, strength of mind.
- Prometheus was the Greek fire god and friend of mankind. Prometheus gave fire to man, but this brought grief and destruction. As a result of his actions, he made an enemy of Zeus, who chained Prometheus to a rock and sent an eagle in every day to eat Prometheus' liver. His liver was restored each night. After 30 years, Hercules rescued Prometheus by slaying the eagle. He wore a sapphire ring. The blue stone was to remind him of the hottest part of a flame; it was a shard of the rock to which he was chained.
|"Prometheus" at Rockefeller Center NYC by Paul Manship 1934.|
- Helen of Troy wore a star sapphire, reputedly the source of her desirability. This Ancient Greek woman, the "face that launched a thousand ships" ran off with Paris, an international incident of the time. The result: the Trojan War!
- In Medieval Jewish, Islamic, and Christian legends, King Solomon had a magical ring known as the “Seal of Solomon.” According to legend, it was an inscribed sapphire, which gave him the power to command demons and speak to animals. King Solomon is said to have used the magic of sapphires to seduce the Queen of Sheba.
(Warning - I am a Royal watcher and an Anglophile. The following will contain many references to Great Britain and the Crown Jewels...But it is a year marked by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Here'a a great article on Crown Jewels/Diamond Jubilee) )
The star effect - called "asterism" is caused by rutile inclusions in the corundum. The three bars of light are said to symbolize faith, hope and destiny. The star is said to increase the stone's energy, and it is attributed with characteristics of grounding and completion.
The Imperial State Crown of Great Britain - (Front view)Here you can see St Edward's Sapphire in the Maltese cross at the top of the crown. This one dates back to 1042, people! Edward the Confessor wore it in a ring. The gem survived through numerous monarchs - some 600 years until Oliver Cromwell's reign and disassembly of the crown jewels. Queen Victoria had the stone set into the finial cross of the Imperial State Crown.
The Imperial State Crown of Great Britain - (back view)
This is the Stuart Sapphire - only 104 carats... relegated to the back of the crown in 1838. ( It was replaced with the 317c Cullinan II diamond, seen above.) The sapphire has quite a history, changing hands between monarchs of England and Scotland numerous times from 1214 until Queen Victoria pinned it down!