What is the September Birthstone?
The September Birthstone is Sapphire.
Blue sapphires are the most popular colored gemstones in the world, spurred on by such famous examples as the engagement rings worn by Princesses Diana and Kate.
However, this iconic gemstone, adored and sought after for centuries, is also available in just about every other color you could imagine too - even some that actually change color - as well as star cabochons and colorless versions.
The September Birthstone - Sapphire Colors
As we said above, Sapphires can be found in all colors. The various colors are caused by the presence of trace elements such as iron, titanium, chromium during formation.
If we just use the term, 'sapphire', it means that the gemstone is blue. All other colors, except red, black or colorless, are called 'fancy sapphires'.
It is often said that sapphires can be any color apart from red. An exception to this rule (there is always an exception) is a sapphire that is red due to beryllium heat treatment. Usually the red form of sapphire is a ruby but not in the case of BE heated gemstones.
See more information about red sappires here
There are a couple of special sapphire colors worth mentioning.
- Color-change sapphires have the ability to switch from a bluish color in daylight to a reddish color under electric light.
- There are bi-colored sapphires, showing two different colors in the same stone
- Padparadscha Sapphires are a blend of pink and orange colors resulting in a peachy or salmon colored stone that gets its name from the delicately-colored lotus flower.
The September Birthstone Price - How expensive is Sapphire?
Sapphires are considered expensive but with such a diverse gemstone the prices can have a wide range with multiple factors that can affect their value.
At the top of the pile would be an untreated blue sapphire above 2 or 3 carats in weight. This gemstone could be priced at up to $10,000 per carat with the right clarity and tone.
A treated blue sapphire at around one carat would be quite a bit less at between $100 and $1000 per carat.
Fancy colored sapphires are less expensive and cabochons or treated stars are even lower in price.
See our full Sapphire Info page here
What are the spiritual benefits of Sapphire - The September Birthstone?
Sapphires have been recognized as one of the most spiritually powerful of all gemstones and have picked up the title, 'the Stone of Wisdom' for their influence over intellectual abilities. Some of its many attributes include:
- Hope and Faith
- Loyalty and Faithfulness
- Self-discipline and Focus
- Abundance and Prosperity
See our detailed article on Sapphire meaning and uses
The September Birthstone - Sapphire and the Chakras
Chakras all have their own designated color and can be influenced by a gemstone of a similar color. As sapphires can be found in all colors, they are an ideal Chakra stone.
- Black Sapphire - Root Chakra
- Yellow Sapphire - Solar Plexus Chakra
- Orange Sapphire - Sacral Chakra
- Green Sapphire - Heart Chakra
- Blue Sapphire - Throat Chakra
- Violet Sapphire - Third Eye Chakra
- White Sapphire - Crown Chakra
Find more details on Chakra gemstones here
The September Birthstone - Sapphire Species
Sapphires are a type of Corundum along with Rubies. Corundum can be found in all colors due to the presence of a variety of mineral impurities during formation - if they are red they are rubies, if they are any other color they are sapphires.*
* BE treated red sapphires are an exception.
The September Birthstone - Sapphire Treatments
Finding a Sapphire of great quality that has not been treated is a very rare find indeed - it is estimated that more than 90% of all sapphires have been heat treated to make them presentable enough to use as a gemstone.
This has pretty much always been the case, with descriptions of blowpipe furnaces being used to boost the color of sapphires dating back more than a thousand years.
The heating process is a bit more sophisticated these days which means more sapphires that would have ended up thrown aside a few decades ago now able to be turned into stunning gemstones.
Simple heating of sapphires is a generally accepted and permanent process but anything more intrusive or anything that introduces new elements to the sapphire such as BE heating and fracture filling are a bit more controversial. Any treatment MUST be clearly disclosed.
The September Birthstone - Sapphire History
Sapphires have been one of the most written about gemstones in history. They are mentioned several times in the bible, in Greek mythology, in the 2000 year old Natural History encyclopedia of Pliny, the astrological texts of Vedic scholars and many other ancient writings.
We cannot be absolutely certain that all historic references to sapphire actually mean sapphire gemstones and not lapis lazuli or other blue gemstones. However, there is no doubt that Sapphires have been revered for their spiritual power and exceptional durability and beauty for a very long time.
The September Birthstone - Where are Sapphire found?
The most famous sources of Sapphires have been Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Pakistan - home of the illustrious Kashmir Sapphires. More recently, large deposits in Madagascar and Tanzania in Africa have been discovered as well as Australia and Montana in the US.
The September Birthstone - What jewelry is Sapphire suitable for?
Sapphires are rated a very durable 9 on Mohs hardness scale which puts them second only to diamonds. Sapphires are perfect for all types of jewelry including daily wear items such as engagement rings.
Sapphires of all colors and shapes are available in singles, pairs and lots making them ideal for matching jewelry sets - rings, bracelets, earring, pendants, necklaces.
Star sapphires and large cabochons - domed tops and flat bottoms - are also available for classic or retro looking rings and pendants.
In addition to being the September birthstone, Sapphires are also the traditional gemstones to celebrate the 5th, 45th and 70th wedding anniversaries.