Sapphire is among the most durable of gemstones with only diamond being harder to scratch. As with ruby, the legendary virtues ascribed to sapphire are many. Ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a great blue sapphire, the reflection of which gave the sky its color. Also, sapphire was long considered a symbol of truth and constancy. Blue sapphire is the birthstone for September and is the gemstone recommended for forty-fifth anniversaries. Many of our sapphires are referred to as "Ceylon" sapphires. One of the first sources of blue sapphire, the tiny island of Ceylon is today known as Sri Lanka. Since their discovery, Ceylon sapphires have been known for their purity of color and brilliance. While Sri Lanka is still a major producer of sapphires, the term has now come to include all blue sapphire with those characteristics, regardless of source. Many "Ceylon" sapphires in the market today are from the larger island of Madagascar. Almost all sapphires of any color have been heat treated to lighten or intensify color, or to try and improve clarity. For the last twenty-some years, titanium diffusion has been practiced in some markets where titanium is diffused into the surface of clear sapphires turning the color blue. Since 2006, some sapphires have appeared in the market with Beryllium diffusion throughout to improve color.
Sapphire has a hardness of 9 making it an excellent choice for all types of jewelry including wedding rings.
Treatments: heat for color and clarity, diffusion for color.