|Sapphire is one of the two gem-varieties of corundum, the other being ruby (defined as corundum in a shade of red). Although blue is the best-known sapphire color, they occur in other colors, including gray and black, and they can be colorless. A pinkish orange variety of sapphire is called padparadscha.
Mining: Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.
|Historical and cultural references: An Italian superstition holds that sapphires are amulets against eye problems, and melancholy.
A traditional Hindu belief holds that the sapphire causes the planet Saturn (Shani) to be favorable to the wearer.
The Greek term for sapphire quite likely was instead used to refer to lapis lazuli.
During the Medieval Ages, European lapidaries came to refer to blue corundum crystal by “sapphire”, a derivative of the Latin word for blue: “sapphirus”.
Sapphires have been prized as great gemstones since 800BC. Rulers of ancient Persia believed the sky was painted blue by the reflection of sapphire stones. And a great poet once described the sapphire as “the blue of a clear sky just minutes after sundown.” Blue sapphires were a holy stone to the catholic church and to Ancient Persians, who believed they made the sky blue with their reflections. To some religions, the blue color of the sapphire represents the heavens. Sapphires are stones of the apocalypse, and ancient lore held that the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were written, were actually sapphire. This has to mean that either the script was very tiny, or the sapphire was made by the hands of someone other than mother earth, as its size would have had to have been quite adequate!
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