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Sapphire is a type of corundum, a transparent mineral that produces colour when impurities occur in formation. It is famed for its beauty but also practical properties of resilience, strength and cutting ability. Sapphires can only be sourced from select parts of the world. Each location is renowned for a sapphire specialty and color. For example, Sri Lanka (the apparent source of the Royal Ceylon sapphire) provides the light blue, red and pink cabochon and faceted stones. Untreated high-luster yellow-orange Songea sapphires originate from Tanzania and deep dark-blue colored sapphires are bartered for among the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s historic Chanthaburi gemstone market. One of the sapphire's most elaborate claims to fame is the royal engagement ring, once adorned by Princess Diana and now by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. This is both a design and stone much loved by the public for its longstanding relationship with the British monarchy. Many historical figures have made known their admiration for the wondrous gemstone and its supposed healing and protecting abilities as well as its romantic allure. Helen of Troy, famed for her lure and beauty, was said to have owned a large star sapphire to symbolize her attraction. King Solomon also apparently enticed the Queen of Sheba’s affections by claiming to harness the seductive power of the stone. Sapphire is the birthstone for those born in September and is used to mark 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries. The sapphire is also the zodiac gemstone for Taurus star signs.

Countries of Origin: Thailand, Cambodia, Kashmir, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Montana, Tanzania