September Fused Glass Birthstone – Sapphire
Sapphire is also recognized for 5 and 45 year anniversaries. The name sapphire derives from the Greek sapphirus for blue, in Latin is called sapphirus and in Persian is called yakut-i-asrak. Sapphire has been popular since the Middle Ages. Medieval clergy wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, while commoners thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings.
Blue corundum colored by traces of titanium and iron is known as sapphire. Sapphire belongs to the corundum mineral family and are essentially crystallized aluminum oxide. The sapphire is the serene, more subtly beautiful sister stone of the ruby. Like rubies, sapphires are second in hardness only to diamonds. Mohs scale hardness of nine. It is estimated that ninety percent of sapphires on the world market today undergo heat treatment, a permanent process widely accepted by the gem trade.
Blue sapphires range from very light to very dark greenish or violetish blue, as well as various shades of pure blue. The most prized colors are a medium to medium dark blue or slightly violetish blue. Sapphire is a variety of the gem species corundum and occurs in all colors of the rainbow. Pink, purple, green, orange, or yellow corundum are known by their color (pink sapphire, green sapphire).
Sapphire, according to folklore, will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Buddhists consider the sapphire a symbol for peace and faithfulness in love, making it a popular choice for an engagement ring gem.
It is believed sapphires have special properties:
• To bring peace and happiness.
• To protect the wearer against evil.
• Provide good health and self contentment.
• Remedy for infected diseases, skin ailment and disorder of the eyes.
• Help people to cure fever.
• Sapphire would not shine if the wearer did despicable things.
• It was used by the Greek to tap into the subconscious mind by stimulating the opening of the “third eye”.
How to Care for Sapphire
Sapphires are hard and can be cleaned in almost any way. The best way is with warm soapy water. Albeit ultrasonic cleaners and steamers can be used too (except for star sapphires or if there is a fracture in the sapphire). As with most valuable stones, avoid doing heavy work or coming into contact with chemicals while wearing your stone, as they can damage your settings.
For the fused glass birthstone version of Septembers’ “Sapphire” I used various shades of blue frit.
As I mentioned in the previous newsletters there are many advantages of fused glass over typical gemstones is Fused Glass is less expensive, more durable (than some birthstones), and can be bigger than typical gemstones. Fused Glass birthstones can also be made into other items besides jewelry for example; key chains, wine stoppers, etc. I there is something you’d like me to create for you whether a birthstone or another type of fused glass artwork.
BTW if you’d like to see my fused glass up close and personal – come out and see me at Briarfest in Colorado Springs 5 & 6 Sept. For more information check out my August Fused Glass Newsletter!
Keeping my Kiln Warm,