Gemstone Profiles: Sapphire

Navajo, Zuni, Hopi jewelry

September’s birthstone is a most popular and bright blue gem, Sapphire! As the temperatures get cooler so do the stones, and Sapphire’s deep blue is against what any other blue gem is measured. Sapphire sets the standard for not only blue jewels but eyes, skies and the deep blue seas as well.

Dating back to Ancient Greece, Sapphire has always conveyed a sense of honor, faith, and nobility. During these legendary days of history, Sapphire was thought to shield the wearer from envious thoughts and to protect one’s personage from harm. Later during the Middle Ages, when danger was apparent and almost unavoidable, the clergy of the church wore Sapphire to symbolize Heaven and promoted the stone to give the wearer blessings from God. It was said that wearing this jewel could promote peace between enemies and even influence other worldly spirits.

The name Sapphire finds its origin in the Persian word ‘safir’ for ‘beloved of Saturn’. This name was heavily influenced by the Ancient Roman Empire, in which sapphire fetched quite a high price. Today, this deep blue stone is just as valuable, but probably more accessible. While traditional Native American jewelers don’t typically use Sapphire in their art, a suitable substitute and close relation is Agate. If you love Southwestern style, several Native American artists do use Agate in their pieces.

Vintage agate Navajo bolo tie

Check out the vintage Agate bolo tie we’ve just acquired!  It, and other vintage pieces, are available here in our Etsy shop.  Our new bolo ties are always available on our website.

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