A variety of corundum, as is the ruby, the sapphire is a rare precious stone whose blue color has always been associated with the sky, and by extension with heaven and religion.
Its name originates from a Sanskrit word (sauritatna) and it has been worshiped for thousands of years.
In Greece it was named hyakinthos after the blue iris, and was worn by priests to show their link with heaven. In the early thirteenth century a papal bull issued by Innocent III advised prelates to wear a sapphire on their right hand to symbolize the divine light they transmitted in their blessings.The intensity of a sapphire’s blue is determined by the amount of titanium oxide it contains.
Some of the finest specimens originate from Kashmir (a bright velvety blue), Burma (deep blue with a touch of indigo) and Sri Lanka, where two thirds of sapphires are mined and which vary from cornflower blue to sky blue with a hint of mauve.
Cartier has left its mark on the history of the sapphire thanks to the jeweler’s most loyal customers.
In 1949 Cartier created the legendary “panther” brooch, depicting a panther whose spotted coat is made from diamonds and one hundred and six sapphires atop a magnificent cabochon Kashmir sapphire weighing 152.35 carats.
Two years later, again for the Duchess of Windsor, Cartier mounted a 206.82 carat sapphire as a pendant.
The sapphire reveals the full extent of its beauty in daylight, and is dulled by electric light. It is said to protect travelers.Aluminum oxide. Hardness: 9. Birthstone of the month of September. Its planet is Jupiter. Symbol of serenity. Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Madagascar, Tanzania, United States, Australia, India, Brazil.