The Royal Sapphire: King of All Blue Stones

A Symbol of Integrity and Wisdom

Duchess of Cambridge wearing sapphire ring
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

The mysterious deep-blue royal sapphire has been a source of fascination and inspiration for humanity for at least as long as there are records of its existence. The word sapphire comes from the Greek word sappheiros meaning "blue color." It is one of the four precious gemstones, along with   diamond, ruby, and the emerald. Technically, sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum, a form of aluminum oxide. Although it is typically blue, it can also be found in all colors except red. The color red, though, is amply represented by a close cousin of sapphire, the ruby—another form of corundum.

It is the royal sapphire, though, with its mesmerizing deep-blue hue, that occupies a unique role in the imagination of kings and emperors, fortune-hunters and fortune-tellers, romantic lovers and new-age healers. Second only to the diamond in its strength (it rates 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness), the sapphire's indestructible nature is perhaps one of the reasons for its mystical importance. 

A Symbol of Energy and Healing

While its rareness, color, and hardness is what makes sapphire so valuable as a gemstone, for alternative healers and others who study and collect crystals, the appeal of sapphire lies in its energy and healing properties. Blue sapphire is regarded as a stone of mental focus and order, inner vision and psychic awareness. In chakra theory, sapphire is said to help open the third eye to receive wisdom and insight, as well as the throat chakra, which allows you to communicate that vision to others.

In its healing uses, sapphire is sometimes compared to lapis lazuli, as both stones evoke the power of the deeply mysterious blue colour. In fact, the mineral referred to in the Bible as sapphire was very likely lapis lazuli. Unlike lapis lazuli, though, the sapphire stone has a brilliance and clarity of depth that seems to extend its illumination down into the soul of anyone who studies it. 

Associated with deep spirituality and devotion, sapphire is thought to bring peace and contentment to one's soul, as well as trust in the fulfillment of his or her destiny.

For new age enthusiasts and alternative healers, here are some additional properties attributed to the  sapphire:

  • Protect from negative energy 
  • Attract financial abundance
  • Promote mental clarity
  • Evoke the feelings of devotion
  • Strengthen integrity and intuition
  • Clear depression
  • Help eyesight
  • Bestow wisdom

Other Uses for Sapphire

Because it evokes the energy of loyalty, honesty, and devotion, the sapphire is often used in the design of engagement rings and romantic jewelry. Some of the most famous sapphire engagement rings belonged to the late Princess Diana, the actress Penelope Cruz, and supermodel/actress Elizabeth Hurley. Move star Joan Crawford owned several huge sapphires of 70 carats or larger, and Elizabeth Taylor was given a large sapphire ring by one of her husbands. According to legend, Helen of Troy owned a magnificent star sapphire, and Napolean gave a seven-piece jewelry set featuring 29 sapphires to his wife Josephine. 

The beautiful sapphire represents the month of September and is the birthstone of the astrological signs of both Taurus and Virgo. Sapphire is also the birthstone of the Chinese zodiac sign of Tiger and is said to represent the energy of two days of the week—Thursday and Saturday.

Buying Tips

For the gem trade, most of the high-quality sapphires available on the market today come from Australia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, China, and the U.S. Sapphires tend to be quite expensive in cut and polished gemstone form, but jewelry using raw, untreated sapphires may be available at reasonable prices—perfect for enjoying the energetic, healing properties of this magnificent crystal.