September's birthstone is the beautiful Sapphire. To celebrate I thought I'd share a few interesting facts and myths about this gem that may be new to you. For example, did you know the ancient Persians believed the earth rested on a giant sapphire whose reflection gave the sky its colour?
A little research produced the following references to sapphires through history and folklore.
- Sapphires were once believed to offer protection against snakes. It was said that if poisonous snakes or spiders were placed in a jar containing a sapphire the creatures would immediately die!
- Ancient Hebrew texts claim that Noah's Ark was illuminated with a giant sapphire used as a window.
- A sapphire is documented to have been placed in the Jewish High Priest's breastplate, the original source of the notion of birthstones.
- Sapphires were said to represent purity of the soul. Before and during the Middle Ages, it was worn by priests as protection from impure thoughts and temptations of the flesh.
- Medieval kings of Europe valued sapphires for rings and brooches believing they protected them from harm and envy.
- Warriors gave their young wives a sapphire necklace so they would remain faithful. It was believed the stone would darken if worn by an adulterer!
- One of the most famous sapphires sits on the Imperial State crown worn by Queen Victoria in 1838. It resides in the Tower of London and is known as the St. Edward's Sapphire because it once belonged to Edward the Confessor, who wore the stone in a ring during his coronation in 1042.
- Sapphires are also the stone to mark a 45th wedding anniversary.
"A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
To bring her joy and peace of mind."
My youngest daughter celebrates her 18th birthday later this month so it is always a special month for me. For those of you also celebrating this month I wish you a very 'Happy Birthday.'