Sunday, 1 September 2013

Birthstone Unicorns - Sapphire

The last days of summer are upon us as we enter September and its back to work for me this coming week. I have enjoyed the last few weeks. It started with a trip to London and ended with a holiday in Turkey, in between was filled with family, friends and some writing. Even the British weather has treated us well, with plenty of sunshine.

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.
Finally, the verse from the Gregorian poem (original author unknown) reads;

"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.'





20 comments:

  1. If I could afford it, I'd set a ring of sapphires around our house against the snakes. (Spiders I'm all right with.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't do spiders, especially the big ones!

      Delete
  2. A new way to keep the snakes at bay

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Suzanne,

    Ah sapphire and my gangsta dawg could use a bit more bling :) September, a memorable month and an upcoming birthday for your daughter.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gary and Snoop Bloggy Dog! You can't have too much bling!

      Delete
  4. Sapphires are beautiful. I love the meanings and background you give us on each of these stones. It's so interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie they are interesting to research too, I always learn something new.

      Delete
  5. Yes, I love all the old stories and legends too. My favourite is the adultery one, which makes me wonder whether precious stones really CAN darken over time - that would've caused no end of trouble! It also makes me smile that in the old days a man's job description was 'Warrior'.
    Fab to have you back, Suzanne xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, I expect some of them would still like to be known as 'Warrior!' Good to be back, time to get back to reality (or as close as my life gets to reality, excuse me a sec, think there's an elf at the door!) xx

      Delete
  6. Fascinating. I LOVE all this stuff, the historical background. It's details like these that make me itch to lose myself in research. Gosh, wouldn't it be a blast to be a historian?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy Birthday to your daughter! 18, what a milestone. My girl will be 13 in December and I'm still wondering where the time has gone...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Suzanne .. happy birthday to your daughter, I have an honorary godson who is 18 later this month too ..

    I love the colour of sapphires and I'd certainly own a few if I could afford them!!!

    Love the historical take ..especially St Edward's Sapphire .. while the Gregorian poem is quite a wonderful read ..

    Cheers and enjoy this late Indian Summer weather we're having .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful weather isn't it? Sapphires are one of the classics.

      Delete
  9. I knew about the Medieval Kings, but not about the snakes. Happy Birthday to your daughter. It was my grandson's 2 birthday yesterday, and his dad is coming up on the 16th. I kind of remember turning 18. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

    I love sapphires. They have such a beautiful color!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading your comments, thank you for taking the time to visit and interact but please note I have disabled anonymous comments due to too much spam!