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Symbolism of Sapphire

Apparently, despite the rise to prominence of the diamond, since their discovery in the 19th century, as ‘the’ stone for an engagement ring, more classic and history-filled gems continue to hold a comfortable place in the market diamonds dominate. Emerald and sapphire engagement rings, for example, continue to have their audience, even if it is hardly as widespread as a diamond’s.

Millie suggested that the explanation for these stones’ continued success might have to do with more specific reasons than those fuelling the rise of the diamond. While the latter stone’s appeal does not go much beyond ‘shiny and expensive’, gems such as sapphires and emeralds have an entire historical and symbolic background on which to fall. As such, choosing from ruby or sapphire engagement rings is likely to be done so for different reasons than those opting for diamond rings of the same type. In the case of the sapphire, this preference might have a lot to do with the symbolism of the stone, even as much or more as with its visual appeal.

In the colour palette of precious gemstones, sapphire is the ‘blue stone’, a fact made clear by its name, which is translated precisely from the Latin word for blue. Usually a rich, deep colour, its seemingly fitting meaning is naturally linked to Heaven, with the gem believed to help preserve innocence and purity, as well as to give good health, protect the wearer from envy and harm and symbolise truth. Not an altogether unenviable set of characteristics for an engagement ring stone!

But aside from what it represents or says about its wearer, the sapphire has a deeper, more majestic meaning. The stone is believed by some cultures to be the foundation upon which Earth is built, explaining the planet’s primarily blue colouration as well as the blue hue of the daytime sky.

Historically, sapphire engagement rings have been popular since the Middle Ages, for representing the qualities required in a healthy relationship, such as trust, loyalty, reliability and faithfulness. This also makes them popular presents among friends, lovers or married couples, as the gift of a sapphire represents sincerity, faithfulness, and the hope of a long and solid relationship.