Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Folklore of Sapphire, September's Birthstone
Ancient civilizations believed that the world was set upon an enormous sapphire, which painted the sky blue with its reflection.
Ancient Persians called sapphire the “Celestial Stone.” It was the gem of Apollo, Greek God of prophesy and was worn by worshipers visiting his shrine in Delphi to seek his help. It was used by ancient Etruscans as far back as the 7th century B.C.
The sapphire was said to represent the 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 these stones for rings and brooches, believing that it protected them from harm and envy. Warriors presented their young wives with sapphire necklaces so they would remain faithful. It was believed that the stone’s color would darken if worn by an adulterer or adulteress, or by an unworthy person.
Sapphires were once believed to be protection against snakes. It was said that if poisonous reptiles and spiders were placed in a jar containing the stone, the creatures would immediately die. The French of the 13th century believed that sapphire transformed stupidity to wisdom, and irritability to good temper. It was also believed that if the sapphire was ground to a powder an ingested, it would cure colic, rheumatism and mental illness, and also improve eyesight.