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SEPTEMBER BIRTHSTONE

Sapphire is the modern and traditional gemstone, agate is the mystical, moonstone is the ayurvedic and lapis lazuli, diamond and chrsolite are the alternate gemstones for September.

Egyptians associated the clear sapphire with the eye of Horas. Greeks identified the white sapphire with Apollo and was used by the oracles at Delphi. The stone was used by the Greeks to stimulate the opening of the third eye and to tap into the subconscious and super conscious overmind. Clear sapphires, like diamonds, are the guardians of love. When given to one another it enhances love for each other and tunes your psyches to one another. In the old days, it was used to banish envy and jealousy. It also promotes chastity in virgins and insures fidelity in marriage.

Sacred to the god Apollo, the sapphire was often called the "celestial stone" because of its deep blue color. Religion plays a large role in the lore of the sapphire. It was an ecclesiastical gem, symbolic of purity. To derive the most benefit from this holy stone, therefore, it was necessary to be pure oneself. Sapphires were used to cure all eye ailments, purify the blood, fortify the heart, and relieve flatulence. Mixed with milk, this gem dried up ulcers, boils, and pustules. Sapphire was lethal to venomous insects and reptiles.

Sapphires were believed to have gender: dark stones were designated female, light ones were male. September's birthstone is thought to make its wearers amiable, wise, virtuous, and strong.

Sapphire is the September birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary gem for the 5th and 45th years of marriage. Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colors except red (the red variety being known as ruby), but is especially popular in deep blue. Fancy colored sapphires-including pink, green, orange, and golden yellow are magnificent when combined in a necklace or bracelet.

Prince Charles chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana's engagement ring. The stone's durability, combined with its beauty, makes it the perfect alternative for an engagement ring. Ancient priests and sorcerers honored sapphire above all gems, for this stone enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Ancients believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Marriage partners put great faith in the stone. If its luster dimmed, one knew his or her spouse had been unfaithful. Sapphire refused to shine when worn by the wicked or impure.

As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all blue, yellow and golden sapphires are heated to permanently produce or intensify their color. As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches and sharp blows. Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the U.S.

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