_ The sapphire is the symbol of the heavens, bestower of innocence, truth, good health, and preserver of chastity. Sapphire is part of the variety corundum. While it is known best for the blue variety it is available in nature in almost every color. The red variety of corundum is the ruby. The sapphire's hardness, brilliance, and availability in so many beautiful colors make it an important and versatile gemstone.
The finest sapphires are considered to be the blue variety, specifically those from Burma and Kashmir, which are the closest to the pure spectral blue. Many of the current sapphires used in jewelry today are very dark but can be treated to lighten the color for better beauty. Sapphires from Ceylon are more pastel looking than the deep rich color of Burmese and Kashmir sapphires.
Blue sapphires are also mined in Australia, Tanzania, Brazil, Africa, and the U.S. in Montana and North Carolina. Blue sapphires are found in a translucent variety that may show a six-rayed star effect when cut in cabochon style. These are known as star sapphires and there are numerous synthetic star sapphires on the market. Fancy sapphires are becoming increasingly popular in colors of yellow, pink and green.