Sapphires and rubies both belong to the mineral family Corundum. The makeup of both these gems are identical, however certain conditions during formation can alter the colors of sapphire. So, while they both have different names, rubies are just red sapphires!
This rare and beautiful kind of sapphire is one of the most sought after colors. As shown below, padparadscha sapphires display a "sunset sky" effect, with a pink-orange hue.
Image courtesy of gia.edu
Referring to the lovely pink flowers held in high esteem by Buddhists, lotus flowers symbolize divine purity and beauty.
The Mohs scale is used to rate minerals hardness. On the scale, sapphires are rated a 9. Diamonds are rated a 10, meaning that the only natural item that can scratch a sapphire is a diamond. This means that while not as durable as diamonds, sapphires are a safe choice for rings, as they are less susceptible to damage than a soft stone such as an opal, which is ranked at a 3 on the Mohs scale.
The history of sapphire engagement rings is rich and storied, with the first rings being popularized when in 1215, Pope Innocent III mandated that a sapphire would fade or change color if worn by an "impure" person. Sapphire rings were given to a woman to wear during the required 'engagement' period so they could watch the sapphire and ensure it had not faded or changed.
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