Sapphire: Although sapphire means blue in Latin, sapphires can be found in a rainbow of colors. Kings once believed these stones offered protection form harm and envy. Sapphires are calm and relaxing. Until the discovery of extraordinary stones in Kashmir in 1880, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) was the standard bearer of sapphire. The Kashmir supply was essentially exhausted by 1930, leaving Sri Lanka as the location of the most beautiful sapphires. In the 1990's Southern Madagascar became one of the top sources of good to fine quality sapphires. Sapphires are also mined in the US (Montana), Australia, Thailand, Cambodia and Northern Madagascar, however these locations don't produce as fine a sapphire and are mainly used to supply "commercial grade" sapphires to the industry. Sapphires come other colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink. Colors other than blue are referred to as "fancy sapphires". Sapphire is the traditional gift for the fifth and forty-fifth wedding anniversaries and the birthstone for September. Care of Sapphires: Since sapphires are tough and durable, they can withstand most cleaning methods. While steaming and ultrasonic cleaning will not damage the gemstone, these methods are not recommended by MJS as they may loosen the setting, and subsequently, stones may fall out. Your sapphire jewelry may be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush or a cloth with plain or soapy water. Sapphires must not be put in boiling hot water. Avoid exposure to hairspray, perfume and chlorine, which can dull gemstones.
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