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Over centuries, the sapphire has been considered a stone of royalty, a conduit for divination and a vessel for powerful celestial energies. From ancient Greece to medieval European kingdoms, the various lores and legends surrounding the gemstone have fascinated humans for centuries.
There was a point when the ancient Persians believed that the skies were blue because the Earth was sitting on top of a massive sapphire gem. It was believed that the appearance of the sky was a reflection of the heavens through the crystal that held the world upright. The sapphire was highly valued by the ancient Persians as they believed that this gem from the heavens could also serve as a protective talisman to ward off evil.
In ancient Greece and Rome, sapphires were not only prized and revered for their regal hues, but they were also believed to have the ability to avert possible harm caused by others towards their owners, keeping them safe in their positions of power.
In medieval Europe, sapphires were thought to have been the stones that were used to inscribe the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus, as they were known as the stones of truth and chastity. Many priests wore rings with sapphires to remind them of the promises of heaven and to remain steadfast in truth and their faith.
There is, however, some debate and confusion regarding the origin of sapphire. Biblical texts mentioned that sapphires were used in the foundation to build Jerusalem, although many wonder if the stone might have been Lapis Lazuli instead. The ancient Greeks have also been said to take sapphires with them into the temple of Delphi to open their divine connection to the gods, but there seems to be conclusive texts stating that sapphires were first discovered and mined in Sri Lanka. It was not until 500 B.C. that conquering Buddhists from northern India spotted the gems in the Sri Lankan rivers and started setting them in jewellery to sell. Sapphire production sites then began to spring up in other regions of the world, from Kashmir Pakistan, to Burma, and even later on during the American gold rush in Montana.
Since they were first discovered, sapphires have been cultivated and crafted into various shapes and sizes. Today, they can be found on display in museums and are used extensively in fine jewellery.