Today most think of sapphires as September's birthstone. If you have a loved one with a September birthday, you may give that person sapphire jewelry, and, of course, if you were born in September, you may have received sapphire jewelry. However, sapphire is not only a birthstone; sapphires have been adored and adorned for centuries and across cultures for a whole variety of reasons.
In the West, because of its blue tone, the sapphire was always associated with the gods and with heaven. Ancient Romans wore sapphire necklaces because they believed owning sapphire curried favor with the gods. In the Middle Ages, Christian leaders wore sapphire rings to show their authority and connection to heaven. Christian laymen also wore sapphire jewelry because they believed they would experience more blessings.
In the East, sapphires are one of the most frequently used stones for decorating shrines. Some Buddhists believe holding sapphires can increase the holder's ability to pray. It is also believed that if the one who wears sapphire jewelry leads a moral life, the sapphire will help him or her achieve peace and happiness. Additionally, one of the rarest naturally occurring sapphires, the padparadscha sapphire, is found in the East. The name of this sapphire comes from the Sanskrit for “lotus” and “color”, because its salmon color looks like the lotus flower.