Gemstone History and Properties
Rubies and sapphires are composed from oxidized aluminium that became glasslike and transparent under immense heat and pressure. This crystalline material is known as corundum and is quute hard (9 on the mohs scale), and relatively resilient to heat, shock and chemicals. The difference between rubies and sapphires is in their color, with mist shades of red considered rubies and every other color as sapphires.
When it comes to Hindu gem therapy, each color of sapphire is assigned a different planetary association: blue and purple sapphires are considered Saturn’s gemstones, yellow and orange ones are Jupiter’s, green ones Mercury’s and pale and white ones are assigned to Venus.
The Blue Sapphire has been blessed not only with a rich history but also with a myriad of myths and legends. While the name “Sapphire” originates from the bible, the gemstone referred to by that name was most likely Lapis Lazuli, which has an intense blue color just like the modern day Blue Sapphire.
The magnificent color of the blue sapphire made it a popular gem not just amongst kings and emperors who often placed it in their crowns, but also among scholars and the clergy who saw it as a symbol of piety and wisdom.
Legendary properties and historical uses
In the west the blue sapphire appeared during the Roman era, replacing the lapis lazuli which was the favorite blue stone up to that point. Just like with the lapis, the deep blue color of the sapphire was thought to signify intelligence, deep thoughts and great spirituality.
The main power attributed to the blue sapphire was its ability to confer great wisdom upon its owner and give him good judgement, and this made the blue sapphire extremely popular with kings and high ranking officials.
There are also plenty if legends emphasizing that power. One of them states that the ring of Solomon contained a blue sapphire. In another it was hanging in a pendant on the neck of Abraham and gave him knowledge of astrology. And a third legend even states that the Ten Commandments themselves were written on blue sapphire slabs.
The numerous religious connections coupled with the belief that the blue sapphire conferred piety and guarded a person from temptations, made it a popular talisman for monks and clergymen who have dedicated their lives to their faith. The sapphires were also viewed as an aid to better understand the workings of god and to discover divine truths and revelations.
Some of the medicinal properties ascribed to blue sapphires included the ability to confer peace and tranquility along with a deep and peaceful sleep. It was also said that the sapphire can improve concentration and learning abilities, which made it very popular in Judaism as an aid for Torah studies. It was also said that the blue sapphire could subdue desires, cure addictions and subdue the appetite, thus assisting with fasting.
While never a symbol of love in and of itself, the blue sapphire was often used in wedding rings as a guardian of fidelity. It was also used on occasion as a symbol of virginity or celibacy.
In the middle ages, a talisman containing a large blue sapphire set on top of pieces of the true cross was constructed for Charlemagne as a gift by Caliph Harun al Rashid.
The stone according to Hindu belief
In Hindu belief certain gemstones are connected to certain planetary deities, and these gemstones are able to transmit the energies associated with these deities to a person wearing them, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of those energies in the process.
According to Hindu belief, the Blue Sapphire is a representation of the energy of Saturn, the god Shani, on earth. The god Shani, who physically manifests as Saturn, is considered the god of time, law and order, the lord of karma, the one making sure everyone gets what the deserve, as well as the god of humility.
His position in the Hindu pantheon gives a very important meaning to the astrological effects of Saturn in a person’s chart. According to vedic astrology, Saturn signifies limits and limitations, work and labour, self-control and clear thinking.
According to vedic astrology, a blue Sapphire is suitable for a person if Saturn is well positioned in his natal chart, and is especially recommend if its placement is weak as that is an indicator for hardships and suffering or for loss of self control. If however Saturn’s position is harmful, the use of blue sapphires is considered extremely dangerous, with the potential to quickly ruin a person’s life and even bring about his death.
Among the properties ascribed to a blue sapphire when it suits a person, are the ability to significantly improve every area of his life, as it is said to remove barriers and obstacles. In addition, it is said that the blue sapphire helps to improve sleep, alleviate aggression problems, and improve the Persons judgement and learning ability.
If however, the blue sapphire proves unsuitable it is said to be the most dangerous of gemstones, with the 7 day testing period being practically mandatory. In extreme cases it is said to induce hardships, loss, delays, chronic problems and diseases and even bring about death.
According to Hindu belief, if one wishes to gain the blessing of Saturn, he should wear an eye clean blue sapphire that is set in jewellery made of one of the following metals: steel, silver or white gold. The jewellery has to be made in such a way that the stone will be in contact with the skin, hence earrings are unsuitable. If the stone is set in a ring, the ring must be worn on the middle finger of the right hand for right handed people or the left for left handed people and women.
Before wearing such a talisman for the first time, it must be washed in fresh milk and afterwards washed again in Ganges water (or any other holy water). The talisman must be worn for the first time on a Saturday falling close to the full moon, in the first hour after sunrise.
Aside from the blue sapphire, several secondary gemstones are also associated with Saturn: Siberian Amethyst, Iolite and Lapis Lazuli.
Personal experience – Blue Sapphire
After years of experience with gemstones both as a therapist and a patient, it became clear that every gemstone type has certain effects typical of this stone which can both assist in selecting the right gemstone and in identifying side effects due to unsuitable gemstone type or size.
In my experience the blue sapphire has a calming and focusing effect. Among the positive effects observed were improvements in concentration and memory, increase in endurance and willpower, calmer sleep, lower blood pressure and loss of weight.
In cases of incompatibility and excess, the side effects observed included severe weakness and decrease in energy levels, low blood pressure, conflicts and misunderstandings, fear and anxiety, phobias and panic attacks.
Please note that the more profound effects mentioned were only observed after prolonged use of the stone.