Sapphire is a stunning blue stone known for its beauty and exotic color. Historically, the stone is said to represent nobility, truth and sincerity. Keeping with tradition, sapphire is the truest blue. In fact, the breathtaking blue of sapphire is what all other blue gemstones are measured against.

The history of sapphires is long and nuanced. Some historians believe that the Ten Commandments were made from sapphire. In addition, ancient Persians believed that the blue sky is caused by the reflection of a giant sapphire upon which the earth rests.

The word “sapphire” is believed to originate from the Greek word “sappheiros” which is most likely a reference to the blue stone, lapis lazuli. Although “sapphire” is commonly used to refer to blue, it is interesting to note that there are actually other colors of sapphire. Most notably, sapphire can also come in an orangey-pink, called Padparascha. However, the deep blue of the most commonly known sapphire is what has been remembered throughout history—primarily in association with royalty.

The tradition of sapphire as a royal color has carried through the centuries. Both Princess Diana and Her Royal Highness Kate, received sapphire engagement rings. In addition, the British Crown Jewels are full of stunning blue sapphires. However, royal families are not the only ones to recognize sapphire’s brilliance. Sapphire is part of the four precious gemstones along with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds.

Today, most sapphires come from Australia, Madagascar, China and even the United States. According to Moh’s scale of hardness, which was devised by German mineralogist Friedrich Moh in 1812, sapphires rank a nine out of ten. Second only to diamonds in hardness, sapphires are incredibly hard to damage or scratch. However, it is still possible to do so. As with all gemstone jewelry, be sure to store sapphire pieces separately from other jewelry in order to avoid scratching. To clean sapphire jewelry, warm soapy water is safe and should remove any residue or dust.

Although sapphire is known for being the “royal gem,” it is truly a stone for any occasion. Next time you’re looking to shine, be sure to opt for the stunning blue of sapphire.