September is here—and, along with it, the Sapphire birthstone!
Sapphires are one of the four "cardinal" gemstones. And, while it can come in a variety of colors (or be bi-colored), it is best known for its deep, pure, saturated blue coloration. It is a variety of the "Corundum" family and achieves its heavenly blue coloration from the presence of aluminum oxide in the stone. A red sapphire is called a ruby.
From the Middle Ages, sapphires have symbolized loyalty and trust; people would wear sapphires as a talisman to protect against danger or other harm. Italian superstition tells us that sapphires will protect the wearer from eye disease and melancholy. Besides being September's birthstone, a 45th wedding anniversary is called the "Sapphire Anniversary" and Queen Elizabeth celebrated her "Sapphire Jubilee" (65 years) in 2017.
This German Modernist vase, made by master ceramicist Wendlin Stahl, has a crystalline sapphire blue underglaze. While no sapphire was used in the finish, perhaps aluminum oxide found its way into the glaze. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248