This month’s blog will feature three gemstones— Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite, along with traditions behind the September and Virgo birthstones.
When we think of Sapphires, we tend to picture a brilliant blue gem. The ancients considered it a stone of royalty and oracles. It was believed to help the wearer have a more peaceful spirit and deep insights. Sapphires are in the Corundum family with rubies and rate an ‘8’ on the Mohs Hardness scale, which makes them well-suited to jewelry. However, we should note that Sapphires naturally come in a wide range of colors in addition to blue. I put together the necklace shown on the left in the photo to showcase a variety of Sapphire colors.
Next let’s explore Lapis Lazuli, another deep blue stone. (I designed the necklace in the center of the photo using Lapis, Coral and a Tibetan pendant.) It has an ancient history, and some historians believe that the word “sapphire” was actually used at times to describe Lapis. Evidence indicates that it has been mined and prized for at least 9.000 years. Lapis was common in Egyptian and Asian jewelry and was mentioned in the Bible. Throughout the millennia, people believed this royal stone helped elevate their spirit, intellect, insights and helped them be at peace. (Are you starting to see a pattern?) This blue stone is usually flecked with gold-colored pyrite and is a 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, making it less resilient for every day jewelry.
While there are some other beautiful dark blue stones, such as Iolite, we will only describe one more in this post … Sodalite. This deep blue stone is sometimes confused with Lapis, but it can easy be distinguished by the white deposits and the lack of pyrite flecks. I showcased a Sodalite necklace on the right side of the photo with the star. It is about the same hardness as Lapis and has much the same folklore. The two stones were likely used interchangeably. But of the three stones, it is the most common and least expensive.
Sapphire, Lapis and Sodalite were all considered “wisdom” stones by many cultures and were were worn as talismans to enhance guidance and knowledge. I don’t believe it’s an accident that the Third Eye Chakra is also represented by the color deep blue. This Charka’s location is believed to be the energy center of our intellect, intuition and inner guidance.
Now let’s see how this ties in with September and the story of Virgo (August 22-September 23) as once again we see intellectual qualities appear. The Virgo personality is often thought to be logical and level-headed and always looking for ways to improve things. Virgos are often teachers and organizers, but sometimes this drive can lead to perfectionism and stress. It seems fitting that Virgos are associated with the beautiful Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite representing balance, peace and insight.