Sapphire - September Birthstone
When you think of Sapphire, romance and royalty comes to your mind. Sapphire has long been prized for the gems intense velvety blue color. Sapphire has always been associated with the color blue, but this corundum (the other corundum is ruby) comes in many other colors. Violet, green, yellow, pink, orange, purple, colorless and part-colored are called fancy colors in Sapphire. All corundum colors except red (Ruby) are called Sapphire. The coloring agents that make a blue Sapphire are iron and titanium. Good quality blue Sapphire color is very light to very dark greenish or violetish blue and all various shades of blue. Whatever is your taste in that shade of blue color. A most sought after and rare Sapphire is a pinkish orange color known as Padparadscha (Lotus Flower.)
There is also a color-change Sapphire, usually a blue to purple color change. A cabochon cut Sapphire showing a 6 rayed star, called Star Sapphire is quite unique.
Some sources where Sapphires are mined are in United States, Ceylon, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam.
Sapphire is very durable in all types of jewelry as it is next to Diamond in hardness. 9 on the Mohs scale.
They say Sapphires can be cleaned in ultra sonic or steam cleaned. I would clean in warm soapy water, better to be safe than sorry.