Sapphire's name is derived from the Greek word "sappheiros", or "blue stone". Sapphires come in at a 9 on the Moh scale, which means they are very hard. Sapphire's gorgeous primary blue hue can be helped or hindered by certain secondary hues. For example, if sapphire's secondary hue is green, the stone will appear less blue. If its secondary hue is violet, the sapphire will appear more blue. The more blue the sapphire appears, the greater its value.
When most think of sapphire, they think of blue and, in fact, when most jewelers refer to sapphires, they are referring to the blue stone. But sapphires also occur naturally in a number of other primary hues, including orange, pink, and even colorless. These sapphires' values are judged on the clarity and intensity of its respective primary hue.
Along with naturally occurring sapphires, synthetic sapphires can also be produced. But rather than being used in sapphire jewelry, they are used for other purposes. Because of their extreme hardness, synthetic sapphire is used to make such things as windshields for armored trucks. And because of their high resistance to heat, synthetic sapphire is also produced for machines which use lasers for various kinds of surgery.
In regards to natural sapphires, because sapphire is September's birthstone, sapphire necklaces and sapphire earrings are the perfect present for any loved one or close friend with a September birthday. The hardness of natural sapphires has also given it associations with fidelity and, because of this, some now use sapphire rings as engagement rings.