A 9 on the Moh's Hardness Scale, it's name translated from Greek meaning 'blue stone', the mystical sapphire is a regal alternative to a diamond as your engagement ring. Hard as hammers, these stones come in white and all colors except red (that would be a ruby), the most common being the eponymous blue sapphire, and my personal favorite the violet hue. Sapphires are rock forming minerals known as Corundum.
Akin to their diamond, emerald, ruby friends these stones are one of the four precious, and their value, for a natural stone, is directly related to size, color, clarity and cut but, unlike diamonds, also geographical region. Significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka (Ceylon Sapphire), Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America. The most prized are from Kashmir as this regions produce unique colors, like violet and cornflower blue, that are the most expensive of all sapphires.