Orange sapphire is a beautiful and unique gemstone associated with the month of September. Sapphires come in a range of colors, from the traditional blue to yellow, pink, green, and orange. Orange sapphire is one of the rarer and more desirable colors of sapphire. It is not a traditional birthstone, but its vivid color makes it a great alternative birthstone for September.
The traditional birthstones for September are sapphire and lapis lazuli. Sapphire is the gem form of the mineral corundum and comes in every color except red, which is classified as ruby. Blue is the most famous and popular sapphire hue, but orange sapphires provide a warm and fiery look. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color. It often contains white calcite veins that create interesting patterns.
What is an Alternative Birthstone?
An alternative birthstone refers to a gemstone that is different from the traditional birthstone associated with a month. Alternative gems provide more options and variety. For example, spinel is considered an alternative birthstone for August. While peridot remains the classic August birthstone, spinel’s range of red, pink, orange, and purple colors offers people born in August more choices.
Alternative gems can also refer to birthstones from other calendars. Various cultures and historical time periods have created their own birthstone systems that differ from the main modern Western calendar. These diverse gem associations provide more opportunities to find a meaningful birthstone.
Orange Sapphire as September Birthstone
While sapphire and lapis lazuli remain the primary gems for September, orange sapphire stands out as an appealing alternative. Its bright orange color has an energizing warmth perfect for the beginning of autumn. Orange is also one of September’s birth flower colors, along with blue and purple, further connecting orange sapphire to this month.
The vivid orange hue comes from trace impurities of chromium within the corundum’s crystal structure. Sapphires form in a variety of geological environments, including in basalt lava flows and ancient river bed gravels. They are found in countries like Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United States. Quality orange sapphires are relatively rare compared to other colors.
Symbolic Meanings of Orange Sapphire
Beyond its attribution as a September alternative birthstone, orange sapphire carries additional symbolic meaning:
- Energy and Vitality – Its bright orange color conveys a sense of vigor, excitement, and joy.
- Creativity and Passion – Orange is associated with artistic pursuits, innovation, and zeal.
- Warmth and Abundance – In color psychology, orange represents the warmth of fire and sunlight. It’s connected to prosperity.
- Wisdom and Intellect – Historically, orange was a color of mental enlightenment and spiritual knowledge.
With its mix of passion and mental clarity, orange sapphire makes a thoughtful gift for students, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.
Orange Sapphire Engagement Rings
While orange sapphire is not as common as a blue sapphire engagement ring, it can make a unique and striking option. An orange sapphire evokes feelings of joy, creativity, and meaning. It pairs especially well with diamonds, which refract orange hues into rainbow flashes of light. Sapphires also have excellent durability for daily wear.
For a September birthday or 9th anniversary, consider proposing with an extraordinary orange sapphire ring to celebrate your loved one’s spirit. An orange sapphire can also work nicely as a nontraditional option for other important dates throughout the year.
Caring for an Orange Sapphire Ring
Proper care is important for any fine gemstone jewelry. Follow these tips to keep an orange sapphire ring looking its best:
- Take the ring off before strenuous activity. Sapphires are durable but still vulnerable to hard knocks and blows.
- Store in a fabric-lined box or soft pouch separately from other jewelry to avoid scratches.
- Clean with warm water and mild dish soap using a soft brush as needed.
- Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and acid, which can erode sapphire.
- Schedule occasional professional cleanings to keep the setting secure and gemstone lustrous.
With some basic care, an orange sapphire ring will glow brightly for many years. The September alternative birthstone’s energy and vibrance will uplift the wearer daily.
How to Buy an Orange Sapphire
Here are some tips for selecting a quality orange sapphire:
- Look for a reputable jeweler that sources responsibly mined gems.
- Inspect the stone’s color and clarity in different lighting. Hues range from light peach to deep burnt orange.
- High clarity grades are rare and pricier but indicate exceptional transparency.
- Well-cut sapphires have precise faceting that optimizes color and sparkle.
- Pick a durable precious metal setting like platinum or 18k gold.
- Request a lab report from GIA or AGL to verify the gem’s quality.
Beauty, durability, and rarity determine the value of an orange sapphire. With quality assessment and care, orange sapphires can be an outstanding jewelry investment.
Orange Sapphire Value
Like all colored gems, many factors affect the value of an orange sapphire:
- Carat Weight – Larger orange sapphires over 5 carats are exceptionally rare and valuable.
- Clarity Grade – Inclusions are common but less visible in darker orange hues.
- Cut Quality – Precision faceting enhances an orange sapphire’s fire and brilliance.
- Color Saturation – Vivid, pure orange commands the highest prices per carat.
- Source and Treatment – Untreated natural gems have higher value than treated stones.
According to the International Gem Society, average pricing for untreated orange sapphires is around $2,000 to $3,000 per carat. Exceptional gems with vivid color and good clarity can cost over $5,000 per carat. Large carat sizes above 5 carats are usually over $10,000 per carat.
In comparison, blue sapphire averages $1,000 per carat while yellow and pink sapphire is $700 to $1,000 per carat. This makes desirable orange sapphires an important investment gem.
Comparison of September Birthstones
Here is a table comparing the traditional and alternative September birthstones:
|Sapphire||Blue, orange, yellow, pink, purple||9||Wisdom, loyalty, spirituality|
|Lapis Lazuli||Deep blue with white flecks||5 – 6||Friendship, truth, intuition|
|Orange Sapphire||Vivid orange||9||Energy, creativity, passion|
This table shows how orange sapphire differs from traditional September gems in its bright color and meanings while sharing sapphire’s durability. It provides an appealing birthstone alternative for the month.
Orange sapphire’s vibrant beauty makes it a distinctive choice for September’s alternative birthstone. Its orange hue reflects the warmth of early fall and is perfectly suited for this transitional month. While not as common as blue sapphire, fine quality orange sapphires with vivid clarity and color are treasures that will maintain value. Their unique fiery sparkle evokes creativity, passion, joy, and intellect. For someone looking for a special September gem, orange sapphire is an optimal choice.