Commonly, natural sapphires are cut and polished into gemstones and worn in jewellery. They also may be created synthetically in laboratories for industrial or decorative purposes in large crystal boules. Because of the remarkable hardness of sapphires – 9 on the Mohs scale (the third hardest mineral, after diamond at 10 and moissanite at 9.5) – sapphires are also used in some non-ornamental applications, including infrared optical components, such as in scientific instruments; high-durability windows; wristwatch crystals and movement bearings; and very thin electronic wafers, which are used as the insulating substrates of very special-purpose solid-state electronics (especially integrated circuits and GaN-based LEDs).
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries. Here's the perfect gift for such an anniversary: A sapphire and diamond bracelet set in white gold ;-)
This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme.