the Russian Grand Duke Sergius was assassinated (March 6th, 1905),
among the articles found ore the scene of his assassination was a
curious stone, perfectly black in colour, which, on examination,,
proved to be a large Sapphire, from a ring worn by the-Grand Duke. It
was supposed to have lost its colour through the effects of flame from
The Hebrew name for this gem is " Sapphir " ; the-Chaldaic, " Sapirinon " ; the Greek, " Xaffiros " ; the-Latin, " Sapphirus."
the Sapphire has been ascribed the magical properties of preventing
wicked, and impure thoughts ; whilst being such an enemy to poison,
that if put into-a glass with a spider, or venomous reptile, it kills
the-same. Saint Jerome, in his exposition of Isaiah, chapter xxx.,
says, that " the Sapphire procures favour with princes, pacifies
enemies, and gives freedom from enchantment, or captivity." In
classical times this gem was sacred to Apollo, and was worn when
enquiring of the Oracle at his shrine. It was esteemed as a remedy
against fevers ; whence arose the old distich :—
" Corporis ardorem refrigerat interiorem Sapphirus, et Cypriae languida vota facit."
tells that, on account of its attachment to chastity, it was formerly
worn by priests. This Stone is frequently mentioned in the Bible as
being of great value, and exquisite beauty. "The superstitious assigned
thereto the virtue of preserving the sight,, and invigorating the body
as well as the soul."
One precious stone," says Mr. Streeter, " is notorious-more than all
for its beneficent, kindly influence. It is the great rival of the
Diamond ; it is the Sapphire, of that indescribably beautiful blue of