as this gem unquestionably is, it probably derives no little
enhancement of interest from the exalted character of the comparison
with which it is associated in the Sacred Volume. · The Prophet of the
great captivity compares "the appearance of the likeness of a throne"
in the firmament above the cherubim to a " Sapphire Stone ;" and
generally it may be affirmed that around no Precious Stone can be
grouped more imposing allegories and properties than have been
associated with the Sapphire.
to quite modern times the Sapphire was regarded as a charm or a
medicine, and very extraordinary powers were attributed to it. It was
dedicated by the Greeks to Apollo, because, when consulting his oracle,
they thought that the possession of this gem, from its heavenly nature,
would secure them an early and favourable answer.
ancient writers, Solinus refers to several characteristics of our
Sapphire, especially its blue colour and its extreme hardness. The
Sapphire is, in fact, only a variety of Corundum, or crystallized
alumina ; and much, therefore, that was said under the head of Ruby,
will apply to the Sapphire.
characteristic colour of the Sapphire is a clear blue, like that of the
" corn-flower," and the more velvety its appearance, the greater its
value. Some Sapphires retain their colour by gas light, while others
become dark, and