Blue sapphires, the color of the sky, have long been associated with heaven, divinity and power, explained Corvin.
They hold special meaning in Christianity. Sapphire rings were given to priests back in the day because they were thought to promote chastity and honesty.
The original Ten Commandments were said to be inscribed on sapphire slabs, a substance so hard to break that it was thought only divine intervention could inscribe it.
In Sri Lanka, which was known as Ceylon when it was a British colony, it was considered the best protection against the evil eye.
Star sapphires, meanwhile, were thought to contain a guiding star and ensure safe travel.
Corvin also noted that the sapphire was said to be a remedy for eye troubles, though she wondered if its smooth, cool surface was perhaps the “ancient equivalent of frozen peas.”
Hindu legend identified sapphires by their bittersweet taste. The stronger the taste when licked, the higher the quality.