The Sapphire Saga
The oldest sapphire legends come from eons ago when ancient beholders of the gemstone’s celestial blue believed it held intrinsic powers of harmony, peace, and healing.
But in time, this treasured jewel spawned a profit-hungry industry—in some areas, at the expense of the ecosystems that formed around the geological landscape in which these beautiful stones were created. As a result, sapphire mining has affected the planet in irreversible ways, most recently (and most seriously) with mining taking place in Madagascar. As miners tear through environmentally protected lands, they destroy the surrounding forests—and endanger the animals inhabiting it.
In particular, lemurs bear the brunt of the consequences from Madagascar’s “sapphire rush.” They now risk extinction as their habitats shrink and the bushmeat trade grows from a surge of miners hoping to strike it rich among recently discovered sapphire deposits. But despite repeated calls for help from Conservation International, it seems that Madagascar’s sapphire fever continues on heartily, threatening vegetation and wildlife in its wake.
The Solution? Responsible Sourcing
Here at Christopher Taylor Timberlake Fine Art Jewelry, we find it heartbreaking that the sapphire—Chris’s birthstone and a gem we hold so dear and of such richly storied lore—has caused so much ruin.
Gems should honor the planet. We celebrate the scarcity and the beauty of these natural minerals that surround and inspire us every day. That’s exactly why we strive to sell jewels that are sourced responsibly. That means we use our knowledge to pay attention to every stone’s supply chain—where they come from and how they were mined. Protecting vegetation and wildlife is paramount, and we have made it our goal, for our community and ourselves, to utilize material that is taken from the earth with the least damage possible. It is a spirit we prize most in the creation of our jewelry and we do it for our customers, our community and ourselves. This is why we source the majority of our sapphires from Montana.
So whether you’re considering a sapphire for a September birthstone gift, or a sapphire engagement ring, you won’t need to ask us why your gem’s genesis matters, because you know it does. We can’t promise it’ll bring healing or harmony, as old legends say—but we can promise it’ll honor the planet and leave room for the natural world to remain abundant.