The blue stone sapphire is one of the 5 precious stones- pancharatnas. It is the stone of Saturn-Sani ratna. Neelam, Neelamani, Thruna Grahi and Indra Neela are the Sanskrit names. It is a hard stone like Diamond. Its hardness is 6 and specific gravity is 4.03. Both Ruby and Sapphire are corundum-an Oxide of Aluminum often found together in the same mine, so there is scope for a mixture of colors. Red stones are Rubies and Blue stones with white and purple streaks are known as Sapphire. Rubies are found in Hexagonal prisms and Sapphire in 12 faces prisms. Generally the color of Sapphire is either Sky Blue or Sea Blue or Marine Blue shade. Indraneela is a shining and attractive sapphire and its color resembles the color of the peacock's neck, Maha Neela is also a beautiful and brilliant stone. It spreads its blue rays when it is placed on the ground.

Neelamani is known as Thruna Grahi because it attracts green grass which sticks to the stone, when it is placed on the gem, Sapphire is harder than ruby. The lines on the palm will be visible when real sapphire is placed on those lines. The one which is solid, radiant, smooth and transparent and does not reflect any other color except blue, is good sapphire is dipped in a glass of water and the water is applied to the scorpion bite, it sucks the poison. If a sapphire changes its color, it is a warming to the wearer of an impending danger. The powder (Bhasma) or paste of sapphire is used in Indian medicine as a drug to cure ailments such as epilepsy, lunacy, mental diseases, gout and paints in the joints.

Sapphire are available in Thailand,Rhodesia,Ceylon, Queensland, Australia, Burma, even Kashmir, The best sapphire in Mayura Neelam of Kashmir. Many precious sapphire were found in ancient Kashmir. A sapphire of 651 carats weight was found in the kingdom of Rewa. The Duke of Hampshire had a bright sapphire of 100 carats. There is a small idol of Lard Buddha in the British Museum, carved form a single sapphire.

A test is necessary before wearing sapphire, to know whether it is suitable and whether it is genuine, without any defects. A broken stone causes quarrels always. A luster-less pale and dirty stone may strain relations with others. A creak inside the stone cause many difficulties. If there is sand or mud inside the stone, it causes dangers and accidents. Red dot on the stone may cause danger to life within a year. If the stone emits other colors, it causes many problems. More white hue and black dots are also harmful.

The blue sapphire of minimum 5 carats weight should be set in a ring made of steel or eight minerals (astha dhathu) should be worn in the middle finger of the left hand on an auspicious Saturday a few hours before sun-set.

Those who cannot afford to purchase a Sapphire an use Lazuli, amethyst, blue zircon or blue tourmaline, as substitute.

WHO SHOULD WEAR A SAPPHIRE

An experienced astrologer who is well versed in Ratna Sastra (Gemology) should be consulted before wearing a Sapphire. A trial in necessary before wearing the stone. People who can wear blue sapphire:

1.Those born between December 22 and January 20 i.e. in the month of capricorn.

2.Those born when the tropical sign Capricorn was rising at birth.

3.People born in Makara Rasi of Kumbha Rasi or in Makara or Kumbha lagna.

4.Persons horn with birth stars Pushyami, Anuradha and Uttarabhadra.

OTHERS WHO CAN WEAR THIS GEM

1.If the dasa period of santhi is operating.

2.If they are experiencing the bad effects of Sani transiting in the 1st, 2nd, 12th, 8th or 4th sign from Janma Rasi. This period is known as Sada-Suthi (Seven and half years). Ashtama Sani and Ardhashtama Sani.

3.If Saturn in their horoscope is causing tension, ill-health, humiliation, delays, loss, failure, obstacles, disappointment and other difficulties.

4.If Saturn in their horoscope is benefits or yoga-karaka strong on own signs Makara or Kumbha or exalted in Tula Rasi.

5.If they're dealing in real estate, cement, coal sand, steel mines, oils, labor contracts, earth work, orthopedics dentistry and other matters governed by Saturn.

SUBSTITUTES for BLUE SAPPHIRE
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LAPIS LAZULI, AMETHYST, BLUE SPINEL, NEELI, TURQUOISE and BLUE TOURMALINE are used as substitutes for Blue sapphire.

LAPIS LAZULI is the english name for LAZVARTH. It is a soft stone of blue color. Its hardness is 5 to 5.5 and specific gravity ranges from 2.7 to 2.9. These stones come from Afghanistan and Siberia. The powder of this stone is used in medicine to cure urinary troubles, tuberculosis, jaundice, diabetes and diseases caused by excess of wind and phlegm.

AMETHYST a colored variety of quartz is a semi precious stone of violet colour. Katowla and Janumia are the Hindi names. The main sources of supply are Brazil, Uruguay, America, America Mexico, Russia, Burma, Srilanka and Nevascotia. This stone is available in India also. The Brazilian Amethyst is the best in quality. The stones of India, Srilanka are also equally good. The darker stones are better in quality and effect. Amethyst ensures stability and faithfulness in love and conjugal life and strengthens friendship, love and attachment. It is said that it becomes more radiant, when it is kept closer to poison and when the wearer falls sick, its colour changes. The married women in Rome used to regard this as a precious stone and wear it with a strong faith that their husbands remain faithful and attached to them and that it prevents attacks from robbers and villains; confers chastity, safety, fidelity and bravery and causes sweet dreams, and it is believed that a person does not intoxicated if the drinks wine from a goblet made of amethyst. The hardness is 7 and specific gravity is 2.65.

SPINEL SAPPHIRE, a beautiful blue stone comes from Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand(Siam). It is a double oxide of magnesium and aluminum. Hardness 8, specific gravity 3.6. The spinels are available in different colours. Tehe red stones are called Ruby Spinel. The blue stones are called sapphire Spinel, used as substitutes for Blue Sapphire.

NEELI as another stone. It looks like Blue Sapphire. It is a soft stone.

TURQUOISE, a hydrous phosphate of aluminia, is known as PHIROJA in Hindi and HARITHASMA in Sanskrit. It is regarded as a valuable stone by the people of some religions, as they believe in its occult powers of protection from evil spirits and dangers. This stone is found in different colours, mostly greenish blue and apple green. The sky-blue stones are rarely available and most preferred. Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Mexico, Australia and America supply these stones. The blue stones are the best. The hardness is 6 and the specific gravity ranges from 2.6 to 2.82. Some Capricorn-born use this as their birth stone.

This stone should be handled carefully and should not be dipped in water because its colour fades away if it is wet. It should be taken away before taking bath or washing with hands. Soap spoils its colour. Even a good stone fades away after sometime gradually. Some traders prepare artificial turquoise, using plastic paraffin and other material. The stone should be removed immediately after the colour fades away. The change of colour is a warning of impending danger to the wearer. The real stone cures the eye diseases and protects from evil eye. It is a lucky stone for lovers and horse riders and those who take risks.

Tourmaline of Blue colour is a good substitute for Blue Sapphire. The tourmalines are found in various colours. The Brazilian Sapphire is the best blue stone.