Sapphires are in the non-red corundum category of minerals and are considered the second hardest mineral on the Mohs scale. Sapphires are aluminum oxides that can be found naturally or can be manufactured. Although the importance of the sapphire as a mineral is generally viewed as solely useful in the production and sale of jewelry, the stone has several other uses.
Sapphires have long been believed to possess healthful benefits for such ailments as colic, rheumatism, and mental illness, in particular depression. Known as the stone of prosperity, the sapphire is capable of alleviating mental tension and confusion. The stone promotes peace and serenity by restoring inner equilibrium and stability.
When a mineral is able to be synthesized, it simply means that it can be altered, either by man or machinery. The mineral corundum is one of the most easily synthesized, meaning it can be converted and transformed into different colors, shapes, and sizes.
The texture of sapphires makes it ideal for manufacturing purposes. The durability of sapphire makes it useable in an electrical manufacturing capacity, as sapphire is an electrical insulator with high thermal conductivity. Its hardness and gravity also generate an ideal corundum for creating powders and grits that are a uniform size. The crushed corundum can then be used to manufacture materials such as sand paper, cutting tools, and polishing compounds.
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