This is more than a little late but I didn't want to miss the chance to talk about the September birthstone, sapphire.
Sapphires are of course one of the world's most precious stones, the most expensive examples being beautiful blue stones from Kashmir.
Sapphires come in all kinds of colours from totally colourless to green, pink, orange and yellow. Rubies are technically identical, it's just the trace minerals which give the red colour which mean this stone is considered separate. This dates from the time when far less was known about the chemical composition of stones and generally they were referred to by colour rather than by their mineral base.
White sapphires don't have the fire of diamonds but are a lovely alternative to an artificial stone and are very reasonably priced.
As with most precious stones the price of a sapphire depends on the colour and clarity of the natural stone. Perfect blues can be very expensive, but more unusual colours can be quite reasonable.
Sapphires are also one of the hardest natural stones, just behind diamonds and so are perfect for everyday wear.
Sapphires are also associated with many unusual mystical powers, and can apparently heal wounds and act as an antidote for poisons! Definitely worth investing in.