The history of sapphire gems in Australia stretches back over 150 years. One of the first reports is from 1851 when sapphire was recovered during gold mining on the Cudgegong and Macquarie rivers in New South Wales. In 1854, sapphire was reported in the New England area of New South Wales, and in 1875, Sapphire was discovered in Retreat Creek, Central Queensland. Numerous small deposits have been found up and down Eastern Australia.
The discoveries near Inverell on the New England tableland in Northern New South Wales and at Sapphire and Rubyvale in Central Queensland led to the development of a commercial Sapphire Mining Industry in Australia. The much later discovery of sapphire, at Lava Plains in North Queensland, further complemented this industry.
In earlier times, some people believed that the firmament was an enormous blue sapphire in which the Earth was embedded. Could there be a more apt image to describe the beauty of an immaculate sapphire? And yet this gem comes not in one but in all the blue shades of that firmament… From the deep blue of the evening sky to the shining mid-blue of a lovely summer's day which casts its spell over us. However, this magnificent gemstone also comes in many other colors: not only in the transparent greyish-blue of a distant horizon, but also in the gloriously colorful play of light in a sunset – in yellow, pink, orange and purple. Sapphires really are gems of the sky, although they are found in the hard ground of our 'blue planet.'
Blue is the main color of the sapphire. Blue is also the favorite color of some 50 per cent of people - men and women alike. We associate this color, strongly linked to the sapphire as it is, with feelings of sympathy and harmony, friendship and loyalty - feelings which belong to qualities that prove their worth in the long term – feelings in which it is not so much effervescent passion that is to the fore, but rather composure, mutual understanding and indestructible trust. Thus the blue of the sapphire has become a color that fits in with everything that is constant and reliable. That is one of the reasons why women in many countries wish for a sapphire ring on their engagement. The sapphire symbolizes loyalty, but at the same time it gives expression to people's love and longing. Perhaps the most famous example of this blue is to be found in music in George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." And, the blue of the sapphire even appears where nothing at all counts except clear-sightedness and concentrated mental effort. The first computer which succeeded in defeating a world chess champion bore the remarkable name 'Deep Blue'.