What is Star Stone
Star stone – a gemstone that exhibits asterism. The same as an asteria.
Asterism – an optical phenomenon of a star-like figure that is seen in some crystals by reflection light or transmitted light.
An example is the 6-ray (sometimes 4-ray, 8-ray or 12-ray) star-like figure that is observed by reflected light in some gems (especially the Star ruby and Star sapphire) when cut en cabochon in such a manner that the greatest thickness of the stone lies parallel to the vertical axis of the crystal.
The effect is caused by the reflection of light from a series of microscopic fibrous inclusions or small canals lying within the crystal parallel to the prism faces and arranges in three directions that intersect, usually at angles of 60 degrees.
A type of setting for a gemstone in which the stone is placed at the centre of an engraved star and secured by a small grain of metal at the base of each point.
(1) A triangular facet, 6 of which form the CROWN of a ROSE CUT diamond; from the base of these facets 18 smaller triangular facets, called CROSS FACETS (the 18 being together called the dentelle), extend down to touch the girdle.
(2) A triangular facet, 8 of which occur in the British Crown of a BRILLIANT and encircle the table; along their two shorter sides are the larger facets formerly called TEMPLETS (BEZELS) and QUOINS (LOZENGES), but now called KITE FACETS. Star facets of slightly different shapes and sizes are on some stones of other cuts.
A type of brooch made in the form of a star, with from five to twelve points, sometimes the points being of different shapes and lengths, and usually set with gemstones.
A variety of Mexican amethyst that shows a star, not due to reflected light as in asterism, but to thin fibres of hematite upon the terminal faces. When the points of the crystal have been cut off and the crystal is turned over, the star appears, owing to the exclusion of light.
star opal. A variety of OPAL which exhibits a star pattern due to ASTERISM.
A variety of RUBY that has a silky structure and when cut EN CABOCHON shows a 6-rayed (rarely, 12-rayed) star in reflected light, due to the phenomenon known as ASTERISM. Such stones are natural or a SYNTHETIC GEMSTONE. Among important star rubies are the DE LONG STAR RUBY and the ROSSER REEVES STAR RUBY. See STAR SAPPHIRE.
A variety of SAPPHIRE that has a silky structure and when cut EN CABOCHON shows a 6-rayed (sometimes 12-rayed) star in reflected light, due to the phenomenon known as ASTERISM.
The stone must be precisely cut, aligned with the vertical axis, as otherwise the result will be an off-centre, crooked pr dim star, or even the absence of a star. Such star stones are natural or a SYNTHETIC GEMSTONE.
The largest known star sapphire, grey-blue and weighing 12.6 kg (about 63,000 carats), was found in 1966 at Mogok in Burma.
Famous Star Jewelry
An ENSEIGNE, circular in form, with 24 projecting rays (12 long alternating with 12 short) decorated with a red and black enamel ground set with RUBIES and OPALS. The centre is an engraved ruby, within a border of interspersed diamonds and opals. It was a gift from Queen Elizabeth I to Sir Francis Drake, and has been inherited by Sir George Meyrick, of Hinton Admiral, Dorset, the present owner. Sometimes called the ‘Drake Enseigne’.
Star of Africa
Two diamonds cut from the CULLINAN DIAMOND and now among the British CROWN JEWELS, the Great Star of Africa (Cullinan I) being set in one of the Royal Sceptres (see SCEPTRES, THE ROYAL) and the Lesser Star of Africa (Cullinan II) in the IMPERIAL STATE CROWN.
Star of Arkansas
A diamond found in 1956 in the kimberlite pipe, ‘The Crater of Diamonds’, near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, USA. It is a colourless, flawless stone that weighed in the rough 15.33 carats; its finder, Mrs Arthur L. Parker, of Taos, New Mexico, had it cut by Schenk & Van Haelen, New York City, into a long MARQUISE of 8.27 carats. In 1968 it was acquired by N. Pfeiffer, a Tucson, Arizona, jeweller, who sold it to a private collector.
Star of Asia
A sapphire of clear deep-blue colour that weighs 330 carats and has a strong sharply-defined 6-ray star. One of the finest sapphires in the world, it is in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Star of Egypt
A Brazilian diamond said to have been found in the mid-19th century and to have belonged to and been sold c. 1880 by the Khedive of Egypt, but not known in Europe prior to its appearance in the London market in 1939, when it was an oval stone weighing about 250 old carats. It was recut into an EMERALD CUT brilliant weighing 106.75 metric carats. Its subsequent whereabouts is unknown.
Star of Independence
A diamond found in 1976 in Sierra Leone, weighing rough 204.10 carats and 75.52 after being cut in PENDELOQJJE shape. It was acquired from De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd by HARRY WINSTON and, before being exhibited by him at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, in November 1976, was sold privately. It was reacquired and, after being displayed at his Geneva shop, was again sold privately. It was named after the United States Bicentennial then being celebrated. It is one of the largest diamonds cut in the 20th century, and is of rare transparency and perfect quality.
Star of India
A SAPPHIRE weighing 563.35 carats, found in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) about three centuries ago. It is noted for its size, clarity of its star, and near-freedom from flaws. It was donated by J. P. Morgan in 1901 to The American Museum of Natural History, New York City, from which it was stolen but has been recovered.
Star of Peace
The best diamond recently reported (but without confirmation) to have been found, c. 1976, in central Africa and to be the largest known flawless diamond, weighing rough over 500 carats and 170.49 carats after being cut, and to have been sold in March 1981.
Star of Sierre Leone
A white diamond found in 1972 in Sierre Leone, weighing rough 968.90 carats and being the third largest gem diamond ever discovered. After examination had resulted in doubt if a large stone could be cut from it, it was bought by HARRY WINSTON who had it cut by Lazare Kaplan and Sons, New York, into 11 stones, including 1 of EMERALD CUT weighing 143.20 carats and 5 others of over 20 carats each, and later the largest was recut into 7 stones, of which 1 was emerald cut weighing 32.52 carats. See SIERRA LEONE DIAMONDS.
Star of South Africa
A diamond found in 1869 by a native shepherd in the Vaal River diggings on the Orange River in South Africa, weighing rough 83.50 carats. It was the second diamond discovered there (after the EUREKA) and the one that started the diamond rush. It was bought by Schalk van Niekerk (who had seen the Eureka before it was confirmed as a diamond) and he sold it to the Lilienfeld brothers who, after bitter litigation about ownership, resold it to Louis Hond, an Amsterdam diamond-cutter. Hond cut it into an oval three-sided BRILLIANT of 47.75 carats and sold it to the Countess of Dudley, who had it mounted with smaller stones as a HAIR ORNAMENT. It was resold at Christie’s, Geneva, on 2 May 1974 and its present ownership is unknown.
Star of the East
A diamond of pear-shape, weighing 94.80 carats. Its history before 1900 is unknown, but it is believed to be of Indian origin and is first recorded as having been among the jewels of Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey in the early 1900s. At the time of the revolt in 1908 of the Young Turks, it and several other large gemstones appeared in Paris for sale by persons then believed to be agents of the Sultan. In 1908 it was sold by CARTIER to Evalyn Walsh McLean (who later bought the HOPE DIAMOND) and in 1949 was bought from her estate by HARRY WINSTON who resold it privately. One report is that it was taken into exile by King Farouk and that it was sold to a Middle Eastern princess in 1977.
Star of the South
A diamond discovered in 1853 at the Bagagem Mines in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the largest known Brazilian diamond. It originally weighed 261.88 carats until it was cut as a perfect BRILLIANT at Amsterdam, reducing the weight to 128.80 carats. It was bought by a Paris syndicate and shown at the London Exhibition of 1862. It was resold, c. 1867, to Mulhar Rao, Gaekwar of Baroda, India, and was reported by his son in 1934 to be in a necklace still owned by the family. It has later been rumoured to be owned by Rustomjee Jamsetjee, of Bombay.