A Star is Born – Star Sapphires

Star Sapphires are a rare variety of sapphire that exhibit a magical star phenomenon known as asterism – the appearance of a pattern or group of stars – under specific lighting. The six-rayed star is most visible when the stone is tilted and rotated, and will appear to move across the rounded surface of a cabochon cut stone. Needle-like inclusions of rutile (also known as silk) contained within the sapphire crystal intersect each other at varying angles to produce this rare phenomenon known as asterism. Typically opaque, with some finer specimens exhibiting more translucency, star sapphires will present a silky lustre when cut and polished. A recent fine example, which was offered in our November Fine Jewels auction was Lot 188, a star sapphire and diamond ring; the sapphire being of significant size (79.57cts).

When the ring appeared online, we received an enquiry from a client in U.S. requesting further details on the stone. After several discussions over Facetime, the client flew from the U.S. to Melbourne to inspect the stone further and forty-eight hours later, arrived at Leonard Joel, equipped with a torch and magnification tools. He was keen to identify if he could cut the stone down into multiple stones, with improved star phenomenon. A specialist in the field of stone-cutting, the was delighted to discover that the stone did indeed have the potential to produce several superior stones, and he bought the ring at auction. This highlighted the ever-changing nature of our business, and how the world becomes a smaller place every day! We are increasingly welcoming buyers and sellers (although, admittedly not always in person!) from all over the world.

With that aside, stay tuned – wherever you are! – as we are set to offer another, exquisite mauve star sapphire as part of our Fine Jewels auction in March.

Julie Foster
National Head of Jewels