STAR OF ASIA 330 CARAT BURMESE STAR SAPPHIRE
On this page we are showcasing some very nice Burmese Star Sapphires for your buying and investing pleasure. There is something here for every budget so do not hesitate to let us know what you want.
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Thank you and have a good day and let us know what you want. Below is some history of the above Star Sapphire as well. Enjoy.
One of the largest blue star sapphires in the world
The “Star of Asia Sapphire” is a 330-carat blue-violet star sapphire, with a distinct six-rayed star perfectly positioned at the center of the cabochon-cut stone, with rays extending towards the girdle of the stone. The presence of rutile fibres makes the stone milky and transluscent, and is also responsible for the asterism (star effect) of the gemstone.
The cause of the blue-violet color
All sapphires whether normal or asteriated (showing star effect) belong to the class of minerals known as corundum, which are crystalline forms of Aluminum oxide. Color in corundum is caused by the displacement of some aluminum atoms in the crystal lattice, by atoms of different transition elements such as chromium, titanium. iron, vanadium, etc.
The cause of asterism
The six-rayed “star-effect” known as asterism is caused by aggregates of minute fibers of rutile (titanium oxide) in the crystal that are aligned in a three-fold pattern at an angle of 60 degrees to one another.
The “Star of Asia Sapphire” has been cut perfectly with the star properly aligned at the center. The unknown master-cutter who handled the original rough stone must have been an expert par excellence, with a lot of experience in the cutting of star sapphires. The greatest difficulty in cutting a star sapphire is to decide on the exact side of the rough stone where the dome-shaped face of the cabochon should be located in order to bring out the maximum asterism.
A slight mistake might result in a failed star, a star displaced to the side, or a star with some of the rays missing. Credit should also be given to a cutter who would look at a rough stone, and predict correctly that it has the potential of being transformed into a superb six-rayed star sapphire, which only a few people in the trade are able to do. Thus the potential value of a star sapphire seems to depend entirely on the skills of the master cutter.
Source of the “Star of Asia Sapphire”
The source of the “Star of Asia Sapphire” is the Historic Mogok tract of Burma, famous for its rubies and sapphires since the 15th century. According to legend the Mogok mines were discovered by outlaws and bandits who were settled in the rather inhospitable area by the King of Mandalay, after being banished from the city.
The origin of the placer deposits at Mogok valley
The Mogok valley where the rubies and sapphires were discovered is situated about 4,000 km above sea level, and is surrounded by mountains that form part of the eastern Himalayan orogenic system formed by the collision of the Eurasian plate with the Indian sub-continental plate about 40 to 60 million years ago.
Almost 80-90 % of the production of corundum in the Mogok valley consists of rubies, and the remaining 10 % consists of blue sapphires, other sapphires, peridot, aquamarine, amethyst, zircon, tourmaline moonstone, topaz, and diopside. In Burma blue sapphires always occur in intimate association with rubies, unlike in other regions of the world.
History of the “Star of Asia Sapphire”
The “Star of Asia Sapphire” has an uncertain early history, but the stone is believed to have been owned at one time by the Maharajah of Jodhpur. This is not surprising, because the main producing and consuming nations of gemstones and diamonds during the period of the discovery of rubies in Mogok, were the different kingdoms and sultanates of the Indian sub-continent. Thus large quantities of rubies and sapphires mined in the Mogok mines were smuggled out of Burma, and reached these independent kingdoms, where they had a ready market, and were snapped up by the ruling monarchies of these kingdoms.
The kingdom of Jodhpur
Jodhpur, is presently situated in Rajasthan State, which is one of the northwestern states of India. Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha, a Rajput warrior ruler in the year 1459, and reached the zenith of its power under the Rajput prince Rao Maldeo, during the period 1532-69. In 1561, after Akbar the Great invaded Jodhpur, the kingdom swore allegiance to the Mughals.
The “Star of Asia Sapphire” come into the possession of Martin Leo Ehrmann
It is not precisely known during which period in the history of Jodhpur, the “Star of Asia Sapphire” became the property of the Maharajah of Jodhpur. But it is known for certain that the renowned sapphire had changed hands and eventually came into the possession of Martin Leo Ehrmann, who was the greatest collector and supplier of minerals and gemstones the world had ever known, who supplied rare and valuable minerals and gemstones, to many universities and museums around the United States.
The “Star of Asia Sapphire” is acquired by the Smithsonian Institution
In the year 1961, the “Star of Asia Sapphire” was acquired by the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C. from Martin Leo Ehrmann, with whom the Institution has had dealings since 1932, when they purchased part of the Kunz collection of minerals and gemstones from him. Again in 1938, Martin Ehrmann sold the entire Calvert collection of fossils to the Smithsonian Institution. Among the other notable pieces of minerals and gemstones sold by Martin Ehrmann to the Smithsonian Institution include, a 7.5 kg kunzite crystal from Urpuca in Brazil, a 287-carat cushion-cut deep green grass color Burmese peridot, and a 2.6-carat faceted purple scorodite from Tsumeb.
Today the “Star of Asia Sapphire” is displayed in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, in Washington D.C. The hall has an area of 20,000 square feet, and houses 3,500 exhibits from the National Gem and Mineral Collections, the National Rock and Ore Collections, and the National Meteorite Collection. There are also several other galleries in the Museum and the National Gem and Mineral Collection actually consists of 350,000 mineral specimens, and 10,000 gems, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.