There are several varieties of the mineral corundum. It is primarily composed of aluminum oxide. The sapphire is one of the varieties of the mineral. Sapphires are typically blue in color but occasionally, sapphires of other colors also occur. The presence of trace elements like titanium, copper, and magnesium lend color to the gemstone. The highest quality sapphires are often worn as jewelry. Sapphires occur in nature but are also synthesized in laboratories. The remarkable hardness of the gemstone permits its use in a number of industries. Sapphires are used in the manufacture of wristwatch crystals, high-durability windows, and other objects. Some of the internationally famous sapphire stones are mentioned below:
10. The Logan Sapphire
A flawless sapphire specimen originating from Sri Lanka, the Logan Sapphire is one of the most famous gemstones in the world. The sapphire has a rich deep blue color and weighs 84.6 g. It is the second biggest sapphire in the world. The sapphire has been named after Polly Logan, the owner of the gemstone. In 1960, she donated the gemstone to the Smithsonian Institution. Currently, it is set in a brooch and is surrounded by 20 round diamonds. It is on display at Washington D.C’s National Museum of Natural History.
9. The Ruspoli Sapphire
This gemstone is a blue, nearly flawless sapphire, that weighs 27.16 g. It has a unique lozenge shape and has six facets. The sapphire has a long and interesting history. According to legend, it was originally owned by a wooden spoon-seller in India’s Bengal region. In the 17th century, the gemstone came into the hands of an Italian Prince. The value of the Ruspoli Sapphire increased further when King Louis XIV owned the gemstone and added it to the French Crown Jewels collection. The French Revolutionary government, however, confiscated the Ruspoli Sapphire from the royals. Today, it is on display at the Paris Museum of Natural History.
8. St Edward's Sapphire
The history of this gemstone goes as far back as 1042 and probably even further. It is a part of the British Crown Jewels. It is believed that the stone was present in the coronation ring of Edward the Confessor whose reign in England started in 1042. The ring was buried with him in 1066 at the Westminster Abbey. However, the ring was recovered from his body in 1163 when his body was re-interred. Today, the Royal family of England owns the St Edward's Sapphire. It is set in the center of the cross at the top of the Imperial State Crown. The public can see it on display at the Tower of London’s Jewel House.
7. The Star of Asia
The Star of Asia traces its origin to Myanmar’s Mogok mines. It is large-sized and features a clear star. It is also noted for its rich color. Although it is currently displayed at a Smithsonian museum, it was once owned by the Indian Maharaja of Jodhpur.
6. The Star of Bombay
This world-famous sapphire originates from Sri Lanka. It is violet-blue in color and weighs 36.4 g. It was gifted to Mary Pickford, a silent film actress, by her husband. She bequeathed it to the Smithsonian Institution. The sapphire was originally acquired by the Trabert & Hoeffer Inc. company. Mary Pickford’s husband, Douglas Fairbanks, also a silent movie star himself, purchased the gemstone from the company.
5. The Star of India
Another famous star sapphire, the Star of India, is one of the largest of its kind. The precious gemstone was discovered in Sri Lanka. A number of properties make it a unique piece. It is nearly flawless, has a grayish blue color, and stars on both sides. The 112.67 g star sapphire also is one of the largest of its kind known to the world. Little is known about the prior history of the gem. Currently, it is on display at the American Museum of Natural History. The Star of India was stolen from the museum during an infamous jewelry heist in 1964. However, it was later recovered in a bus locker in Miami.
4. The Stuart Sapphire
This gemstone that weighs 20.8 g or 104 carat is part of the Crown Jewels of England. Not much is known about the early history of the Stuart Sapphire but it is believed that Charles II owned it and passed it on to his son. Finally, the gemstone found a proud place on Queen Victoria’s Imperial State Crown. It was placed in front of the circlet in the crown.
3. The Black Star of Queensland
This famous gemstone is named after the place where it was discovered. It is the second largest gem quality star sapphire in the world. The stone hiding the sapphire was found by a young boy in the mid-1930’s in the gem fields of Queensland. For more than a decade, the Black Star was used as a doorstopper in the family home of the boy. It was only years later that the father of the boy, a miner in the region, looked carefully to find the hidden gem. The Black Star is oval-shaped and features a six-rayed bright star.
2. The Star of Adam
The world’s largest star sapphire, the Star of Adam, weighs 280.898 g or 1,404.49 carats. The sapphire was discovered in Sri Lanka’s Ratnapura. The gemstone is currently owned by an anonymous buyer who paid a hefty sum to own the beautiful Star of Adam.
1. The Star of Artaban -
This sapphire traces its origin to Sri Lanka. Currently, it is exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. It is named after the protagonist of a story written by Henry van Dyke. Interestingly, this sapphire has a milky blue color and is not transparent, unlike the above mentioned famous sapphires.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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