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Interesting Facts
Exquisite 19thC Antique 2 1/2ct+ Silver Gray Star Sapphire 7mm*6mm - $199.99


For Customers outside of USA

Exceptionally Good Quality Antique Genuine Natural Burmese Two and One-Half Carat (Plus) Exquisitely Colored Silver Star Sapphire Oval.

CLASSIFICATION: Cabochon Silver Star Sapphire Oval.

ORIGIN: Mogok, Burma (present day Myanmar). 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 7 mm. Width: 6 mm. Depth: 5mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 2.58 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, earring, or pendant.

DETAIL: A gorgeous and gently hued silver colored star sapphire precious gemstone from Mogok, Burma. This particular specimen is a light, pastel silver with blue and metallic undertones. It is quite striking, very handsome and gentle in tone, the color very soft and understated, the star quite beautiful. Depending on the light source, you can also get both violet and pink undertones. The gemstone was hand shaped and polished into this very beautiful oval cabochon by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. The result is an exquisite and incredibly richly colored precious gemstone with lots of depth and gorgeous tone.

This particular gemstone is of outstanding quality, eye clean, translucent, and of uniform and superlative color. Known as a "star" sapphire because of an optical effect known as an "asterism"; oriented crystal inclusions cause this six-rayed-star light effect (the asterism) to form on the surface of these beautiful precious gemstones. Star sapphires have been produced in Mogok, Burma in limited quantities for centuries. They are perhaps 100 times as rare as an ordinary sapphire. Higher quality gemstones will exhibit a more pronounced asterism, lower quality specimens will not. Lower quality specimens will be heavily included, higher quality specimens will have fewer, smaller inclusions. Good quality star sapphires are in high demand, and can be quite costly, consequentially, many of the star sapphires sold at retail are synthetic - check the fine print! Silver (and pink) star sapphires are amongst the most expensive varieties, and fairly rare as well.

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. In fact most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and to the eye is without blemish, but it is not entirely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are not invisible to the naked eye. However magnified 400%-500%, as it is here, you might be able to make out very slight blemishes within the gemstone and occasional irregularities in the finish.

Keep in mind however that these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so prevalent today. Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstone must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are only visible under magnification.

HISTORY: Mentions of sapphire in ancient references reach well back past 800 B.C. Certainly the ancient Greeks, Persians, and Romans all knew of blue sapphires and employed the precious gemstones in their jewelry. In the world of the ancient Mediterranean, priests and sorcerers honored the sapphire above all other gems. As the centuries passed, European royalty came to highly favor sapphires believing the stone would provide protection from harm. In the medieval world blue sapphires were believed to represent heaven, and thus the precious gemstones were widely used in ecclesiastical jewelry. Sapphires are a member of the corundum family, as are rubies, and as such sapphires are considered one of the most valuable of precious stones. They are also extremely hard, second only to diamonds, and so are very popular as gemstones for rings and pendants. Sapphires are mined in Thailand, Ceylon, Burma, Australia, Madagascar, Russia, South Africa, China, Afghanistan, and in Montana and North Carolina.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".