Sapphires have always been one of the most coveted colored gemstones. Found in a wide variety of hues, sapphires exude unmatched brilliance and magnificent allure. These exquisite gemstones have long been adorned by ancient emperors and noblemen. Sapphire shares the stage of the Big Three precious gemstones, with ruby and emerald, making it one of the most valuable gemstones in the world of natural gemstones.
Marked as the official September birthstone of the ninth month of the year, sapphires are worn by millions born in September as symbols of truth, royalty and loyalty. When it comes to expressing love for your closest one, sapphires take the front seat. These gemstones add the flavor of faithfulness and devotion in romantic relationships, delivering the most genuine feelings of the presenter. This makes sapphire gemstones a happening choice for promise rings, engagement rings, wedding rings and anniversary rings. In this article, we have discussed a variety of sapphire gemstones that are actually prized for being flawed in a certain way.
What are Star Sapphires?
Star sapphire is a unique category of natural sapphire gemstones known for their extraordinary phenomenon called asterism. It can be defined as a concentration of reflected or refracted light from a gemstone forming a star shape. The asterism effect in suitable gemstones can be seen when they are cut as cabochons, i.e., only polished and shaped rather than faceted. Stones exhibiting the asterism are known as star stones, and the most common instance is a star sapphire.
How Star Sapphires are Formed?
If you are wondering what gives star sapphires their spectacular star pattern then it is all because of the needle-like impurities made up of the mineral rutile inherent in the crystal. It is because of these inclusions that a multi-rayed pattern resembling a star shape is visible on the crystal surface when viewed under a source of light placed overhead. Today, the largest star sapphire happens to be The Star of Adam which weighs 1404.49 cts and is blue-colored.
What to Look for in a Star Sapphire Engagement Ring?
The star sapphire is known for the color and clarity of the crystal along with the visibility and quality of the asterism effect. The beauty of this enchanting gemstone lies in its flawed existence. Let us look at five tips for choosing a star sapphire engagement ring for your beloved.
Tip 1: The Asterism Effect
If you are about to invest in a star sapphire engagement ring then the first thing you must look for is the position of the star. Ideally, the star should appear exactly in the center of the stone when viewed from above. The length of each ray of the star should be equal and must reach the bottom of the cabochon dome from the top, without any interruption in the middle. Moreover, each ray should be sharp and brightly visible without appearing blurry. While the number of rays may vary from one stone to another, 6-ray star patterns are the most common.
Tip 2: Star Sapphire Color
Though star patterns can be seen in almost all sapphire colors, some are quite rare such as green, orange or yellow star sapphire. The asterism effect is more commonly exhibited in shades such as classic blue, pink, purple, black and orangish-pink Padparadscha sapphires or sometimes in colorless white sapphires. Blue star sapphires are the most valuable ones.
In general, stones with vividly saturated colors are more appealing to the eyes since such hues provide a highly contrasting backdrop to the white star pattern. So naturally, brightly-hued stones are more valuable than the ones with muted colors. In a few cases, natural star sapphires may be heat treated to enhance their color intensity without affecting the star pattern.
Tip 3: Clarity of the Star Sapphire
As far as the transparency of the star stones is concerned, those having glassy surfaces with semi-transparent visibility and vivid hues command the highest prices. However, the stone must possess enough rutile silk to form a clearly defined star shape without affecting the transparency of the stone. Talking of opaque star sapphires, they may exhibit wonderful star patterns but might have somber hues making such sapphires unattractive. Additionally, internal fractures or uneven coloring may also negatively influence the stone’s value.
Since it is quite difficult to find a fine star sapphire with a perfectly visible star and high clarity, some natural stones are put to extremely high temperatures to improve their clarity and make them transparent. Such treated stones cost less than their untreated counterparts, making a cost-effective choice for those who do not wish to break the bank.
Tip 4: Star Sapphire’s Cut
To get the best out of a star sapphire, the appropriate cutting of the stone is quite essential to ensure that the star shape comes out to be perfectly oriented. For this reason, star sapphires are cut into cabochons with high dome-like structures which gives enough room for the star pattern to be visible.
It also means that you will never find a star sapphire faceted into a round, oval, pear, emerald-cut or any other gemstone cut. So make sure to have a perfect cabochon cut for your star sapphire engagement ring that covers the entire star pattern for your dearest one to admire for life.
Tip 5: Natural Vs Synthetic Star Sapphires
If you happen to come across a flawless star pattern on a sapphire then there’s a high chance that the pattern is lab-made and not naturally formed. If what you are looking for is just an affordable and beautiful star pattern then a synthetic star sapphire will be the best choice for you. However, those who find natural imperfections more attractive must ask their jeweler specifically for a natural star sapphire.
Whether you want to go for an expensive untreated stone or a comparatively cheaper treated stone is entirely your take. But you must note that artificial star sapphires are difficult to detect unless examined by a trained expert, even though these stones have strikingly even color tones and clearly defined star shapes. So, it’s important to take advice from an experienced gemologist before investing in a star sapphire.
Natural star sapphires are rare beauties in their purest form. Though they are full of inclusions, they demonstrate how flaws can be shaped and polished into eye-catching statement stones. If you also wish to make a star sapphire a permanent part of your life, then GemsNY brings you an opportunity to choose your ultimate engagement ring featuring a star sapphire. Shop for star sapphire engagement rings displaying a variety of hues at the best prices from our engagement rings section and cherish the exotic visual phenomenon for a lifetime.