The Star in the Sapphire

Ever wondered how star sapphires get their stars? It's created by an optic feat called asterism, from the Latin astrum meaning star. For a star sapphire to appear, the stone must have spindly, needle-like inclusions of a mineral called rutile that grow and intersect each other within corundum, the mineral we know as sapphire and ruby (yes, star rubies are also possible!)

To cut a perfect star is no easy feat. After determining that a star is even possible, due to a sheen on the rough gemstone, a lapidary must find the gemstone’s optic axis, and then begin to fashion the stone into a rounded cabochon shape. High quality star sapphires are cut to center the stone’s asterism as perfectly as possible in the middle of the cabochon, and keep the points of the star of similar length. The higher the dome of the cabochon, the less the star will ‘move’ under a light source or when rotating the gemstone at different angles.

Snug in a platinum, diamond accented mounting, our Art Deco star sapphire ring was most likely designed for the stone set into it. The underside of the cabochon is rough and uneven to keep the rutile inclusions needed for a lovely, strongly visible star.

And, for a little gemstone bling, take a look at some of the most famous star sapphires, one of which is on display here in New York!:

 The Star of India, which lives in New York's American Museum of Natural History, is 563 cts.

The Star of India, which lives in New York's American Museum of Natural History, is 563 cts.

 The Black Star of Queensland, no longer on public display, is 733 cts.

The Black Star of Queensland, no longer on public display, is 733 cts.

 The Star of Asia, currently housed in the Smithsonian, is 330 cts.

The Star of Asia, currently housed in the Smithsonian, is 330 cts.

Temptation Tuesday: French Diamond and Enamel Brooch

This Georgian brooch is quite the love note to its French homeland! Silver flowers and fleur de lis set with rose cut diamonds embellish exquisite royal blue guilloche enamel work. All are bordered by bright 18k yellow gold, the French standard, with tell-tale hallmarks on the clasp, to make a lovely heart.

It would look stunningly chic on the lapel of a black blazer. We’re humming la Marseillaise already.

Price available upon request.

Temptation Tuesday: French 18k gold necklace

Today we’re tempted by this stunning late Victorian necklace. An inverse-drop shape fringe with a lovely open work chain lays delicately on the neck.

It was made c. 1890 in bright 18k gold, and bears French hallmarks.  This delightful piece would bring quiet elegance to formal wear,  and would also look fine on a casual stroll down the Seine. Oh la la!

Price available upon request.

Temptation Tuesday: Antique Moonstone and Diamond Earrings

Today we’re tempted by some serious sparkle. These Victorian moonstone and diamond dangle earrings dance from 14k gold shepherd’s hooks. 1.82cts of old European cut diamonds are set in silver, clustered around a moonstone cabochon for each ear.

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They’ll be sure to catch the light, and the eye, swaying from any ear.

Price available upon request.

Temptation Tuesday: Late Victorian Ruby and Diamond Bracelet Pair

One of the great joys when hunting for antique jewelry is finding a pair of bracelets! Victorian bangles were usually made in pairs (you have two ears for earrings, two wrists for bracelets, it makes perfect sense). However, the passage of time or the divvying up of grandma’s jewelry box tended to separate these friends, so coming across such a lovely, in-tact pair is a real treat.

   
  
 
  
    Pair of small graduated diamond and ruby bangles set in silver on 14K gold. Each bangle has 49 diamonds and 10 rubies for a total approximate diamond carat weight of 2.14 and a total approximate ruby carat weight of 2.40.

Pair of small graduated diamond and ruby bangles set in silver on 14K gold. Each bangle has 49 diamonds and 10 rubies for a total approximate diamond carat weight of 2.14 and a total approximate ruby carat weight of 2.40.

This pair of late Victorian bracelets help us twofold on this tempting Tuesday. We love their swirling design with old cut diamonds, and the rubies they surround are perfect to help us celebrate our friends with July birthdays, as they are this month’s birthstone. The stones are set in silver on 14K gold.

Price available upon request.