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Star of India


(The Star of India; image courtesy of Smithsonian Mag.com)

Asterism is the star of the show, quite literally. The Star of India is a star sapphire; meaning it is a rather large cabochon (shaped and polished instead of cut) gem that presents a luminous star shape on the surface of the stone. This gem in particular weighs a hefty 563.35 carats (112.67 g) and exhibits the star on both sides. It hails from the mines of Sri Lanka and has made a rather adventurous journey from the moment it was discovered up to the day it was finally safe in the showcase of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, owing to the heist that the gem was a part of in 1964.


Star of Adam


(The Star of Adam; image courtesy of Dailymail UK)

This oval beauty weighs a whopping 1,404.49 carats (280.898 g; 9.9084 oz.) and the estimated cost comes up to a figure between US$ 175 million and $300 million. This cabochon also has a star, six rayed and easily visible to the naked eye. The Star of Adam originated in the mines of Sri Lanka in a place called Ratnapur. It was named after Adam who the Muslims believe went to Sri Lanka and lived on Adam’s Peak after exiting the Garden of Eden and is currently in the possession of an anonymous buyer.

Star of Bombay


(The Star of Bombay; image courtesy of Flickr)

A gift of love from one star to another, the Star of Bombay was purchased by Douglas Fairbanks, a silent movie actor from Trabert & Hoeffer Inc. in New York. The Star of Bombay was a stone that weighed 182 carats (36.4-g) and was set in a ring made of platinum that Mr. Fairbanks presented to Mary Pickford; also a silent film actress. It is a violet-blue in colour owing to the presence of titanium and iron and is apparently the namesake of Bombay Sapphire which is a British manufactured gin. On her death, the ring was donated to the Smithsonian as per Mary Pickford’s request where it has been on display ever since then.