Star Rubies

Star Ruby

What are Star Rubies?

Star rubies are a sub-type of the ruby gemstone that display a unique physical appearance called asterism. Asterism is the name given to an effect that makes gemstones appear to have an internal ‘star’. Gemstones with this asterism are almost universally cabochon cut, allowing the unique internal characteristic of the stone to best shine . They are the ideal addition to your ruby jewellery collection.

Usually, the ‘star’ within a star ruby is six-pointed in form, spreading from the centre of the stone outwards towards the edges. This asterism is the result of crystal silk needles that are near-microscopic in size. These needles are contained within the gemstone, reflecting the light from within with the brightness of a delicate star. The effect created allows each limb of the star to appear to be floating almost at the surface of the gemstone.

There are stones beyond rubies that feature the same asterism, such as sapphires. Even gemstones like tourmalines can feature comparable aspects – called cat’s eye tourmaline. In these gemstones, rather than featuring a six-pointed star, a single bright white line strikes down the centre of the stone.

Unlike cat’s eye tourmalines, star rubies are more valuable to both amateurs and collectors; they are widely considered to be beautiful and valuable due to their uniqueness and rarity.

Star Rubies

The Meaning of the Star Ruby

All gemstones have been ascribed varying degrees of meaning by humans throughout time, with rubies being no different. Star rubies in particular were regarded in ancient cultures as valuable talismans that could protect travellers on their journeys. The star asterism, was usually linked with the concept of navigating using the stars in the night skies.

Another common meaning of the star ruby was as a representation of hope. As stars are often utilised to represent truth, destiny, and a curiosity that extends beyond our earthly realm, so are star rubies. These gemstones are hardier than their delicate appearance would suggest, rating as a 9 on the Mohs scale used to judge the strength of a gemstone. The strength of these stones is also often interpreted as a symbol of inner strength with the star within  seen as emblematic of one’s own need for internal steadiness.

Are Star Rubies Rare?

Most of the highest-quality rubies are found in Asia, particularly Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ceylon, and Burma. Rubies with a traced heritage from these countries with the star asterism are among the most rare and valuable examples of the gemstone.

Roughly one in every hundred examples of rough-cut corundum stone feature star asterisms. Even with this figure, a majority of those examples will have stars that don’t show up clearly or have little definition. Equally, the colour of the ruby itself has to be bold and bright to fetch the best price.

Technically, the asterism is a defect rather than an intentional feature of a gemstone. The unique circumstances of the creation of star rubies, however, featuring immense levels of pressure and heat over millions of years, make for appealing stones.

Star rubies are among some of the rarest stones, with asterism being marginally more common in sapphires than it is in rubies. This unique characteristic creates a stone that aesthetically appears somewhat removed from other rubies. Star rubies cannot be said to be collector’s items, per se, as they are often too rare to collect. However, those who have a developed appreciation for jewellery of all kinds will always leap at the opportunity to see a high-quality star ruby.

Star Ruby Ring

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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