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Corundum (variety: Star Sapphire)

Renowned for its impressive size, intense color and sharp star, the Star of Asia, which weighs 330 carats, is one of the world's finest star sapphires. Sapphires and rubies are gem varieties of the mineral corundum. The star forms when titanium atoms are trapped within the growing corundum crystal. As the crystal cools, the titanium forms needlelike crystals of the mineral rutile, which orient themselves in three directions. When properly cut, light reflecting off the three sets of needles produces the six-rayed star. The Star of Asia is from Burma and is said to have belonged to India's Maharajah of Jodhpur.

Image Number: 95-40213
Catalog Number: G3688
Weight: 329.70 carats
Exchange , 1961

     4045

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits