Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Gem indenfication experts please HELP


#1

Hello Everybody-

Here a gem identification puzzle for you (actually I am sure it is
not that big of a puzzle. Probably every one knows this but me). Just
got some stones in the mail. One of the stones I received is marked
"Genuine Black Star Sapphire". It’s about 8mm by 10mm and an
absolutely gorgeous shade of deep black. There is a small problem
with the star. Instead of showing the normal six pointed star I am
used to seeing on sapphires the stone’s star has only four points. It
is clearly visible and the rays form a cross.

So here’s my question: Is it a black star sapphire or some other
related gem? I just want to know what it is before it goes home with
someone.

Thanks so much- Amy


#2

Hi Amy,

It sounds like you have a piece of Star Diopside.

Michael Howe, GG
Trigon Holding Co.
Visit our website www.trigonholding.com


#3

They are impressive but they are probably Star Diopsides. I bought a
bunch in Malaysia about 20 years ago. Paid about 2-3 dollars each.
They are actually prettier than a Linde and a whole lot prettier than
a natural Black Star Sapphire. The problem is their hardness, about
5.5-6.0 Bob Williams


#4

Amy; Sounds like you have a star diopside instead of
sapphire…separation can be made by a quick refractive index
reading, but it might just be easier if you sent it back. Jerry in
Kodiak

Amy Marie Pittman wrote:

Hello Everybody-

Here a gem identification puzzle for you (actually I am sure it is
not that big of a puzzle. Probably every one knows this but me). Just
got some stones in the mail. One of the stones I received is marked
"Genuine Black Star Sapphire". It's about 8mm by 10mm and an
absolutely gorgeous shade of deep black. There is a small problem
with the star. Instead of showing the normal six pointed star I am
used to seeing on sapphires the stone's star has only four points. It
is clearly visible and the rays form a cross.
So here's my question: Is it a black star sapphire or some other
related gem? I just want to know what it is before it goes home with
someone.
Thanks so much- Amy

T h e O r c h i d L i s t
Open Electronic Forum for Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Procedures
Brought to you FREE by Ganoksin Online http://www.ganoksin.com/


Orchid FTP Server:
Upload using an FTP software to:
~ ftp://ganoksin.com/incoming/ganoksin
Download using your Web Browser:
~ http://www.ganoksin.com/ftp


List Archives:
~ http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archive
List Galleries:
~ http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/gallery.htm
Tips From The Jeweler’s Bench - Article Search
~ http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/tip_sear.htm


-Unsubscribe:


End of forwarded message


#5

Hi Amy, It sounds like you have a nice star diopside. Diopside is a
silicate mineral (pyroxene) and not all that common. Star Diopside
typically shows a four rayed cross. Will Estavillo


#6

it probably is a black star diopside and very pretty in its own
right retail could be in the 3 -5 $ per carat and you won’t be
overcharging Leon Kusher I bought many of them in India and
every ring or pendant they went into was a knockout


#7

While it is possible that this is star sapphire as sometimes the
stars are not perfectly formed, it sounds like it might be black star
diopside. Without proper gemological testing however, there is no way
to tell you over the web.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@spirersomes
http://www.spirersomes.com


#8

Dear Amy, What you probably have is an Iolite (Cordierite). It has
exactly the same appearance as Black Star Sapphire were it not for
the fact that it has only the four rays. They are commonly given out
with promotions and are almost always hyped as Genuine Sapphires.
They do have a respectable hardness…7.5 Mohs. Most of them come
from Burma (Myanmar) and India. I would have second thoughts about
the dealer involved…Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#9

Helo im going to guess it may be star Diopside I may have even miss
spelled it but ive seen a lot of it at Jewlery shows i’ve been to some
try to pass it off as low grade star sapphire.

Hope i helped

the Gem Factory {gemfactry.com} John l. Kamfonik owner


#10

Hi Amy, You may have a star diopside. Here’s a comparison photo:
http://www.ezmo.com/starstones.jpg The 3 on the left are star
sapphires (sorry my stars didn’t show up very well!) they are 6 point
and have a golden brown hue around them. The 5 on the left are star
diopsides. They are very black and have a sharply defined 4 point
star. One major difference is hardness, Diopsides are about a 5.5
(fairly soft) where as sapphires are 9 (very hard). I have also
noticed that star diopsides don’t look very good in sunlight; the star
almost disappears and it just looks like a plain black stone. If you
put it under artificial light the star lights right up. The star
sapphires show their star under all types of light. At least that’s my
experience with them.

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry
http://LapidaryArt.com


#11

All, Boy ! I sure blew this one. For some reason I have always gotten
star Cordierite mixed up with star Diopside…maybe it is because
they both resemble Black Star Sapphire,.Both come from Burma and
India and both have a four rayed star. On the other hand, who is to
say that it couldn’t be Iolite ? In the absence of lab diagnostics,
it could very well be ! The problem is that Cordierite ( Iolite )
stars are quite rare and the hardness is
substantially less. Ron at Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, CA.


#12

Hello All- Just wanted to thank everyone (both on the list and off)
who replied to my Black Star Sapphire question. Two dozen emails in my
box this morning complete with links and pictures was above and beyond
the call of duty (you all know who you are). :slight_smile: Anyway after going
through everything I was sent I am certain that I now possess one 8mm
by 10mm black Star Diopside. For those of you who were concerned that
I had run into dishonest stone dealer, let me assure you that the
stone was thrown into the box as sort of a thank you for your business
goodie. And even though it was marked “Black Star Sapphire” I kind a
doubted that he would give me something like that for free. Actually I
am fairly certain that he chose it because he knows my favorite color
is black. :slight_smile:

Thanks again-
Amy


#13

Amy, Sounds like you got enough answers. I agree with them all. The
stone could be any of them. Two items I know may help you. When
cutting a star sapphire it is almost impossible to polish out all the
line left by the layers of sapphire you are grinding through. A
black star sapphire will show these lines upon careful inspection.
The lines will show as lines running around the girth of the stone
perpendicular to the rays of the star. Diopside and enstatite are
easier to polish and will not normally show these lines. Secondly
sapphire is much heavier than either diopside or enstatite per
volume. Almost all sapphires cut for sale have six ray stars. That
is the norm.

Gerry Galarneau


#14

This is almost certainly star diopside, an inexpensive pyroxene stone
also marketed as “Black Star of India.” Probably the easiest way to
identify it is to look at the rays of the “star.” Instead of
crossing at perfect 90-degree angles one of the two rays will be
offset a few degrees.

This material is often represented as genuine black star sapphire but
star sapphire always has a minimum of three rays (with six “legs”),
and sometimes six rays (twelve “legs”). Diopside has perfect
cleavage, one reasoon why gems cut from this material have low value.
If mounted in a ring, such a stone may easily split when rapped
against a hard surface. It is also soft, between 5 and 6 on Mohs’
scale.

Rick Martin


#15
  ... One of the stones I received is marked "Genuine Black Star
Sapphire". It's about 8mm by 10mm and an absolutely gorgeous shade
of deep black. There is a small problem with the star. Instead of
showing the normal six pointed star I am used to seeing on sapphires
the stone's star has only four points. It is clearly visible and the
rays form a cross. 

Amy, from your description, I’d guess that what you have is probably
star siopside. Sometimes also (incorrectly) called star enstatite,
the stuff is mostly from India. Much softer and more fragile than
sapphire, and much much cheaper too. The “star” doesn’t look quite
the same, so you can visually tell the difference easily. While it’s
possible to have a black star sapphire with only two rays, not three
(two rays give four points), they will still intersect at a 60 degree
angle. With star diopside, while the angle is not quite 90 degrees,
it’s much closer, and will look much more like a cross than a
sapphire with a missing ray. also, with Diopside, you’ll notice that
the two rays are not the same. One is usually slightly
longer/stronger/wider than the other. The difference in
sharpness/width between the two rays is almost always easy to see.

The degree to which you’ve been cheated (if at all) would depend on
whether you paid for a star sapphire, and got this, or whether you
just paid for whatever and this came incorrectly labeled… either
way, if this is a diopside, it’s not even remotely related to sapphire
as a gem, though it might come from a similar region of the world.
And as noted, the values difference between the two types of gem is
very substantial, in addition to the great differences in hardness and
durability.

Nevertheless, Diopsides (since you’ve got it, after all), are still
pretty stones. I’d recommend, though, that if you have it put in
jewelry, put it in something that will get less wear than a ring. It
would be fine in a pendant. In a ring, unless the design protects it
very well, chances are it won’t last long…

Hope this helps.
Peter Rowe


#16

Amy, Your stone is propably Diopside which produces a four ray star,
unlike sapphire which produces six rays. Diopside stars are very dark
green, almost black. They have a specific gravity of 3.27-3.31 and
refractive index of 1.671-1.726. Sapphire specific gravity is
3.99-4.00 with a refrective index of 1.766-1.774. I think Diopside is
a beautiful stone, especially the faceted emerald green Chrome
Diopside. Stephanie Chestler, GG


#17

It could be black star diopside. I have bought this stone a couple
of times for a customer of mine. Try finding info on this. Good luck! Lisa


#18
   It could be black star diopside.  I have bought this stone a
couple of times for a customer of mine. Try finding info on this. 
Good luck! Lisa 

Recently a similar question was asked.It could be Diopside,Enstatite
or even an Idaho Star Garnet.You are most likely to get a positive ID
rather then guesses if you put a photo of the stone up on the
Internet,and a link to it in your post. Mark Liccini

http://www.LICCINI.com


#19

All, Awhile back someone wrote in and suggested that Enstatite was not
a valid term. Nonetheless, if you would like to play with some of
this"non-existent" stuff you can get it from Jim’s
Gemology....jimsgemology@aol.com. He sells this and Star Diopside at
very reasonable prices. Star Diopside and Enstatite are not the same
thing, although they are very similar in most respects. Diopside is a
calcium magnesium silicate whereas Enstatite is a magnesium silicate
without calcium. Enstatite sometimes produces good catseyes while the
Diopside is noted for the four rayed stars. Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA.