[Tidbits] Star of India...Star of Bombay


Another word for Star Sapphire…Asteria. Some called it the
Stone of Destiny. The three cross bars which create the star look
were thought to represent Faith, Hope, and Destiny. No wonder
then, that it was worn as a guiding gem, used to ward off ill
omens and the Evil Eye. It was unique among those stones
empowered by man with magical properties…unique in its
potency…unique because even when passed on to other hands, it
still continued to exercise its good influence over the original

Our Star Sapphire had a calming effect. It helped cure stomach
ulcers. It released the restraints in the over-practical. As to
the fame of the stone…well…Helen of Troy owned one. And on a
more contemporary basis…Sir Richard Burton owned one. It is
said that he used his as a bartering tool, offering glimpses of
it to Orientals during his travels in exchange for food and

So now we come to two famous Star Sapphires. I must admit folks,
when I read about the Star of Bombay…and then the Star of
India… I thought they were one and the same. T’aint so folks.
The Star of India is a Ceylonese blue stone weighing 563.35
carats and is considered to be the largest of its kind in the
world. It’s comparatively flawless and is available for viewing
at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The Star of Bombay has a little more pizzazz to it. It’s one of
the world’s great star sapphires. Though called the Star of
Bombay, it’s actually from Sri Lanka. The artisan who cut this
stone had to be able to accurately judge the correct orientation
in his design in order to bring out the striking refections
inside the gem which would bring out the most beauty of the
star. The final result was a 60 carat marvel.

The year is 1935. The jewelry company was Trabert & Hoeffer,
Inc. of Park Avenue, New York. They took this Cashmere blue stone
and mounted it in a ring of their design.

Hollywood. Same year as above. A love affair is going on between
husband and wife. Two great stars of the silent screen shine in
the forefront of Hollywood’s gallery of actors and actresses as
symbols of successful marriages. Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Mary
Pickford are soul mates. So what does a regular every day guy buy
his gal for an occasion? Money’s no object, says the gallant lad.
She’s worth more than every penny I’ve got. Well…says the
jeweler. How about this little trinket. The Star of Bombay
ring…one of the most famous stones in the world. Done, says
Douglas. And Mary has a new ring.

So…then…just exactly what does a famous star sapphire bought
by a famous actor and given to a famous actress…just exactly
what does a stone like this look like? Heh heh. How did I know
you were going to ask? In anticipation of the
frothing-at-the-mouth curiosity of my readers, I thought, hey,
why not hoist up a graphic? Novel concept, eh wot? And so I did.
For you newcomers–can you imagine the day when I won’t have to
say for you newcomers because all the world will be reading
Tidbits–however…till then…for you newcomers…to my home
page, scroll down the table menu till you get to Tidbits, click
on Bombay, and you’ll see its Star.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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