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My $15 star sapphire, for French Blue

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glitterata

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I mentioned this ring on French Blue's thread about her faux green garnet, and she asked to see pictures, so here goes.

I bought this ring at my favorite flea market. It's set in unmarked sterling, and the black onyx surrounding the center stone is cracked in a couple of places. The seller had it in her junk tray and was apologetic about charging me $15 instead of the usual $5, but explained that it's a heavy silver piece, probably sterling. (Maybe I'm misremembering--she might have charged me $8.) She said the stone was real onyx. I think she meant that the center stone was real onyx as well as the black stuff surrounding it.

She's wrong--the center stone is a natural star sapphire. Bluish gray, translucent, with a strong, sharp, well-centered star with a crooked leg. (If those are technical terms, I might be using them incorrectly--I'm just describing what I see.)

I find this ring very mysterious. When was it made? Who by? Where? Why? I've discussed it with various jewelry friends, who all have different opinions. One thinks it's from the 1910s-20s, arts & crafts. One thinks 1930s-40s. I think 1970s art nouveau revival, myself, and I find the setting hideous. It's particularly unattractive on my hand. It's clearly a woman's ring--it's small enough that I have to wear it on my pinky, but it's clearly never been sized (the pattern goes around the back uninterrupted)--but it has that chunky man's ring look, except for the tulips.

If anyone wants to speculate about when/where it might have been made, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

onyxstarsapphgl1.jpg
 

glitterata

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Nice, tall sapphire. That's part of my 19th c doorknob collection in the background (yes, I'm insane):

onyxstarsapphgl3.jpg
 

AmberGretchen

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The stone is really cool, but I agree with you about the ring - it would be cool to get the stone re-set - I'd love to see it in a halo of some kind - either delicate rose gold, or maybe french-cut blue sapphires to contrast the shades of blue
 

Catmom

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It is quite an unusual ring. I love the star sapphire though and what a bargain for the price!


ETA: I have a tiny synthetic star sapphire ring which cost a lot back in the day. I'm quite jealous that you found a real one for that price.
 

glitterata

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I wish I were the sort of person who could reset the stone. But I find myself feeling so sorry for this poor ugly unloved ring that someone clearly worked so hard to make by hand. I can''t bring myself to destroy it, even though it''s hideous and the onyx is cracked.

I know, I know, I''m crazy.

I do wish I knew when it was made--even just a decade or period.

Yoo hoo! Jewelerman! Want to hazard a guess?
 

Fly Girl

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Interesting ring. Fun to pick up pretties on the cheap, isn''t it?


Now, I''m curious. I picked up this slightly dinged blue (with LOTS of grey) star sapphire at a local gem show a few months ago. It''s just under 3 ct and cost me $10. The seller said it was natural. I just figured it was cheap because the color wasn''t all that blue. But I love looking at the star. Anyhow, it looks a lot like yours.

BlueSS5160.JPG
 

Fly Girl

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Hard to get a decent picture of the star, but mine is probably a bit fuzzier that yours. Still, so cool the way it moves about in the stone.

BlueSS5157.JPG
 

glitterata

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I like that! I like the color, and it looks more transparent than mine. It looks like it has a yellow spot, or is that the lighting? I don''t know why it was so inexpensive--I don''t really know what they''re supposed to cost--but I would definitely have bought it for $10. Maybe the price is because of the chip?
 

frenchblue

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Jan 31, 2009
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113
SHUT UP. that is a DEAD RINGER for the lab star sapphire i have. you are really starting to freak me out g, you know you also beat me to the punch on that pretty synth. sapphire dinner ring of yours! it was in my watch list on the ''bay.

too weird!!


oh yeah, and, i love your awesome $15 sapphire (obviously)
 

Fly Girl

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Date: 2/14/2009 7:33:35 PM
Author: glitterata
I like that! I like the color, and it looks more transparent than mine. It looks like it has a yellow spot, or is that the lighting? I don''t know why it was so inexpensive--I don''t really know what they''re supposed to cost--but I would definitely have bought it for $10. Maybe the price is because of the chip?
The yellow spot is the reflection from my hand. Those sapphires are darn hard to photograph.

It may be worth putting into a sterling setting so I can enjoy wearing it. Yours has a nice sharp star, and I bet it''s fun to play with. I hadn''t noticed the chip until I took the pictures. Gotta start louping at the gem show, but when it''s so cheap to begin with...
 

purrfectpear

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Glitterata, I''m with you on the 60''s/70''s guess. It looks sort of hippy dippy doesn''t it


It''s a lovely star though.
 

glitterata

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Aeronautrix, I think that''s a great find & would look great in a silver setting. Go for it!

I love stones that DO something--star sapphires, color changers, moonstones, etc. They''re so endlessly entertaining.

Mlle. Blue, we''re clearly deco twins! Do you like weird Victorian stuff too? How do you feel about mourning jewelry made of hair?
 

frenchblue

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Jan 31, 2009
Messages
113
stop it!! the number one on my next-big-jewelry-purchase list is a blue to purple color change sapphire. AND i keep going back to this gorgeous moonstone lovely on fay cullen just to stare...

i DO love weird victorian stuff, although the hair thing freaks me out a little because (yes, maybe seriously a little bit) i wonder about ghosts hanging around any bits of body they might have left behind.

ok, so i''m crazy. now you all know.

 

chrono

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I''m no good with jewellery and its history but wanted to say it''s a lovely find. I love how high it is and think you got an excellent deal. Even if chipped and cracked, it still shows a good star.
 

glitterata

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Thanks Chrono--the sapphire isn''t chipped or cracked, just the black onyx surrounding it.
 

chrono

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Date: 2/14/2009 11:59:37 PM
Author: glitterata
Thanks Chrono--the sapphire isn''t chipped or cracked, just the black onyx surrounding it.
Well! Then you got an excellent deal.
I know you feel bad for that unloved setting but I would reset it and I think it''ll really make the star sapphire stand out even more (and make you love it more too).
 

crown1

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Date: 2/14/2009 6:37:10 PM
Author:glitterata
I mentioned this ring on French Blue''s thread about her faux green garnet, and she asked to see pictures, so here goes.


I bought this ring at my favorite flea market. It''s set in unmarked sterling, and the black onyx surrounding the center stone is cracked in a couple of places. The seller had it in her junk tray and was apologetic about charging me $15 instead of the usual $5, but explained that it''s a heavy silver piece, probably sterling. (Maybe I''m misremembering--she might have charged me $8.) She said the stone was real onyx. I think she meant that the center stone was real onyx as well as the black stuff surrounding it.


She''s wrong--the center stone is a natural star sapphire. Bluish gray, translucent, with a strong, sharp, well-centered star with a crooked leg. (If those are technical terms, I might be using them incorrectly--I''m just describing what I see.)


I find this ring very mysterious. When was it made? Who by? Where? Why? I''ve discussed it with various jewelry friends, who all have different opinions. One thinks it''s from the 1910s-20s, arts & crafts. One thinks 1930s-40s. I think 1970s art nouveau revival, myself, and I find the setting hideous. It''s particularly unattractive on my hand. It''s clearly a woman''s ring--it''s small enough that I have to wear it on my pinky, but it''s clearly never been sized (the pattern goes around the back uninterrupted)--but it has that chunky man''s ring look, except for the tulips.


If anyone wants to speculate about when/where it might have been made, I''d love to hear your thoughts!

i have a question. are you saying this is a natural star sapphire period or could it be a diffused star sapphire? i am asking for clarification not disputing your information.

i have done a very small amount of reading about star sapphires and star rubies as i find them lovely to look at. i am old enough that i own one of the linde stars that were popular in the 1960''s. i did read that the diffused star sapphire was often set in silver and this is one of the reasons i ask. that may explain why some star sapphires are more affordable. from what i read a true star sapphire or ruby is pretty rare and the price is premium. i am going to do some checking as no prices were given in the sources i was reading.

interesting piece you have thanks for sharing.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
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Here''s why I think mine is natural: The star is crooked and the color is uneven and the stone is translucent, not opaque or transparent. Basically, it isn''t good-looking enough to be synthetic.

Nice-quality natural star sapphires command high prices. But there are plenty of not-so-great ones around for much, much less.
 

crown1

Brilliant_Rock
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my understanding is that a diffused star sapphire is a natural stone heated and thus not so highly priced. i was not insinuating yours was synthetic. i asked as the article i read stated many diffused star sapphires were set in silver.
 
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