The Star of India is said to be the largest and most famous Sapphire in the world! It was discovered in Ceylon in the early 1700’s and is believed to have formed over a billion years ago. Its home is now in the New York Museum of Natural History: it was presented to them by the financier J.P Morgan in 1900. In appearance the Star of India looks quite milky. It receives its star effect (also known as aterism) from the presence of tiny rutile inclusions which all run parallel to one another within the gemstone. The gem weighs a huge 563cts and is similar in size to a ping pong ball.
Like many of the world’s famous Diamonds, this Sapphire is surrounded by scandal. In 1964 the Star of India was the object of a famous burglary when it was stolen by Jack Murphy (also known as ‘Murph the Surf’). Although he was arrested within a few days, the Sapphire wasn’t recovered for several months and was allegedly discovered in a locker in a Miami bus station.