Star Sapphires have been one of the most highly prized gemstones for centuries. They are included in some of the ancient and medieval lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers, and are sometimes given their own distinct section in modern lapidaries. They come in every shade of the rainbow, although red ones will be called Star Rubies instead. The name refers to a curious phenomenon that results in a vivid white six-pointed star in polished transparent gemstones. Polished opaque star-stones, have a silvery shimmer instead of a distinct star.
Star Sapphires were thought to have special powers, stronger and more unique than that of regular Sapphires. In cultures flanking the Mediterranean Sea, Star Sapphires were thought to be love charms and magical talismans. Helen of Troy was said to derive her beauty and power, in part, because she owned a star-stone. According to Arab lore, Star Sapphires give their owner the power to speak in the language of the genii and thus command the jinns to perform feats of magic. In one 17th century German lapidary, Star Sapphires were described as siegstein, or “victory stone”. While among Christian populations, Star Sapphire has been called “The Stone of Destiny” for centuries, with the crossed lines symbolizing faith, hope and charity. In Sri Lanka, where many Star Sapphires have been found, they are believed to offer powerful protection against the evil eye and other forms of witchcraft. Star Sapphire command a higher price than regularly Sapphires and so miners link them with good luck and financial abundance.