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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Star of Katandru

Star of Katandru (NMNH G10398)
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Catalog Number NMNH G10398-00
Locality Sri Lanka
Weight 16.21 ct

Gift of Mr. Jeffrey B. Bilgore in 2004 in memory of Mr. I. G. Heyman.

Some of the most interesting members of the gem kingdom are those reflecting bright bands of light that form stars. This optical phenomenon, called asterism, is caused by light reflecting off of parallel bundles of tiny hollow tubes or fibrous crystals of another mineral inside the gemstone. When a properly oriented stone is cut “en cabochon,” round or oval shape with a domed top and flat bottom, the star is visible. This exceptional 16.21-carat Sri Lankan star ruby, the “Star of Katandru,” has a well-centered star with straight arms of sharp intensity and a uniform and beautiful body color. The Star of Katandru was named in honor of the donor’s children, Katherine and Andrew.


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