The Black Star of Queensland - Famous Black Sapphire Gemstone

The following is a question raised by one of our readers pertaining to our Blog webpage on "The Black Star of Queensland Famous Black Sapphire Gemstone"published on February 19, 2008.After reading the article on the Black Sapphire of Queensland and the amount of money that it brought in 2002, I wanted to ask Dr. Shihaan of his opinion as to what the “Black Sapphire of Queensland” would be appraised for today?

The following answer was provided by me on April 1, 2009 :- Hello,Thank you very much for the question regarding the black star sapphire.Actually it is not known for how much the stone was sold by the anonymous owner in 2002.The estimate of 100 million dollars was quoted by several leading newspapers, but they did not quote their source either.Considering the enormous size and the perfect star, I am not surprised at the estimate.Take a look at the current prices of black star sapphires:These are the prices of smaller black star sapphires.1.0carats 3 to 10 US$ per carat1.0–4.99carats 10 to 50 US$ per carat5.0carats + 30 to 100 US$ per carat (golden stars may reach US$ 200 per carat).The Black Star of Queensland is the only large black star sapphire in the World, it is the only one of its kind in the world.There are numerous large star rubies and large star blue sapphires in many museums and private collections of the world.The usual sizes of black star sapphires is less than 5 carats, making the black star of Queensland an extremely rare gemstone.It is highly unlikely that another one of this size will be found even in the future.In my opinion it is difficult to estimate the present value, being an extraordinary stone it cant be compared to market value, because black sapphire stones of such enormous size and quality are not available in the market. The price will be determined by the highest bidder (auction) for the gemstone.Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions/comments on this gemstone or any other gemstones/diamonds - Dr Shihaan
Attached files

NadeemJuly 30, 2009 at 3:46 pmSomeone sent me a test report from Dubai for 3 Star Sapphire stones, 1 Blue (204 Carat) one Black (120 Carat) one black again (50 carat). is it really possible to have such stones. If yes, what may be the estimated value of such stones ?

Coco RenaudSeptember 27, 2009 at 5:54 pmI know a man named Jack, who says he was the owner of the big black stone and that Harry Winston kept it from him. He eventually settled with Winston. But I’m not sure what the settlement was for. He went on to purchase Liz Taylor’s old house in the Calif. desert. Just wondering if you could verify the price the stone finally went for.Coco RenaudSeptember 27, 2009 at 5:57 pmI heard that the big black stone was finally transferred to Winston. Can you find out what the settlement was?My friend Jack was a co-owner. Just wondering the ‘worth” today. Winston was keeping it hostage and finally got it. For a pretty price i’m sure.Thanks.

sammyJanuary 10, 2010 at 7:25 pmWhat will be the price of a 120 ct natural black star sapphire? Thank woodsJanuary 20, 2010 at 6:58 amHi there! A friend of mine just had a star sapphire cut. It is about 25 carats. It has 2 perfect stars on it, one bronze and the other blue, directly sitting on top of each other, like a 12 point star, one leg of star blue, the next bronze etc… He has been told that this is a very rare, maybe priceless stone. Hope this makes sense. Can’t find any info at all. What do you think about this rare gemstone, without having the opportunity of seeing it ? Can you help ?

victorApril 10, 2012 at 5:28 pmI have a very large piece of raw black star saphire. It weighs about 16 oz and is about the size of the palm of my hand. I am interested in knowing more about it and I am also wondering if you buy stones.Thank youVictor

michealJuly 19, 2012 at 1:37 amI have a very large black stone that I found on the side of a creek bed near Emerald Qld just after the 2010/2011 floods. It is still surrounded by what I think is some sort of opal and clay and dirt. Any ideas on who I could contact to get more info about this rock?

The following is an image of some Black Star Sapphires exhibited at the FACETS-2010 Exhibition, held in September 2010, in Sri Lanka :-

I came across the following natural black/grey star sapphires of extraordinary size and quality, with perfect radiating stars and mounted on exquisitely crafted, stunning designer jewelry, offered for sale at The Star Ruby Shop, the renowned online shopping site, with the web address .The black star sapphires appear to be of Indian origin. The cabochon-cut of the star sapphires are indeed splendid with the radiating stars perfectly centered :-1) A 35.44-carat black star sapphire mounted as the centerpiece of a unique pendant, also incorporating 0.61 carats of diamonds.2) A 15.06-carat black star sapphire mounted as the centerpiece of a 10K yellow gold, Solid Men’s Ring, with the gold weighing 10.02 grams.3) A 55.70-carat black/grey star sapphire mounted as the centerpiece of a 10K white gold, one-of-a-kind pendant, with the gold weighing 11.13 grams. The above images were taken from the following webpage :- this information would be stimulating for the on-going discussion and also useful for your readers.
Attached files

Thank you Diamanta, for your contribution. The images you have uploaded are indeed stunning and hopefully useful for all participants in this forum.

Thanks for your information Diamanta. I too came across images of some stunning black star sapphires set in some exquisitely crafted pieces of jewelry at the online shopping portal A 11.01-carat natural black star sapphire of Indian origin, set in a handcrafted 14K white-gold pendant, price marked USD 1,231.25.2) A 9.80-carat natural black star sapphire set in a 14K yellow-gold ring, price marked USD 1,131.25.

Please click the following link to visit this webpage Attached files

A stunning range of black star sapphires, of Thailand origin, some extremely rare, can be seen at the online shopping portal of the renowned Bangkok-based gem company AJS Gems.Here are some examples of these black beauties :-1) An extremely rare, 28.96-carat, cabochon-cut, oval-shaped, 12-rayed, black star sapphire of Thailand origin moderately price marked USD 1,200.002) A rare, 28.79-carat, cabochon-cut, roundish-oval, 12-rayed, black star sapphire of Thailand origin, with six distinct and six lighter rays alternating with one another, and moderately price marked USD 1,145.003) A 19.53-carat, cabochon-cut-oval-shaped, 6-rayed, black star sapphire of Thailand origin, with thin very distinct rays, price marked USD 765.004) A 3.72-carat, cabochon-cut, 6-rayed, black star sapphire of Thailand origin, with a rare unconventional pear-shape, price marked USD 95.00Please click the following link to visit AJS Gems webpage on Black Star Sapphires -
Attached files

Wow Mary !!! Your images are indeed stunning and informative. I have seen 12-rayed blue star sapphires before. Honestly, this is the first time I am seeing a 12-rayed black star sapphire. Hoping for more useful contributions from you in the future.

Thanks Mary for your contribution. The images you uploaded not only show distinct rays, but also bundles of rutile/haematite fibres/platelets laid down in hexagonal pattern, that are responsible for the play of light, known as the “star effect” or asterism.

What actually causes the black color in black star sapphires ?


Sapphire is crystalline Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3)known as Corundum, the second hardest on the Mohs scale after diamond. Sapphires crystallize in the trigonal crystal system, forming crystals that are hexagonal elongate prisms. Pure sapphires made of Aluminium Oxide only are white in color. However, if some of the Aluminium atoms in the crystal lattice of Aluminium Oxide are displaced by atoms of transition elements, various colored forms of sapphire are produced, such as titanium and iron causing different shades of blue; vanadium causing purple color; iron causing yellow and green; nickel causing green; iron and vanadium causing orange; chromium and iron causing the pinkish orange of Padparadscha Sapphire. In the case of black sapphire however, no transition element is responsible for the black color. The black color is caused by the incorporation of the mineral impurity Haematite (Iron III Oxide - Fe2O3) in the crystal structure of Aluminium Oxide. Haematite is a black or grayish mineral, forming small platelets or fibers, that exist as inclusions in the sapphire. Star Sapphire is asteriated Corundum. The star effect known as “asterism” is produced by bundles of rutile fibers (Titanium Oxide) aligned in a three-fold pattern inside the stone, reflecting the light entering the stone from its dome-shaped face into the six-rayed star pattern. The milkiness of the sapphire known as “silk” is also caused by rutile fibers. In the case of black star sapphires, the star effect is produced by bundles of Haematite platelets or fibres aligned in a three-fold pattern inside the stone. Rutile fibers may also be found in black star sapphires in combination with the haematite fibers, and may contribute to the asterism. Hence, in black star sapphires both the color of the sapphires and asterism are caused mainly by one inclusion, viz. Haematite platelets or fibers.