Anna: I took some photos yesterday, but they didn't get uploaded to the computer until I got home from work - which was almost 2 am. So here's the post I meant to do yesterday. :-D
Sapphires (aluminum oxide) are a variety of Corundum that come in all colours but red (the red ones are rubies). The star sapphire is different, in that it has tiny, needle-like inclusions of rutile (titanium oxide) arranged in such a way that they reflect light in six pointed stars. These stars will follow the light, moving about the surface of the stone. With multiple light sources, there can be multiple stars. I've seen as many as six in each of the stones pictured below.
As much as the technical side of such things fascinate me, and as much as I like star sapphires - especially the blue ones - that's not what make this ring special.
When Philippe and I were married, his parents weren't able to come back to Canada until 3 months later. Since he was still in X Platoon, waiting for his injury to heal enough that he could start basic training all over again, he was able to return to Manitoba during their visit to see them - and me. At the first opportunity after their arrival, my new MIL unexpectedly handed me this gorgeous ring - two star sapphires and a diamond, set in white gold. My FIL had bought it for her many years ago and they had decided it would be passed on to the wife of their first son to marry, with another ring for the wife of their second son to marry. Of course, they assumed that the first son to marry would be Philippe's older brother. No one, least of all ourselves, counted on us getting married so young. It was a wonderful gift, welcoming me into their family, and will some day be passed on to the first of our daughters to marry - whichever one that turns out to be. ;-)
Chunks of aluminum oxide with slivers of titanium oxide inside it, a piece of carbon, all held together with some Au.
Who'd have thought little bits and pieces of elements could look so good, and mean so much.