The Philosophers Stone

Known since ancient times, for it’s great power in favoring spiritual life, the star sapphire is linked to the 6thchakra, Ajna, protecting against hostility, developing premonition and favoring self control and interior peace of it’s host. It’s the perfect new-age gem to enter the era of Aquarius.

By the combination of the sapphire and its gleam the star sapphire becomes ‘The Traveler’s Gem’, marrying the sapphire’s interior peace with the gleaming power.
In the northern mines, around the Ankarana mountains, one gem in a thousand has the star.

Worldwide there are approximately two hundred sapphire mines. In most of he mines the star sapphire often appears grey or with white like clouds. Burma and Sri Lanka have blue ones that cost a small fortune.

Because of the star sapphire’s incredible strength and its blue zones creating beams, marbles and lifelines, northern Madagascar’s star sapphire is said to be the most beautiful. It’s like an ever-lasting unique digital print. Like everywhere, the sapphires are too rare to be known on the market. Frederic Stern in his jewelery workshop in Nosy Be confirms that, “1000 to 2000 star sapphires are found yearly in Madagascar.”

A natural hologram

Mined only since 1996 Ankarana’s star sapphire came into existence 20 million years ago in underground magmatic pockets.
The creation of alumine silicate, also called corindon or sapphire, is the result of a chemical reaction in the vulcan’s basalt of the anorthite, a kind of feldspar, helped by a gas that comes from the meeting of magma and the Tsingy limestone, which are 160 million year old coral reefs.

Since 50 years ago, jewelers are classifying gems in hardness and color.

First on Moth’s hardness scale comes the diamond (10\10), followed by the ruby and sapphire being corindon (9\10) and finally the emerald (8\10) which is a beryl.

So there are four gems.

Without question though the rarest and most fabulous is with it’s various shades of blue and gleaming depth is the star sapphire.

The simultaneous presence of iron and titan creates the blue coloration. The star is an effect from very fine inclusions of beams, organized in layers placed uni directionally in a 120 degrees angle to the three axles of the crystal’s hexagon and a right angle to the prism at the moment of crystallization.

The dome shape reveals the star in the sunshine, a hologram playing on the surface of the gem.

Each part of the shaped gem gives a star.

les saphirs bleus de madagascar

un mineur examine une pierre

zoom sur une étoile de saphir

A Maharadjah GEM

Gem's Origin

The miners are, in general, are peasants dividing their activities. In the agricultural low season they form teams of two to fifteen miners sharing equal parts.

One more part goes to the one who finances the food and material.
Once they arrive in the vein (10-20m) the earth is carried in baskets to the river for washing. The profit sharing happens either right there or after all the gems are sold to the different collectors.

On Tuesdays, a fady (tabu) forbids them to work the earth. The peasants respect their ancestors. This is the day of the big market in the village of Ambondrofe, along the national road NR6, where everybody meets to stock up and discuss the sapphire’s quality.

There are opaque and translucent ones and then there are the milky ones which will be heated overseas. We are searching our stars in the opaque batch.

One in a thousand!

carte de l'ankarana

la mine de saphir à madagascar

porteurs à la mine de saphir

le repos du mineur

un laveur dans une mine de saphir à madagascar

mine lavage