Peculiar Pearls & Other Oddities – 100mph Star Sapphire


silvio - sapp car 2

The Star Sapphire was a large automobile produced by Armstrong Siddeley Motors Limited of Coventry, England. It was one in a line of five luxury cars produced between 1952 and 1960. The Star Sapphire itself was produced between 1958 and 1960.

All Sapphire cars featured a Sphinx ornament at the end of the hood. The classy looking car impressed and won the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show ahead of a Jaguar Mark IX. Price tag: £2,646. That’s around 5,300 US dollars today.

In a word, it was a gem. Indeed, it is said that it was in a league of its own, offering a surprisingly smooth 100mph performance. Driving it was pure pleasure. It was a classy jewel of a car and it got noticed.

silvio - sapph 4

A friend stopped in to see Silvio recently and bring a gift: a star sapphire. The gem, of course, which to Silvio is just as exciting as the car, not to mention easier to wear.

A star sapphire is a type of sapphire with a unique inclusion pattern within that forms an asterisk shape, or star. This particular gem makes astonishing cabochons since the concave shape dramatically enhances the star pattern. This is best accomplished by cutting the gem so that the star will end up near the top of the dome.

The star sapphire belongs to the corundum family. Red corundum is called ruby. In fact, it is the only corundum with its own name. All others are known as sapphires.

In ancient times, star sapphires were mostly worn or carried around by men. More specifically, they were used as guiding talismans by travelers; both those traveling the world and those on an inner journey to seek knowledge.

This makes a rather appropriate link back to the car… A lost marketing opportunity back in 1958 perhaps? The recent release of the new VW Beetle featured a flower vase. Imagine a bejeweled Star Sapphire car!

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About PS MacMurray

Paschal'Simon MacMurray, the scribe, specializes in providing a no nonsense Facebook and Blog presence for small business owners who want quality without breaking the bank. PS MacMurray, the artisan, creates art on a whim using fabric, paper, beads, twine and wire. View all posts by PS MacMurray

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