The Star of India is 563.35 carats, making it the world’s largest gem-quality blue star sapphire. It also has stars on both sides of the stone which is highly unusual. It is over two billion years old, but was only discovered about 300 years ago in Sri Lanka. Based on where it was discovered, it should be named the Star of Ceylon (Sri Lanka’s name until 1972) and the difference is likely due to confusion over its origin.
Very little is known about the stone until it became part of J.P. Morgan’s collection of gemstones exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1900. He later donated the Star of India and the rest of the collection to the American Museum of Natural History in New York where it is on display to the public.
In October 1964, the Star of India was stolen, along with 21 other gemstones and diamonds, from the American Museum of History by thieves who left a toilet window open after visiting the museum during the day. While the Star of India was protected by its own alarm, the alarm was either not working or deactivated during the robbery. Luckily, the thieves were arrested within two days of the robbery and one of the robbers led police to a bus locker in Miami where the Star of India and other gems were recovered.
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