My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Asterism (gemmology)



This article is about the characteristic in some gems. For other uses, see Asterism
 

In gemmology, an asterism is an optical phenomenon displayed by some rubies, sapphires, and other gems of an enhanced reflective area in the shape of a "star" on the surface of a cabochon cut from the stone. Star sapphires and rubies get their asterism from the titanium dioxide impurities (rutile) present in them.[1]

Additional recommended knowledge

A distinction can be made between two types of asterism:

  • Epiasterism, such as that seen in sapphire and most other gems, is the result of a reflection of light on parallel arranged inclusions inside the gemstone.
  • Diasterism, such as that seen in rose quartz, is the result of light transmitted through the stone. In order to see this effect, the stone must be illuminated from behind.

References

  1. ^ Emsley, John (2001). Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 451 – 53. ISBN 0-19-850341-5. 
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Asterism_(gemmology)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE