Origin of name
The “Star of Bharany Ruby” gets its name from the previous owners of this rare and unique gemstone, the House of Bharany, renowned dealers and collectors of antique jewelry, textiles, arts and artifacts and curios, based in New Delhi. The art and jewelry collection of the House of Bharany is so rare and valuable, that even the Government of India, often borrowed from this collection, whenever the need arose to showcase the ancient traditions of Indian art, at different festivals of India, in leading capitals around the world, such as London, Paris, Washington DC, Tokyo and Moscow. The firm also deals in modern jewelry designed and handcrafted by their expert craftsmen. The family-run enterprise is today in its third generation, and the “Star of Bharany Ruby” appears to have remained with the family, throughout this period.
©House of Louis XV
Characteristics of the gemstone
The world’s finest star ruby
The “Star of Bharany Ruby” is a 27.62-carat, oval, cabochon-cut, high-domed star ruby, with a desirable purplish-red color, and a fairly well-defined six-rayed star. The stone is flawless, with good translucency. A combination of all these desirable characteristics make the “Star of Bharany Ruby” one of the world’s finest star rubies.
What makes an ideal star ruby ?
An ideal star ruby should have a perfect red color, approaching the benchmark color for rubies known as the pigeon-blood red color, found in top quality Mogok rubies. The star should also be very distinct, silvery white and centrally placed with rays extending towards the base of the stone. The gemstone should be translucent, and flawless with the minimum of inclusions.
Does the “Star of Bharany Ruby” qualify as an ideal star ruby ?
Apart from the color the next most important factor that determines the quality of a star ruby, is the distinctness of the star. A common observation that has been made by gemologists, is that the best stars are always associated with the lighter tones of red, such as the pinkish red or reddish pink stones. To have a perfect star in pigeon-blood red stones is an extremely rare occurrence, and if it happens becomes an ideal star ruby, commanding premium prices. The “Star of Bharany Ruby” has a purplish-red color, as well as a fairly distinct 6-rayed star, with all other important characteristics being at the optimum level. The rare combination of purplish-red color with a fairly distinct 6-rayed star, makes the “Star of Bharany Ruby” one of the finest star rubies in the world, that almost approaches the status of an “ideal star ruby.”
History of the “Star of Bharany Ruby”
The source of the ruby
The “Star of Bharany Ruby” was in the possession of the “House of Bharany” for at least three generations. The Bharany family had not disclosed how they came into possession of this world class ruby, and the source of the ruby is unknown. However, some striking features of the stone, particularly its dark purplish-red color and the fairly distinct 6-rayed star gives some indication as to its possible origin. The stone being over a hundred years old, there were only two countries in the world at that time, that produced star rubies with perfect stars, due to their high rutile content. These countries were Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Rubies produced in Burma were generally dark-red and those produced in Sri Lanka were generally lighter in color, such as pinkish-red or reddish-pink. Thus the dark-red color of the ruby, excludes Sri Lanka as a possible source. Therefore, the most probable source country of the “Star of Bharany Ruby” is Burma.
The setting of the “Star of Bharany Ruby”
The House of Bharany that owned the world class star ruby, got it set by its craftsmen, as the centerpiece of an 18k gold ring, surrounded by a layer of 24 smaller round brilliant-cut diamonds. The exquisitely crafted piece of jewelry was then acquired by the renowned Arizona-based jewelry store, the House of Louis XV, which added it to their world famous gem collection. The House of Louis XV has priced this unique piece of jewelry at $30,000, as displayed on their website as of April 23, 2008. Being a natural star ruby with desirable characteristics, and a history of over 100 years associated with it, the “Star of Bharany Ruby” is indeed worth much more than its marked price.
The House of Bharany
The House of Bharany, dealers and collectors of antique jewelry and textiles and other art works and curios, was founded in the early 20th century in Calcutta, by R. K. Bharany, a connoisseur and collector of art objects, antique jewelry and royal textiles, who was also referred to as the “grand old man from Amritsar.” In the year 1906, at an exhibition held in Calcutta, R. K. Bharany was awarded a gold medal for putting together such a unique and extensive collection. His collection became renowned in the world of art, and a treasure-trove for all lovers, connoisseurs, and critics of art around the world, and reference was made to his art collection by all eminent art historians in their books and publications.
After the death of R. K. Bharany his son C. L. Bharany inherited not only his father’s business but also his great passion and desire for collecting works of art, and set about expanding and building up on his father’s collection. He collected a wider variety of art works, such as wooden artifacts, tribal art pieces, variety of textiles, shawls, robes etc. He set up his show rooms in 1950, at the Great Eastern Hotel of Calcutta and later at the Oberoi Grand Hotel. Mr. C. L. Bharany was not only a collector and connoisseur of arts, but was also a full-fledged artist himself and an author. He was a writer, producer and director of several plays, and a well known author of books on Indian art, poetry, philosophy, mythology as well as fiction. His collection of art work was so highly valued, that even the Government of India, borrowed from his collection, for display at international exhibitions.
In the year 1962, the House of Bharany shifted their showrooms to their present site at No. 14, Sunder Nagar Market, at New Delhi, the capital city of India. Around this time, Mr. C. L. Bharany shifted part of the responsibility of running the family business to his two talented sons Ramji Bharany, and Mahesh Bharany. Ramji studied gemology at London and New York, and Mahesh graduated from the University of Los Angeles, California. The two brothers representing a third generation of Bharanys, while involved in the successful running of the family business, also design modern pieces of jewelry, that are then exquisitely crafted by their experienced craftsmen. The House of Bharany today, can boast of an exquisite collection of traditional Mughal style jewelry and old textiles, and they had always been in the forefront trying to revive and promote the great legacy of Indian art.
House of Louis XV
The House of Louis XV, who acquired the “Star of Bharany Ruby” and added it to their “World Famous Gem Collection” was founded in the tradition of Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany, and has become a pat of this inner sanctum of jewelry royalty. The company was created out of the need for a jeweler who could offer creative, timeless jewelry at reasonable prices, and today the House of Louis XV, has distinguished itself from other elite jewelers, by popularizing the concept of “Affordable Extravagance”
The Louis XV “World Famous Gem Collection” contain gems of astonishing sizes, some exceeding over 100 carats, which have been set in exquisite pieces of jewelry. Among the range of products offered by Louis XIV, include rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and accessories. All items sold by the company are appraised by a GIA qualified gemologist, and given to the customer on request in case they need to use it for insurance purposes. The company has its main store at 5120 N, Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85012. and a salon at Scottsdale, Arizona, known as the “World’s Most Romantic Jewelry Store.