Back in 1938, 12 year old Roy Spencer found a huge rock on a nearby hillside. He brought it home and showed his dad, who shrugged it off as just another crystal rock and decided to use it as a doorstop in their home. The dad, Harry Spencer, was a pioneering miner in Queensland Australia, did not know that indeed sapphires can also come in an unique black color.
Several years later, in 1947, Harry Spencer offered the 1,156 carat gemstone for sale. The news spread that it was offered for sale and Armenian-born jeweler Harry Kazanjian, traveled from Los Angeles to Australia to check out the gemstone and possibly make a deal. Kazanjian offered to pay $18,000 which is approximately $185,000 in today’s dollars.
For a couple months, Kazanjian studied the newly acquired gemstone to figure out the best way to cut it. After he cut the gemstone, the value jumped to a whopping $1 million dollars for the expertly cut 733-carat black star sapphire in 1949.
In the 70’s the precious gemstone was worn by Cher and has also been on display with the “Hope Diamond.” The stone is known as “The Black Star of Queensland” and is the most expensive and well known Sapphire in the world, valued at $80 million and is set with 35 diamonds surrounding it. It is now owned by a private party and is not believed to be on display to the public.
The Sapphire has a long history, which you can read more about it here.
[Source: Wiki – The Black Star of Queensland]