Special Item: F35 Fighter Jet Window Loose Stones for Class Rings

Special Item: F35 Fighter Jet Window Loose Stones for Class Rings

Regular price $150.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $150.00 USD
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7 in stock

These are clear lab sapphires grown for the F-35, cut for Air Force Academy graduation rings.  We have sent samples of each size to Jostens and verified with their gemologist that these meet their custom stone specifications, so these will be perfect for a class ring.

"The stones all fit our requirements" - Jostens Representative

While these gems didn't make it into a F-35, as part of a graduation ring they have another chance to be in a fighter jet!

This is a really cool material--lab sapphire grown for windows on the F35!  These aren't used on the cockpit but on a sensor array right below.  There are numerous sensors on the bottom of an F35 that allow for a 360 degree view in a wide spectral range.  With the incredible accelerations and speed that have to be withstood an ultra hard, ultra durable material like sapphire is needed.  But how do you make giant, flat sheets of sapphire?  Normally you'd cut windows out of a big round boule grown by HEM or kyropolis but the shape really isn't conducive to larger flat shapes.

To solve this problem, Rubicon (at the time one of America's greatest sapphire growing companies) got a multimillion dollar grant to develop the LANCE furnace, an ultra high tech crystal growing machine that grows the world's largest flat sapphires via the "boat" method aka HDSM.  If you've ever been to a Quiznos think of the ovens with a conveyer belt they use to toast subs evenly--it's basically that but with a giant flat pan of molten, crystallizing sapphire.

Though the LANCE is absolutely incredible (we got to see it in person and meet the head crystal grower!!) it didn't have a 100% success rate, and over time the company built up a pile of defective sapphire crystals that had either been contaminated with titanium (which turns them pink and ruins UV transmission), developed bubbles, shattered during growth or usually all three.  They recently closed their factory in Chicago and auctioned off the contents, and we were able to buy the entire pile of defective crystals!  It was a dream come true!

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