A Shimansky Exclusive
Look at the stars, what do you see? South of the equator the night skies are lit up by some of the brightest stars in the sky, the Southern Cross. For centuries adventurers and sailors have used these stars to guide them through new lands. The four points of the Southern Cross are said to represent the virtues of justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence, while the fifth star leads you to your destiny.
Containing diamonds older than the constellation they represent; the wonder of this shining star formation is perfectly captured in the Southern Cross collection. Each piece is made from the finest white, yellow or rose gold, hand-selected Ayanda Tanzanite and round, brilliant cut white and black diamonds; all ethically mined and hand crafted in South Africa.
Shine bright like a diamond
The Southern Cross constellation is centred in Crux within a bright portion of the Milky Way. It is among the most easily distinguished constellations as its hallmark stars each have an extremely bright visual magnitude. The word “Crux” is Latin for cross, this being used to characterise the domination of the cross-shaped cluster of stars within Crux - the Southern Cross.
The bright stars that shine in this constellation belong to a group of hot white-blue stars that appear to share similar origins and motion across the southern Milky Way. Due to the colour of the stars, Shimansky not only incorporated captivating diamonds, but included rare Tanzanite in this collection to encapsulate the mesmerising, fluorescent beauty of this southern cluster.
In tropical regions luminous Crux can be seen in the sky during April to June. There are only three locations in the world where Crux is visible all year round, our beloved Cape Town being one of them. The prominence of this constellation in the southern hemisphere fosters great significance in the diverse cultures around this region. Several southern countries have traditionally incorporated Crux as a distinctive symbol, and it appears on the national flags of Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
The Southern Cross holds extreme aspiration in South Africa to the point where a medal awarded to citizens who have displayed singular and exceptional achievement for our nation is called – The Order of the Southern Cross. It is awarded to very few individuals where deserving recipients include Christian Barnard and O R Tambo.
The Southern Cross is also deeply rooted in religion. Richard Hinckley Allen, a 19th century expert in stellar nomenclature, noted that the stars of the Southern Cross were last visible on the horizon in Jerusalem around the time that Jesus was crucified. As a result of precession, the Southern Cross eventually sank below the horizon for most of the northern hemisphere, where many religions perceive this as being resultant from the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Navigating through the years
Ancient astrology of the Khoikhoi viewed the two pointer stars in the Southern Cross as male lions; who were once men, but a magical girl turned them into stars. The three brightest stars of the Southern Cross they saw to be female lions. The two pointers were also known as Mura to the Khoikhoi tribe meaning “The Eyes”, of some great celestial beast that watched over their tribe and navigated them to greener pastures.
The Southern Cross is said to be rediscovered by Europeans in the Age of Discovery, in the period from the early 15th century to the early 17th century. Portuguese sailors mapped Crux for navigation while sailing near the southern tip of Africa, and Amerigo Vespucci is believed to be the first European to see this constellation, during his third voyage in 1501.
In more recent years, the Southern Cross can be used to find the location of the Southern Celestial Pole, that has been used by navigators for centuries. The longer bar of the cross-shaped star pattern points almost exactly to the South Pole in the sky. Aviators and sailors sometimes refer to this point as the “south polar pit” because there are no bright stars marking a truer south.
Containing diamonds older than the constellation they represent, The Shimansky Southern Cross collection emulates the great, guiding celestial body of the Southern Hemisphere. Discover the dazzling Southern Cross collection at your nearest Shimansky Store.