Martin's Star III
Martin's Star III is the major source for high-quality cobali thermgems, a rare and highly-prized gemstone that can form only at low temperatures. The extreme climate on Martin's Star, and on the few otherworlds where the gems occur, makes mining difficult and dangerous.
Thus, the population of Martin's Star III comprises fewer than 10,000 individuals. These are all miners, their families, or support personnel. Mine
security is very tight, and visitors are prohibited except by special arrangement. Because a single gem-quality stone can be worth upto 100,000 credits or more when cut and polished, fortunes can be and have been made here, but many miners die in the bitter cold.
Many others fail to make a strike and go bankrupt trying to mine enough to pay for their expensive protective gear and cold-proof equipment.
Miners' cold-weather protective gear.
Claims are passed down as legacies from generation to generation, with planetary law prohibiting sale of a claim to anyone except current claimholders. Sale of gemstones, except through the Miner's Association, is also prohibited. It is believed that the powerful Miner's Association maintains a large stockpile of the jewels, selling them only sparingly to keep the price up.