You can thank Kate Middleton, Elizabeth Hurley, Penelope Cruz and Mary-Kate Olsen for the popularity of sapphire engagement rings today. But the gemstone has a long and dramatic history. Take a look at the famous fingers, necks and ears sapphires have graced throughout the years.
The Deep Blue
Think the plot of James Cameron’s Titanic was pure movie drama? Think again. Even the epic’s most romantic artifact was inspired by true events. Though the “Heart of the Ocean” was never aboard, a necklace dubbed “The Love of the Sea” really was. Henry Samuel Morley presented it to Kate Florence Phillips shortly before they eloped to America on the ill-fated ship. Tragically, her fiancé suffered the same fate as his fictional counterpart. Kate—and the necklace—survived.
Last year, the still-stunning Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 65th year on the throne. She wore a matching necklace and earrings to celebrate her aptly named Sapphire Jubilee. When the Queen bestowed a sapphire brooch upon Princess Diana, she had it re-set with seven strands of pearls into a stunning choker. Even Dame Helen Mirren, perhaps paying homage to the monarch, was spotted in a similar set at this year’s Oscars.
Sri Lankan Stunners
Ceylon (Sri Lanka’s colonial name) sapphires are among the most prized in the world for their colour, clarity and insane carats. The three largest sapphires in the world all hail from here. One famous flawless stone, the Rockefeller Sapphire, weighs in at an unprecedented 422.99 carats. Added to that, the egg-sized silhouette is surrounded by 20 diamonds totalling another 16 carats. Even larger is The Blue Giant of the Orient. This immense 486.52 carat creation mysteriously disappeared for almost a century, resurfacing just a few years ago at a Christie’s auction. A private buyer paid $1 million for the piece and it once again vanished from public view. In 2015, Sri Lanka offered up the top record-holder; a 1404 carat star sapphire valued at $300 million.
Feeling blue? See all of our sapphire jewellery to find the perfect addition to your jewellery box. Tag your pics with #bluenilesparkle to make your new piece Instagram famous.