The Royal Connection September 26 2015
The history, lore and fascination of royal blue sapphires and the great empire of the United Kingdom is inextricably intertwined. Housed in a variety of locations ranging from the Tower of London to one of the most secure vaults in the world underneath the Buckingham Palace, are the most exquisite crown jewels of a great empire. It is no surprise that blue sapphires, which are noted for their allure of wisdom, loyalty and strength, features in many of the most famous crown jewels. The Royal family has therefore been kind to the gemstone and jewelry industry by showcasing their natural beauty through centuries of inheritance.
One of the most exquisite pieces in the crown jewels collection of the British Empire is the Imperial State Crown. Featuring 2868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls, this crown is often used in many formal occasions such as the State Opening of the Parliament. Of the 17 sapphires encrusted into this stunning crown is the 104 carat Stuart Sapphire and the St. Edwards Sapphire. Both sapphires date back to legends formed in the early 11th century which foretell the creation of an empire unbounded by any earthly forces. This powerful message has been key to its placement in the Crown of the State.
Another, Royal piece includes the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch inherited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
This brooch highlights a luminous oblong shaped blue sapphire surrounded by 12 dazzling round diamonds. Given by Prince Alfred to Queen Victoria as a birthday gift, this heirloom was dignified as a symbol of the purity of his love.
A diary entry recorded by Queen Victoria stated, “A beautiful single sapphire brooch, set round in diamonds, much like the beauty he gave at our marriage, only not quite so large”.
The ability of blue sapphires to act as the embodiment of love has established its place in the hearts of many across the globe, including royalty, for many centuries in the past and many more in the future.
A more modern and media laden crown jewel is the notorious ring worn by Kate Middleton which was of course possessed earlier by Princess Diana. It consists of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a cornflower blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18K white gold. Dubbed, the ‘commoners sapphire’ because it was not custom made for Princess Diana, this ring has had some misfortune in its history. However, its resilience and eternal beauty enable it to transcend its past as the Duchess of Cambridge rekindles the hope for a prosperous lineage for the Royal family.
Whatever the reason may be, blue sapphires have earned its place in the hearts of humankind to represent eternal wisdom, power and loyalty.
From brooches to State Crowns, these gemstones continue to be featured in heirlooms, crown jewels and mementos of those who are special to us. Their existence is forever intertwined with our lives and hopefully, will be a part of yours too.