September's birthstone is the beautiful sapphire. The usual color of the stone is a pure blue, but it can vary from light blue to dark green to violet blue. The most sought-after sapphires are medium blue, dark blue, and violet blue. The actual mineral name is corundum, and these can be found in all colors of the rainbow. Rubies are also a type of corundum. Popular since the Middle Ages, the sapphire is rumored to protect the wearer and their loved ones from harm. During medieval times, the stone was worn by clergy to symbolize heaven and to receive blessings. Throughout history, there have been many pieces of beautiful and notable sapphire jewelry.
Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring
The most famous piece of sapphire jewelry in today's culture is Kate Middleton's engagement ring from Prince William. When word hit the media that he had popped the question, the first thing on everyone's mind was, "What does her ring look like?" It was indeed his mother's engagement ring that was purchased from Gerrard Jewelers by his father, Prince Charles. Princess Diana's 18-carat oval sapphire is surrounded by diamonds and was originally willed to Prince Harry. Fortunately for Kate, Harry decided that a future queen should be the one to wear the ring and gave it to his brother for his engagement.
The Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace
The Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace is a piece designed by Harry Winston and is currently on display at the National Museum of History at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Evelyn Annenberg Hall donated the exquisite jewelry in 1979. The platinum necklace is made of 36 matching sapphires taken from Sri Lanka. The total carat weight of these stones is 195 carats. Each breathtaking blue stone is surrounded by brilliant cut diamonds that have a total carat weight of 83.75. There are 435 diamonds; some are pear-shaped, and some are round.
[caption id="attachment_520" align="aligncenter" width="376"] Photo by Cliff (Flickr) Caption: The stunning Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace is in the National Museum of History at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.[/caption]
The Black Star of Queensland
The Black Star of Queensland is a black star sapphire and is the largest gem-quality stone of its type in the world, weighing 733 carats. Originally found in Australia in the early 1900s, the stone has been at the center of many ownership controversies over the years. It is currently owned by a private party and is not on public display.
The Star of India
The Star of India was gifted by J.P. Morgan to the American Museum of Natural History in the early 1900s. It is currently the second-largest sapphire known in the world, and it weighs in at more than 563 carats. It was stolen in 1964 from the museum and was found months later in a locker in Miami.
The Logan Blue Sapphire
The Logan Blue Sapphire is a cushion-cut stone from Sri Lanka weighs almost 423 carats with absolutely no flaws internally. It is the third-largest sapphire known in the world and was donated to the Smithsonian Institute by Mrs. John A. Logan.
The Rockefeller Sapphire
The Rockefeller Sapphire was once owned by the heir to the Rockefeller empire, John D. Rockefeller Jr. The deep cornflower-blue stone is flawless on the inside and weighs more than 62 carats. It has been said that it once belonged to the Indian Maharaja Mir Osman Ali Khan, who was the last nizam of Hyderabad in 1934.
The Stuart Sapphire
Acquired by Robert II of the House of Stuart during the 1300s, the Stuart Sapphire is among the royal crown jewels of Queen Elizabeth II. It weighs 104 carats and is shaped in a cabochon cut. Resting on the crown band, it is one of the most significant sapphires in history.
There have been countless numbers of rulers during history who have displayed beautiful sapphire jewelry. In more recent decades, there have been many famous entertainers that have had their fair share of the breathtakingly beautiful blue stones in their possession as well. Some of these include Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few.
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