The greatest sapphires have historically originated in Sri Lanka and Burma Ruby. For over 2,000 years, travelers have visited Sri Lanka. For this reason, it is known as the "Gem Island,". It has been a place of sapphires, rubies, and other precious stones. To date, it is practiced in the south of Sri Lanka to manually collect gemstones that have been eroded from the island's central mountains from gravel deposits. Sapphires that are mined in Sri Lanka range in color from pale to medium blue, and gemstones weighing several hundred carats have been cut from the starch. The 422.99-carat Logan Sapphire from Sri Lanka is one of the most magnificent blue sapphire stones in the world and is displayed in the National Gem Collection. It weighs 16 carats and is enclosed by 20 round brilliant cut diamonds in a brooch setting, making it the heaviest mounted jewel in the National Jewel Collection.
Corundum is in its colorless, pure state. It does have sufficient clarity and richness of color to be outstanding in the realm of gemstones. At points, the tiniest amount of contamination differentiates the ruby from the sapphire. That’s why rubies are red. Light refracting off of the small number of chromium atoms trapped in the crystals causes the color. All shades of corundum other than red are called sapphires. Fine blue sapphires are the most popular, and their color comes from traces of iron and titanium.
September's birthstone is the sapphire. Sapphires are one of the world's rarest and most valuable gemstones. They are incredibly hard, with a 9 on the Mohs scale. Sapphires are amazing minerals, second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. Sapphires are fascinating because they are the second-hardest mineral on Earth. Therefore, this jewel is the best option for longevity and resilience.
The rarity of these gems contributes to their high prices. Sapphires of up to three carats are rather common, but larger than five carats are extremely rare and premium, especially if they are clear and have even color distribution. Because of their longevity and rarity, they are highly sought after for jewelry collections.
This cushion-cut, Sri Lankan sapphire was given to the Smithsonian by Mrs. John A. Logan. It is the second subsequent largest sapphire in the world, weighing in at 422.99 carats, and is completely flawless.
According to its history, Col. M. Robert Guggenheim, Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim's husband at the time, presented her with the sapphire brooch for Christmas or their wedding anniversary in 1952. The Guggenheim family became renowned for their philanthropy after amassing one of the world's largest fortunes through their mining and smelting enterprises.
Rebecca gave the priceless jewel to the Smithsonian in the year 1960, but she kept it until 1971. Rebecca's first husband, Col. M. Robert Guggenheim, died in 1959, and she later married and became Mrs. John A. Logan. The Logan Sapphire receives its moniker from this ship. The Washington, DC exhibit of this stunning gemstone in June 1971.
The third Baronet of Bombay, Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon (1881-1961), sold the jewel to Robert Guggenheim. The stone was originally from India, and the Sassoons bought it from a maharajah.
The Logan Sapphire's mesmerizing hue, a brilliant, subtle violet-blue tone, was determined in natural light after being studied by the Gemological Institute of America in 1997. Nothing has ever been done to this gemstone, nor is it required to heat it. It is the mighty mounted gem in the history of the gemstone collection, but it also claims the only provenance links of America’s prominent families with the epitome of Indian royal destiny.
Let’s read more about the most popular ever-existing sapphires:
An exquisite example of a Kashmir sapphire, this 22.66-carat gemstone pendent was once possessed by railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill and set in a diamond halo during the 19th century.
Only John D. Rockefeller Jr. could claim ownership of the legendary Rockefeller Sapphire. The stone reportedly came from the collection of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, the Indian Maharaja Mir Osman Ali Khan, who sold it in 1934. This 62.02-carat gem is completely flawless on the inside and has kept its original cornflower blue color.
This sapphire was originally bought by Robert II of the House of Stuarts in the 14th century, and it forms part of Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Crown Jewels. The 104-carat cabochon-cut Stuart sapphire sits on the crown band. One of the most prominent sapphires in history.
This cushion-shaped cornflower blue sapphire weighed 478.68 carats and was Cartier's prized gem during the 1919 Autumn Exhibition in San Sebastian, Spain. Royalties from all over the world admired it. Queen Marie of Romania wore this sapphire pendant bought by Prince Ferdinand at his coronation in 1922.
The 466-carat Blue Giant is the most magnificent faceted sapphire in the world. This gemstone made headlines in Sri Lanka in 1907 but mysteriously disappeared for a century. It is known as a Kashmir sapphire not due to its origin but because of its unique cornflower blue that just looks like the finest sapphire in the world.
An exceptional piece of Art Deco jewelry, this 98.57-carat sapphire necklace from Cartier belonged to American socialite Mona Vin Bismarck, who got married to Count Eduard von Bismarck in the late 1930s.
This 563.35-carat Star of India sapphire is one of the most prominent gem-quality stones ever discovered. In the early 20th century, J.P. Morgan donated it to the American Museum of Natural History. The famed sapphire was stolen from the Museum in 1964 and found a few months later in a Miami locker.
Princess Diana was the first to wear this ever-iconic royal engagement ring. It was purchased from Garrard Jewelers. Since then, sapphires have been the stone of choice for engagement rings. At their engagement ceremony recently, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton through his mother's ring as a gesture of his love.