What’s not to love about the enchanting indigo blue of September’s birthstone, the sapphire? Well, if you’ve already seen our first blog celebrating the gemstone, you’ll have a good idea about the jewel’s incredible history and some of the properties it is thought to possess. 

This time we’re taking you on a tour of some of the world’s most famous examples, including both sapphire jewellery and specimens so amazing they are housed in a museum. 

The Star of Asia 

This sapphire sphere is a huge gem, weighing in at 330 carats, inky violet in hue with a distinct, six rayed star marking. Originally from Burma, the ‘Star of Asia’ is part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection in 1961. 

The institute explains that the star effect is the result of titanium atoms that became trapped in the forming conundrum. These atoms settled into crystals akin to needles that reflect the light back in three different directions. 

The gem is thought have once been the property of the Indian Maharajah of Jodhpur, according to the Smithsonian. 

130.50-Carat Burmese Sapphire

This spectacular sapphire, set in an elegant diamond haloed brooch set a world record for the sale of a sapphire at auction, according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). 

It went under the hammer at Christies back in 2011 and fetched an eye-watering price, the equivalent of over AU$9 million. 

The over 130 carat sapphire is also thought to have originated from Burma, and was also noted to be of ‘outstanding purity’, according to the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute. 

facts-about-sapphire

The Hall Necklace 

Perhaps one of the most famous sapphire pieces of jewellery – besides Kate Middleton’s engagement ring – the Hall Sapphire Necklace was the work of great jeweller Harry Winston. 

It contains 36 sapphires, painstakingly chosen to create a flawless, balanced final piece, which total some 195 carats in weight. Like the brooch before, these gems are highlighted by the surrounding diamonds, which in themselves represent 83.75 carats. 

Set in platinum, this surely is one of the most precious necklaces ever crafted. Lucky visitors can see it on display at the Gem Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History, thanks to the donation of Evelyn Annenberg Hall.