World Famous Sapphires

Amy Lin of Saffronart explores some of the most renowned sapphires in the world

In my previous post, I wrote about the significance of Kashmir sapphires. Here, I’m going to expand the geography and compare some of the best sapphires in the world. While the best source for sapphires is Kashmir in India, other important ones are Burma (Myanmar) and Sri Lanka.

In our current October Jewelry and Watches Sale, we feature a striking 5.81 carat pink sapphire and diamond ring from Burma. It is important to note that not all sapphires are blue but come in various shades including pinks, yellows, oranges and more. To learn more about sapphire formation, visit our jewelry guide.

Below are some of the world’s most famous sapphires for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

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Hill’s Kashmir Pendant:

Owned by railroad mogul James J. Hill in the late 19th century, this 22.66-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds is a perfect example of a Kashmir sapphire with its velvety luster. Image Credit:

Rockefeller Sapphire:

The Rockefeller sapphire belonged to John D. Rockefeller Jr., the only heir of  the Rockefeller empire. It is said that the stone was acquired from the Indian Maharaja Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, in 1934. The 62.02 carat gemstone is internally flawless and retains a deep cornflower blue. Image Credit:

Stuart Sapphire:

Part of the Royal Crown Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II, this sapphire was originally acquired by Robert II of the House of Stuarts in the 14th century. The Stuart sapphire rests on the crown band, weighing 104 carats with a cabochon-cut. It is one of the most historically significant sapphires. Image Credit:

Logan Blue Sapphire:

Named after Mrs. John A. Logan after she donated the sapphire to the Smithsonian Institute, this cushion-cut stone is originally from Sri Lanka. Weighing 422.99 carats with no internal flaws, it is the second largest sapphire in the world. Image Credit:

Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire:

The 478.68 carat, cushion cut, cornflower blue sapphire was Cartier’s prize jewel at the 1919 Autumn Exhibition in San Sebastian, Spain. It was admired by royalty from all over the world. Prince Ferdinand bought the sapphire pendant for his mother, Queen Marie of Romania, which she later worn to his coronation in 1922. Image Credit:

Blue Giant of the Orient:

At 466 carats, the Blue Giant is the largest faceted sapphire in the world. The gemstone first made headlines in Sri Lanka in 1907 but mysteriously disappeared for almost a century until recently. It is often called a Kashmir sapphire not because of its origin but it’s corn flower blue that resembles the best sapphires in the world.  Image Credit:

Mona von Bismarck Sapphire Necklace:

The 98.57 carat sapphire necklace is a great example of Art Deco design. It’s set in platinum and accented with diamonds and sapphires. This Cartier necklace was acquired by the American socialite Mona vin Bismarck who married Count Eduard von Bismarck in the late 1930s. Image Credit:

Star of India:

The Star of India is one of the biggest sapphires in the world at 563.35 carats. It was donated to the American Museum of Natural History by J.P. Morgan in the early 20th century. In 1964, the sapphire was famously stolen from the Museum and turned up in a Miami locker several months later. Image Credit:

Royal Sapphire Engagement Ring:

This famous royal engagement ring was first worn by Princess Diana. It was purchased through Garrard Jewelers and has made sapphire engagements popular ever since. Prince William presented his mother’s ring to Kate Middleton at their engagement last year as a commemorative and romantic gesture. Image Credit:

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