A History of Sapphires in Culture: King Mindon and King Thibaw of Burma

Throughout time, sapphires have been revered for their beauty, their strength and durability, and the perceived powers of wellness and protection. In a celebration of the special cultural relevance of sapphires, we have gathered together some of our favorite stories to share of historical sapphires through all cultures. The final story, Part X, concludes with King […]

Sapphires in the Middle Ages

Throughout history, many powers have been attributed to sapphire. During the middle ages, sapphire was believed to shield the wearer from harm and disease and was used as an antidote against poison. It was the stone of choice for the ecclesiastic ” like the pure sky, and mighty Nature has endowed it with so great […]

Maria Alexandrovna Sapphire Brooch

The Great London Exhibition of 1862 The 260.37-carat blue sapphire was purchased by Czar Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, when he visited the Great London Exhibition held in 1862. The exhibition was held between May 1st to November 1st, 1862, in South Kensington, London, on the same site that now houses the Natural History Museum […]

The Jubilee Ruby

Christie’s again set a record for the most expensive colored gemstone sold at auction in the United States with its sale of the Jubilee ruby ring on April 20, 2016 in New York. The 15.99-carat Burmese ruby fetched more than $14.1 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale, making it the most expensive colored gemstone […]

Etcetera’s Beautiful Ruby & Diamond Lattice Necklace

This necklace took over Crimson Garland’s record as the most expensive ruby and diamond necklace sold at auction. In June 2015, it was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for $12,997,122 to anonymous buyer. This necklace was designed as an articulated brilliant-cut diamond lattice-work band. It centers on a line of graduated pear-shaped diamonds. And those are framed by […]

Elizabeth Taylor’s Ruby Was A Stocking Stuffer

Richard Burton gave her the stunning jewel on Christmas day in 1968 It may not be one of Elizabeth Taylor’s most famous jewels, but her ruby and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels has one of the most delightful backstories. “One day I’m going to find you the most perfect ruby in the world” […]

The Crimson Garland Ruby

This stunning piece is called the Crimson Garland. It hit Christie’s auction house in Hong Kong in November 2013. However, the detailed information about the telephone bidder has never been made public. He bought this necklace for $6,402,240. Also known as Etcetera’s Burmese ruby, this necklace held the title of the most expensive diamond and […]

The Natawa Ruby or the SLORC Ruby

I personally think its original name is more fitting, but who am I anyway? The Rangoon gem auction had a big star in 1991, a 496-ct golf-ball sized piece of rough. Its name is the Natawa Ruby, but it was dubbed the SLORC Ruby by SLORC (Burma’s State Law and Order Restoration Committee, the ruling military junta). […]

The Carmen Lúcia Ruby: A Love Story

Since 2004, visitors to the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., have marveled at the Carmen Lúcia Ruby, one of the world’s largest and finest examples of July’s official birthstone. At 23.10 carats, the extraordinarily rare Burmese ruby exhibits a richly saturated red color known […]

The Alan Caplan Ruby

“Alan Caplan Ruby” also known as the “Mogok Ruby” gets its name from Alan Caplan the famous geologist and mineralogist and also mineral and gemstone dealer who acquired the stone while on a trip to Burma in the 1960s or 1970s. The ruby remained in his collection until 1988, when it was disposed for a […]