Fit for a Queen: the 118.88ct Garrard Jubilee Sapphire brooch
Garrard continues its rich legacy of creating exceptional sapphire jewellery with remarkable a 118.88 carat royal blue Burmese sapphire, presented in a brooch that features our signature cluster setting.
For nearly 180 years, Garrard’s history has been intimately connected with the sapphire. From the brooch commissioned by Prince Albert in 1840 for his bride Queen Victoria, to the engagement ring worn by the Catherine, Princess of Wales, formerly Duchess of Cambridge, the sapphire sits at the heart of our most renowned royal creations.
This illustrious heritage continues today with the Jubilee Sapphire, a stone of exceptional rarity and beauty. Named in honour of the 65th anniversary of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, a date traditionally marked by the gift of a sapphire, this incredible gemstone pays tribute to our role in remodelling the Imperial State Crown for the occasion. A worthy successor to the roll call of important sapphires that have long been associated with Garrard, it is presented in a brooch that features our signature diamond cluster setting.
“This is an extraordinary stone to see and to hold. I wanted to create a jewel that would both give centre stage to the sapphire, and also be wearable.”
Sara Prentice, Creative Director
Weighing 118.88 carats, the stone is of a size seldom seen. What makes it more remarkable is its consistent vibrancy of colour and spectacular royal blue hue, which are naturally present without any heat treatment – an incredibly rare phenomenon. To look into the stone is to see the colour it was given by nature.
A cushion cut assists further in enhancing its beauty. “One of the many wonderful features of this stone is its well-proportioned cut,” says Garrard’s gemmologist. “The composition of the facets catch the light perfectly, creating a host of reflections that play within the sapphire’s interior. The precision of this cut lets you gaze deep into the stone and see its pure, royal blue colour. The experience is like being drawn into the bluest of oceans.”
“To experience the colour and clarity of this sapphire is to appreciate how truly beautiful nature can be.”
Sara Prentice, Creative Director
For Creative Director Sara Prentice, the opportunity to work with such an impressive gemstone was an exciting one. “This is an extraordinary stone to see and to hold. I wanted to create a jewel that would both give centre stage to the sapphire, and also be wearable,” she says.
For inspiration she turned to royal jewels in the Garrard archive and the cluster brooch given to Queen Victoria on her wedding day. “With this stone, its size and shape made a brooch design a natural choice,” she says. “The cluster setting in white gold, with round white diamonds, enhances its intensely rich royal blue.”
The sapphire originates from Burma, from the legendary mines of Mogok, north of Mandalay. This is a region long celebrated for the most prized colour varieties of corundum: Pigeon’s Blood rubies and royal blue sapphires, found in the gravel that lies between huge marble boulders. Over millennia, minerals, geology and chemical elements have combined to create gemstones of a breathtaking hue, saturation and clarity. To see all these qualities in a sapphire of this size is rare indeed.
Perhaps no wonder that the wearer of a sapphire has been credited with many virtues over thousands of years, from wisdom and loyalty to love and friendship. Certainly, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II often chose to wear the sapphire and white diamond cluster brooch passed down through her family from Queen Victoria.
“Blue is a colour we rarely find in nature,” concludes Prentice. “To experience the colour and clarity of this sapphire is to appreciate how truly beautiful nature can be. Our brooch design is a celebration of its extraordinary qualities.”