The House of Garrard has announced the 118.88-carat Jubilee Sapphire to mark 65 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and pay tribute to the jeweller’s role in remodeling the Imperial State Crown for the occasion.
Sapphires have long been associated with Garrard, with gems set in the house’s signature diamond cluster setting including an 1840 brooch commissioned by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria, to the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring.
The Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring features a 12-carat sapphire
Whilst the 12-carat sapphire in the Duchess’s ring is apparently Sri Lankan, the 118.88-carat Jubilee Sapphire originates from the legendary Mogok mines in Burma. This region has long been celebrated for some of the world’s most stunning royal blue sapphires and “pigeon’s blood” red rubies.
Yet a sapphire of this size with a royal blue hue is rarely seen, with Creative Director Sara Prentice commenting, “This is an extraordinary stone to see and hold. I wanted to create a jewel that would both give centre stage to the sapphire, and also be wearable.”
The Jubilee Sapphire is set in a brooch within a cluster of diamonds
To achieve this she turned to the many royal jewels in Garrard’s archives, which included the cluster brooch given to Queen Victoria on her wedding day. This is the same jewel that inspired Prince Charles's choice of engagement ring for Princess Diana that was later given by Prince William to Kate Middleton on their own engagement.
“With this stone, its size and shape made a brooch design a natural choice,” explains Sara Prentice. “A cluster setting in white gold with round white diamonds then enhances its intensely rich royal blue.”