Blue Belle of Asia
The legend of the sapphire that went down as one of the most expensive gems in history.
The Blue Belle of Asia was discovered in Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). With a significant historical provenance under its wing and a mysterious past, this shiny blue cushion cut gem of 392.52.ct. was sold for $17.3 million which is equivalent to $44,063 per carat on the 11th November 2014 to an unidentified bidder from a Christie’s auction in Geneva.
This stunning blue gem broke the record of the most expensive sapphire ever sold in 2014. It is believed to be the fourth largest sapphire in the world. With such clarity and excellent colour this blue gem can be easily called one of the finest Ceylon sapphires in the world.
Before the auction it was previously owned by a well known gem and jewelry dealer, O.L.M in Colombo by Macam Marka. With clientele ranging from members of the British Royal family such as King George V. Markar described this gemstones as one of his most cherished as it possessed the ‘highly prized peacock blue color and excellent clarity’. After its original cut and polish, the Blue Belle of Asia held approximately 400 carats and was sold to the Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors Limited in 1937.
It was rumoured the purchase was for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but it mysteriously disappeared for 35 years. It was reported that a Swiss-based gem dealer had had it appraised, but it’s not for certain as the gem had been kept behind doors until it reappeared for the legendary sale from a Saudi collector under a large estate collection.
The Blue Belle of Asia has made its mark as a rare commodity and a precious gemstone with a huge historical significance. It’s legacy shall live in the coming centuries as a prized artifact.