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The 20 most valuable royal family sapphires

The British royal family own an abundance of jewels. From multi-million pound tiaras to diamond earrings, necklaces, and brooches set with the world’s finest gemstones, their collection is globally renowned.

However, it’s hard to ignore the incredible number of sapphires that make up this lavish collection. While Kate Middleton’s Ceylon sapphire engagement ring often receives the most attention, believe it or not, it isn’t the most valuable piece of sapphire jewellery worn by the royal family.

To find out more about the royal family sapphires, jewellery experts at Steven Stone have, analysed over 40 popular pieces of sapphire jewellery worn by royals over the years – revealing the 20 most valuable and exquisite items.

Alongside this, our team were keen to explore the history of the pieces – including where they came from, who’s worn them the most, and where they are now.

1. Princess Diana’s Saudi Sapphire Necklace & Earring suite

Estimated value: £15,000,000 ($20,000,000 USD)

Made by Asprey, the incredible suite consists of an enormous Burmese sapphire pendant hung on a diamond necklace; a matching pair of earrings and ring; a two-row bracelet of brilliant-cut diamonds with a smaller version of the sapphire pendant as a centre piece; and a wristwatch, the face set in the same diamond sunray fringe and the strap consisting of seven oval sapphires set in clusters of diamonds.

Princess Diana frequently wore the suite for royal events, before they were inherited by Kate Middleton, who often wears them to pay tribute to her late mother-in-law.

Diana originally wore the earrings as studs, although she was later seen wearing a version with two sets of the stone clusters on each ear. The pieces were ultimately remodeled for Kate, who wears them in a dangling design. She also cleverly redesigned the ring and the watch from the suite to create a choker which she brilliantly wore as a headband.

Maxwell Stone said: “This is an incredible jewellery suite, especially the necklace which is a real showstopper. The sapphire in the necklace alone looks to be around 30 to 35 carats, so combining the whole suite would probably give it an estimated value of around £15,000,000 considering the number of sapphires and diamonds used, not to mention the incredible legacy these jewels hold.”

2. The Prince Albert Brooch

Estimated value: £8,000,000

One of Queen Elizabeth’s most incredible jewels is the Prince Albert brooch, which dates back to the 1800s.

In 1840, Prince Albert secretly commissioned Garrard to make a sapphire and diamond brooch for his bride to be, Queen Victoria. He gave her the brooch on the night of their wedding, and was so adored by Victoria, that she wore it frequently.

“The brooch contains a large oval or cushion shaped sapphire, which is at least 40cts. The breath-taking gem is also surrounded by 12 large diamonds, which look to be around 12cts.”

“Due to the clarity and intense colour of the sapphire it was possible sourced from Burma. If it was to be sold today, it would be worth around £8,000,000, thanks to its historic legacy.”

After being passed down to Queen Elizabeth II, it became a staple accessory, featuring in many of her most iconic outfits.

Not only that, but the brooch is said to have inspired the design for Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, which was originally given to Princess Diana from Prince Charles.

3. The King George VI Victorian Suite

Estimated value: £5,000,000

The George VI Sapphires are undoubtedly among Queen Elizabeth’s most meaningful jewels. The demi-parure, which consists of a Victorian-era necklace and earrings, was a wedding gift from her father in 1947. A few years later, the Queen refashioned the necklace, shortening it and removing the largest sapphire stone to turn into a pendant. Sometime during the ’60s, she also commissioned a matching bracelet to accompany the set.

Queen Elizabeth most recently wore the meaningful jewellery suite for her official Canadian royal portrait in 2020. In 1990, the Queen took the whole suite with her for a royal tour of Canada—making it a particularly meaningful choice for this portrait.

The incredible sapphire and diamond cluster line necklace originally featured 18 sapphires, sat on a gradient, ranging from 8 to 30cts, before it was redesigned in 1952. These huge sapphires are surrounded by a halo of diamonds, and linked together by additional single stone diamonds, which are between 0.8ct and 1.5ct.

When Queen Elizabeth altered the necklace, she removed four of the sapphire clusters from the back and remodelled and reset one of larger stones from the front, to create a beautiful pendant for the necklace.

When it comes to the beautiful pair of sapphire earrings, the sapphires look to be around 15ct, with a value in excess of £250,000 to £300,000. The bracelet is probably worth around £500,000 to £600,000. 

4. Queen Elizabeth’s Belgian Sapphire Tiara

Estimated value: £5,000,000

This headpiece, which is sometimes called the “Victorian Sapphire Tiara,” matches the King George VI suite perfectly, so it’s no wonder Queen Elizabeth has been photographed wearing the jewels together for the Canadian portrait in 2020. The tiara had been refashioned from a 19th century necklace once owned by Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born Princess Louise of Belgium).

5. Queen Elizabeth’s Dubai Looped Sapphire Demi-Parure

Estimated value: £2,500,000

The Queen first received the set of Dubai sapphires and diamonds from Sheikh Rashid in 1979, which famously made her “exclaim in amazement” when she first saw the jewels. While the original Demi-Parure contained a necklace, earrings and ring, the Queen altered the pieces slightly.

The necklace was shortened, the extra links made smaller earrings, and the ring and original earrings made a bracelet.

During her Royal Tour of Scotland, the Duchess of Cambridge visited a drive-in movie showing of Disney’s Cruella, starring Emma Stone, where she was spotted wearing a piece from this impressive suite. For her appearance, Kate loaned the stunning earrings from the Dubai Sapphire Demi-Parure, the first time the Duchess has ever worn a piece from this particular collection.

6. Camilla’s floral sapphire and diamond pendant

Estimated value: £1,250,000

The Duchess of Cornwall owns multiple sapphire necklaces, but one of the most valuable is this floral diamond and sapphire stunner. The necklace features spaced diamond brilliant diamonds, plus a large, dark blue sapphire pendant in a modern diamond floral setting.

The geometric design of the floral petals could be inspired by Indian design motifs. The size of this sapphire makes it one of the largest gems in Camilla’s collection, not to mention one of the most valuable from the entire royal sapphire collection. She showcased the necklace by wearing a gown with a dramatic neckline for the Royal Variety Performance back in 2013.

7. Queen Mary’s Sapphire Bandeau

Estimated value: £1,000,000

While this sapphire bandeau tiara has been hidden away for decades, we couldn’t help but take another look at the sensational piece.

Queen Mary reportedly bought this incredible piece in 1921 at a Paris auction, where it had been offered for sale by the exiled Princess Nicholas of Greece. The tiara features distinctive sunray designs, with a removable central sapphire and diamond element, making it a more versatile piece.

After Mary’s death, the tiara was apparently left to Queen Elizabeth II, however she chose not to wear it herself, and instead loaned the tiara to her younger sister, Princess Margaret, who often the tiara often during the 1950s and 1960s.

This piece also looks very much like the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara that Meghan Markle borrowed for her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, however, unfortunately it is yet to be worn for a royal wedding.

8. Queen Elizabeth’s Russian Sapphire Cluster Brooch

Estimated value: £500,000

This stunning sapphire, diamond, and gold filigree brooch is said to have been originally owned by Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia. According to the palace, the brooch was left to Queen Elizabeth when Queen Mary passed away in 1953, however it was the Queen Mother who would carry on wearing it. After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, it returned to the Queen’s collection, and she wore the brooch to a royal event in 2014.

The brooch features 18 large diamonds around a smaller, detailed gold setting, with a large 8 to 10 sapphire stone in the centre.

9. Queen Mary’s Geometric Russian Brooch

Estimated value: £500,000

Gifted to Queen Mary by Empress Marie Feodorovna in 1893, this stunning geometric brooch, which features a sugarloaf cabochon sapphire is one of the most popular pieces from the Queen’s brooch collection. Queen Elizabeth inherited it from her grandmother in 1953, and she’s been wearing it now for more than half a century.

The incredible sapphire and intricate diamond detailing would give this piece an estimated value of over £500,000.

10. The Sultan of Oman sapphire suite

Lady Diana and Prince Charles visited Oman in 1986, where they were welcomed by Sultan Qaboos. who was educated in England and served in the British Army. He had significant ties to the Windsors and in a gesture of friendship, he presented Diana with this beautiful suite of jewels, packed with diamonds and sapphires. The earrings, necklace, and bracelet heavily reflected 1980’s design trends, with a stunning crescent motif carried through each piece.

Diana wore the suite for the first time in public a year later during a trip to Germany. For a dinner in Bonn in November 1987, Diana wore the sapphires with the Spencer Tiara and the famous “Travolta dress”. Since her death, the pieces have not been seen on another royal family member.

11. Kate Middleton’s Ceylon Sapphire engagement ring

Estimated value: £300,000

Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, which was formerly Princess Diana’s, features a 12 carat Ceylon sapphire, originating from Sri Lanka. Like with most precious gemstones, the quality and value of a sapphire is graded by its colour and hue, which can range from a light, pale blue to a dark, royal blue.

The sapphire is a deep, royal blue, of AAAA quality, making it amongst the most valuable of its kind. Globally, the sale of blue sapphires increased by around 300 percent at the time, and even now, thanks to Netflix show The Crown, sales of sapphires continue to surge, with vintage style halo designs being extremely popular.

12. Princess Eugenie’s Padparadscha sapphire engagement ring

Estimated value: £120,000

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank got engaged back in January 2018, just two months after Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle.

On January 22, an announcement came from the Buckingham Palace Twitter account, which shared a heartwarming photograph of the couple, along with the date of the wedding, which would take place later in the year.

Interestingly, Princess Eugenie also opted for a sapphire ring, however not a traditional blue sapphire. Her ring features a rare pink Padparadscha sapphire, surrounded by a halo of sparkling diamonds.

Padparadscha sapphires are incredibly rare, much rarer than diamonds.

“These are extremely rare stones which many people haven’t even heard of. They are strikingly beautiful with unique shades of pink and orange, often resembling the colours of a sunset. The stones are set on a Welsh yellow gold band, which is a custom for royal brides, with two stunning tapered diamonds at the shoulders of the yellow gold shank.”

13. The Sapphire and Diamond Grapes Brooch

Estimated value: £150,000

While not much is known about this adorable brooch, we do know it comes from the collection of The Queen Mother, and was inherited by The Queen when her mother passed away in 2002 and is often spotted wearing it on royal blue jackets.

The beautiful brooch represents a bunch of grapes, each grape represented by a diamond, with diamond stems tied together in a sapphire bow. The sapphires featured look to be old cut stones of the highest quality, sitting above 16 incredible diamonds. With this in mind, our experts valued the brooch at approximately £150,000.

14. Princess Diana’s Sapphire and Pearl Choker

Estimated value: £100,000

The eye-catching sapphire choker was a wedding gift from the Queen Mother. Originally a breathtaking brooch previously belonged to Queen Mary, and was passed down in Royal tradition.

In true Diana style, she redesigned the diamond-and-sapphire brooch as a centerpiece of this incredible seven-strand pearl necklace.

It’s been worn on many occasions and is definitely one of her most iconic, statement pieces. In 1985, she was pictured wearing it during a dance with John Travolta at the White House. In 1994, she wore it with her well-known “revenge dress” during the day Prince Charles admitted to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Princess Diana was a clear fan of sapphires and just like her engagement ring, she only wore the most beautiful deep, blue stones. Looking at the image of the huge stone, it could be anywhere from 50 to 70 carats in weight, maybe even heavier. With that in mind it could be worth anywhere from £50,000,000 to £100,000,000. This is probably one of the most expensive jewels from the entire Royal collection.”

15. The Queen Mother’s Sapphire Flower Brooch

Estimated value: £80,000

Another sapphire brooch makes the list, and this time it’s a floral masterpiece. The brooch features sapphires and diamonds set in a modern floral design. According to royal experts, the piece was given as an anniversary present to the Queen Mother by her husband, King George VI.

The Queen Mother wore the brooch frequently, including at Cheltenham in March 1996, just after the running of the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase.

After passing, the brooch was passed down to Queen Elizabeth. However, the Queen has only made one prominent public appearance in the brooch: the opening of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. 

The brooch is set with dozens of old cut sapphirs, and features a stunning diamond centre piece. This piece is probably worth over £80,000.

16. Queen Elizabeth’s Carrington Feather Brooch

Estimated value: £70,000

This striking diamond feather brooch, which features a square-cut sapphire set at one end, was one of the Queen’s wedding gifts from popular royal jeweller, Carrington, who made the piece over 70 years ago.

The central stone, laid on a delicate feather encrusted with diamonds, is distinctive in its indigo hue, which can appear more blue or purple depending on the outfit with which it is worn. 

The Queen has sported the piece on a number of occasions over the years, including to Royal Ascot and to the wedding of Lady Tamara Katherine Grosvenor and Edward Van Cutsem in November 2004. She most recently wore the brooch in 2019 when she attended a commemorative church service at a London barracks.

17. Queen Elizabeth’s Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake brooch

Estimated value: £45,000

On the occasion of her sapphire jubilee in 2017, celebrating her 65th year on the British throne, Queen Elizabeth received this Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch as a gift. To mark her Sapphire Jubilee as Queen of Canada, Governor General David Johnston presented her the brooch on behalf of the nation.

The jewel, which she wore to Ascot in 2019, is set with rare Canadian sapphires discovered in 2002 on Baffin Island.

18. The Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch

Estimated value: £30,000

Another brooch from the Queen’s enviable collection makes the list, and this one is a real beauty. This diamond, sapphire, and platinum brooch was presented to Princess Elizabeth in 1946 when she launched a new oil tanker appropriately named the British Princess.

One of its most memorable appearances came on November 25, 1947, when she wore it for a series of photographs taken during her honeymoon. Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh had been married at Westminster Abbey five days earlier.

She recently wore the piece for her 2021 Christmas broadcast, pairing it with pearl earrings and a three-stranded pearl necklace.

Both her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the brooch appeared in the photograph sitting beside her on her desk for this year’s message, which was recorded in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on December 23.

19. Princess Anne’s sapphire engagement ring

Estimated value: £25,000

Laurence, the commander in the Royal Navy, met Anne while he was serving on the Royal Yacht Britannia. The pair were married in late 1992, however rather than a lavish royal ceremony, the event had to take place in in Scotland since the Church of England did not allow remarriages after divorce.

Her second engagement ring, which contains a 3ct oval-cut cabochon sapphire is very similiar to her first engagement ring from her first husband, Mark Phillips which also features an oval sapphire stone and a cluster of diamonds.

“It’s interesting that Princess Anne received sapphire engagement rings rather than traditional diamond rings. Blue sapphires are often linked to people who are respectful, loyal, hardworking, and honest, which only makes these rings even more special, and suggests that this could have meant something to Princess Anne.

Princess Diana also famously had a blue sapphire ring, which is now in the hands of Kate Middleton, while the queen is frequently seen sporting the gemstone on her famous brooches.”

20. Queen Mother’s Sapphire and diamond fringed earrings

Estimated value: £23,000 ($30,000 USD)

These elegant earrings feature large sapphires surrounded by diamonds, from which diamond fringes are suspended, in an Art Deco design.

The Queen Mother started wearing these earrings sometime around the 1960s, however, it’s possible the stones could have come from a sapphire demi-parure given to her as a wedding gift from Queen Mary. She was very fond of these particular earrings, wearing them frequently until the 1990’s, often pairing them with the Russian sapphire cluster brooch.

Now, Kate Middleton is often seen sporting the jewels, wearing them at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015 and more recently at the American State Banquet, when they complemented her new sash of the Royal Victorian Order.

If you’re looking for a piece of jewellery to rival royalty are looking for a jewellers in Manchester or engagement rings in London, why not take a look at our unique engagement rings? We also offer diamond earrings, eternity rings, and wedding rings for women and men.

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