The biggest sapphire in the world was found in Madagascar back in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, this gem of a stone was caught in middle of much controversy which, believe it or not, was the reason for the ousting of the country’s president then.
At any rate, this sapphire was later to be called the Millennium Sapphire. The sapphire was thoroughly checked by an institute of gemological sciences in Thailand and was certified as an authentic sapphire gemstone.
In the United States, similar institutes plus a number of other gemological institutes likewise certified that the Millennium Sapphire was indeed a natural gemstone.
The Millennium Sapphire
This sapphire stone was measured and weighed; and is said to be approximately 12.3 kilograms or about 61,500 carats. Incidentally, the Millennium Sapphire was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest carved sapphire in the world.
It is estimated to be worth at least $90 million; and the price could go up to a whopping $500 million!
The Millennium Sapphire Project was initiated by Daniel McKinney, one of the owners of the sapphire. The project was undertaken to carve the stone into one beautiful design, instead of breaking down the huge gem into smaller bits. The project had for its main designer, world famous artist Allesio Boschi.
The design envisioned by the artist would represent certain periods in history. On the stone, you can see representations of Columbus, Michelangelo, musical geniuses Mozart, Bach and Beethoven; renowned scientists Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein; plus a whole slew of other influential figures in world history.
The Sapphire Through Time
Once upon a time, sapphire stones were given as gifts to represent honesty, loyalty, purity of intentions and trust. Perhaps taking after this ancient belief; the sapphire has become one of the most popular gemstones in engagement rings, second to diamonds.
Those born in the month of September have this gemstone for their birthstone. This is also given as gifts during wedding anniversaries; specifically during the 5th year of marriage.
As a spiritual stone, sapphires are believed to encourage enlightenment and peace in one’s self as well as wisdom to know the right thing to do in times of trouble.
It is also believed that the ten Commandments given to Moses were written in stone, specifically, the sapphire stone. Perhaps this is why it is believed to impart wisdom and enlightenment.
In some cultures, this stone was regarded as a powerful amulet to keep evil at bay and to provide potent protection for the wearer or bearer of this stone.