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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Corundum (var. sapphire)

The brooch, believed to have been made in England in the 1880s, is made of silver and gold as commonly seen in late Victorian era jewelry (1837-1901). The sapphires are an intense beautiful blue color, and due to the type of inclusions present, they are most likely from Cambodia.
Photo by Greg Polley. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10324-00
Locality Cambodia

Gift of Mr. John F. Barnard in 2002.

This sapphire flower brooch was gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2002 by Mr. John F. Barnard. The brooch contains six round faceted sapphires that have a total weight of approximately 2.78 carats and 80 rose cut diamonds totaling just over one carat. The brooch is made of silver and gold as commonly seen in late Victorian era jewelry (1837-1901). The sapphires are an intense beautiful blue color, and due to the type of inclusions present, they are most likely from Cambodia. The round rose cut diamonds have a flat bottom and faceted domed top as commonly seen in jewelry from this period. Victorian jewelry featured sentimental motifs and nature-inspired designs such as flowers, birds, hearts, and bows. Brooches were very popular during this time with colored gemstones and diamonds. The sapphire flower brooch is believed to have been made in England in the 1880s and is a “treasure from the vault” at the National Museum of Natural History.

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