Top 10 Most Expensive Sapphires in the World


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Sapphires

Sapphires are some of the world’s most expensive birthstones, and they’ve been used to create luxurious jewelry since ancient times. Known for their deep, sky-blue color, these gemstones continue to impress and fetch incredible prices, especially when they’re the centerpiece of high-quality rings, necklaces, and bracelets.

The most expensive sapphire in the world is the Blue Belle of Asia necklace, which sold for $17.61 million at a Christie’s auction in November 2014. This necklace not only features a gigantic 392.52-carat Ceylon sapphire but is also flanked by dozens of high-quality diamonds.

Though diamonds have a reputation for being jaw-droppingly pricey, sapphires can be just as valuable. This ranking will reveal which sapphires command the highest prices!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Sapphires in the World:

  1. Blue Belle of Asia – $17.61 million
  2. The Peacock Necklace – $14.894 million
  3. The Richelieu Sapphire Earrings – $8.3 million
  4. Gentleman’s Sapphire and Diamond Ring – $7.5 million
  5. 1923 Cartier Sapphire Bracelet – $7.226 million
  6. Sapphire and Diamond Brooch – $7.065 million
  7. Vintage Cartier Sapphire Bracelet – $6.911 million
  8. Jewel of Kashmir – $6.745 million
  9. Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet – $6.030 million
  10. Elizabeth Taylor’s BVLGARI Sautoir – $5.906 million

10. Elizabeth Taylor’s BVLGARI Sautoir – $5.906 Million

Elizabeth-Taylor's-BVLGARI-Sautoir
photo source: Christie’s

Famed actress Elizabeth Taylor was known for many things, including his expansive jewelry collection. Many pieces from this collection, including her sapphire-covered BVLGARI sautoir, have fetched millions of dollars at auction.

The sautoir (a necklace with a pendant) is particularly noteworthy, as it sold for $5.906 million when it went to auction in 2011.

Its chain features interlocking rows of cut diamonds and sapphires, which feature a distinctly geometric design. These all lead to a blue 52.72-carat sapphire pendant.

Why It’s Expensive

There’s a laundry list of reasons why this sapphire necklace is so valuable.

Firstly, it’s covered in high-quality diamonds and sapphires. These stones are rare and expensive, as is the precious platinum supporting them.

Secondly, this is a BVLGARI piece. This brand, like Cartier, is well-known for producing some of the finest luxury items in the world. Consequently, brand reputation plays a part in this item’s high value.

But lastly, there’s the fact that this sautoir once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. Though Taylor might not be a household name for younger generations, she remains a fashion and culture icon, and any item that once belonged to her is sure to sell for top dollar prices at auction.

9. Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet – $6.030 Million

Sapphire-and-Diamond-Bracelet
photo source: Christie’s

Those wealthy enough to afford the world’s costliest jewels and jewelry pieces tend to mix and match those pieces to suit the season. This sapphire-and-diamond bracelet is an excellent example of a season-specific piece, as it has a decidedly winter-appropriate design.

The centerpiece of this bracelet, a 43.1-carat Kashmir sapphire, exudes a coolness accentuated by graduated diamonds set into leaf-shaped platinum frames. Any wealthy patron or royal family member would look stunning attending a winter gala or event with this frosty bracelet around their wrist.

The only catch is that this bracelet sold for $6.030 million in 2020! Convincing the current owner to part ways with it might be a challenge, especially considering its beauty and value.

Why It’s Expensive

This bracelet checks a lot of the boxes in terms of value. For example, it features multiple precious materials, including platinum, diamonds, and a massive Kashmir sapphire.

Unlike more classic pieces, it also has a distinct design that makes it slightly more unique, and therefore, more desirable to collectors.

8. Jewel of Kashmir – $6.745 Million

Jewel-of-Kashmir
photo source: Sotheby’s

Without a doubt, the most prized sapphires in the world are Kashmir sapphires. These uniquely blue stones are some of the highest-quality sapphire gemstones in the world, and even loose ones (gems not set into jewelry) can sell for millions.

But one of the most notable Kashmir sapphires is the Jewel of Kashmir, a 27.68-carat stone set into a platinum ring surrounded by two crowded rows of pear-cut diamonds.

Though this ring isn’t the costliest of its kind, it sold for $6.745 million in 2015, making it one of the priciest sapphire pieces in the world.

Why It’s Expensive

The precious materials (platinum, diamonds) and high-quality Kashmir sapphire that make up this ring are the primary reasons it’s so valuable.

7. Vintage Cartier Sapphire Bracelet – $6.911 Million

Vintage-Cartier-Sapphire-Bracelet
photo source: Christie’s

Cartier is one of the oldest and most trusted luxury brands.

This company has produced high-quality jewelry pieces for the world’s most affluent buyers for more than a century. Cartier pieces tend to hold or increase in value due to the brand’s dedication to quality and superior reputation.

So, when a vintage Cartier sapphire bracelet went to auction in 2010, there was little doubt it would sell for a top-tier price. Still, this bracelet exceeded expectations when it sold for $6.911 million.

Why It’s Expensive

Kashmir sapphires are beloved for their unmatched quality and hypnotic blue hues. This bracelet, created in the 1960s, features no less than nine of these sought-after sapphires, all linked together by exquisite marquise-cut diamonds.

These features make the bracelet inherently valuable.

But adding the Cartier brand name to the piece ups the value even more, as Cartier’s brand reputation ensures that items featuring their maker’s mark can outsell more commonplace alternatives.

And yet, this Cartier sapphire bracelet isn’t the costliest of its kind. But we’ll touch on that and just a moment!

6. Sapphire and Diamond Brooch – $7.065 Million

Sapphire-and-Diamond-Brooch
photo source: Christie’s

Brooches might not be as popular as they once were, but anyone who lays eyes on this Sapphire and Diamond Brooch might be willing to change their fashion sense to wear it!

This pinnable piece has an outer exterior of round-cut diamonds and an interior that features a lavish Royal Blue cushion-cut sapphire. Its extravagant materials and remarkable beauty are likely why it sold for $7.065 million in 2011.

Why It’s Expensive

When you combine two high-value jewels into a single item, you’re significantly increasing the value of those stones. That’s the case with this sapphire-and-diamond brooch, with is virtually overflowing with precious materials.

5. 1923 Cartier Sapphire Bracelet – $7.226 Million

1923-Cartier-Sapphire-Bracelet
photo source: Christie’s

The 1923 Cartier Sapphire Bracelet is the costliest of all sapphire-encrusted Cartier pieces. This bracelet sold for $7.226 million when it went to auction in 2016.

At first glance, you might think this piece is identical to its vintage counterpart, but the two have some noticeable differences.

For example, this bracelet’s sapphires are joined by solid, rectangular diamond settings instead of singular stones. It’s also an antique Art Deco piece that’s impossible to replace.

Why It’s Expensive

This Cartier bracelet has a lot going for it in terms of value. Not only is it an irreplaceable antique, but it’s also rich in diamonds and high-value Kashmir blue sapphires.

The Cartier brand name also holds some weight, as Cartier is known for its timeless and luxurious jewelry.

4. Gentleman’s Sapphire and Diamond Ring – $7.5 Million

Gentleman's-Sapphire-and-Diamond-Ring
photo source: Christie’s

This sapphire-and-diamond ring might have been a part of an unnamed gentleman’s collection, but it’s appropriate for wearers of all genders. That said, it might not be the right fit for wearers of all budgets, especially considering it sold for $7.5 million in 2015.

It’s not challenging to understand why this ring sold for such a competitive price, as the main blue sapphire set in the gold ring weighs more than 35 carats and is startingly clear and vibrant. This stone is also joined by inlaid diamonds, making it shine even more brightly.

Why It’s Expensive

From the gold setting to the magnificent inlaid diamonds, there’s nothing about this ring that isn’t lavish. When you add the rare, superior-clarity blue sapphire to the mix, the comparatively high value only becomes more apparent and reasonable.

3. The Richelieu Sapphire Earrings – $8.3 Million

The-Richelieu-Sapphire-Earrings
photo source: Sotheby’s

These gorgeous sapphire earrings have a unique history, once belonging to Princess de La Rochefoucauld, a member of French nobility. This previous ownership is partially responsible for the incredibly $8.3 million auction price these earrings enjoyed when they sold in 2013.

However, these sapphires are also antiques, and their blue coloration is one of the most sought-after in the world. Consequently, there are several reasons why the diamond-and-sapphire Richelieu earrings are worth millions.

Why It’s Expensive

Any jewelry item that once belonged to royalty or nobility can fetch amazing prices at auction, these earrings included.

The fact that the sapphires date back to the early 20th century and are of such high quality also makes these earrings quite valuable. And like other expensive sapphires included in this ranking, the addition of diamonds only makes things pricier!

2. The Peacock Necklace – $14.894 Million

The-Peacock-Necklace-White-Background
photo source: Christie’s

When a jewel or piece of jewelry has its own name, you know it’s costly. The Peacock Necklace, which sold for $14.894 million in 2018, is a fantastic example.

This necklace features an alternating pattern of diamonds and Royal Blue sapphires, and while it’s not the most innovative piece ever created, it’s undeniably elegant. Besides, if you weigh all the sapphires together, you’d end up with an impressive 109.0 carats of world-class jewels!

Why It’s Expensive

This necklace’s high sales price is the result of its quality. It’s rare to find a piece with so many top-quality blue sapphires and sparkling diamonds, making this necklace fantastically desirable to investors and wealthy buyers.

1. Blue Belle of Asia – $17.61 Million

Blue-Belle-of-Asia
photo source: Christie’s

The most expensive sapphire in the world is the Blue Belle of Asia, a stunning diamond-and-sapphire necklace that sold for $17.61 million in 2014.

The multi-tassel necklace is encrusted with rows of diamonds flowing to and from a massive 392.52-carat cushion-cut blue sapphire. This sapphire immediately draws the eye due to its size and clarity.

Anyone fortunate enough to wear the Blue Belle of Asia is sure to look like royalty due to the unmissable decadence of this one-of-a-kind sapphire piece.

Why It’s Expensive

The Blue Belle of Asia features one of the world’s largest and heaviest cut sapphires. This feature alone would make it worth millions.

But the sapphire in question also is a rich blue hue. It has an unmatched level of clarity that is truly astonishing. These qualities also contribute to the necklace’s exceptional value.

Of course, you also can’t ignore the dozens of diamonds set into the necklace or its gold interior. As you might expect, these precious materials only serve to make the Blue Belle of Asia more valuable and desirable, hence the final multi-million-dollar auction price.

Still, this gorgeous blue-stone necklace is only a fraction of the price of the most expensive ruby!

Why Are Some Sapphires So Expensive?

A loose sapphire can cost as little as $5. But it can also set you back several thousand dollars!

Many of the world’s priciest sapphires are part of a jewelry piece (necklaces, rings, bracelets), making them more valuable than if they were standalone items. Additionally, these sapphires are cut and polished until they sparkle.

But it’s crucial to note that the costliest sapphires would still be worth millions, even if they weren’t encased in precious metals.

The most significant factors that make a sapphire expensive include the following:

  • Coloration
  • Cut
  • Luxurious additions
  • Historical significance
  • Supply and demand

If you’re in the market for a truly decadent sapphire, you’ll want to consider these qualities before you start shopping.

Coloration

Sapphires come in a wide range of colors, from crystal-clear to ruby red. But the most valuable sapphires tend to be a rich blue hue, often called Royal Blue.

While sapphires of other colors can easily sell for big bucks, blue varieties almost always outsell their yellow, pink, and purple counterparts. But, of course, color isn’t everything.

The way a sapphire is cut can also impact its value.

Cut

When browsing gemstones, it’s vital to pay close attention to cut.

After all, the most expensive diamond cuts can transform a stone’s price by thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars. The same is true for sapphires.

Though round-cut diamonds tend to sell for the highest prices, cushion-cut sapphires are generally the costliest of the bunch. That’s because this cut keeps large sapphires intact, ensuring that the cutting process doesn’t negatively impact their weight (represented in carats) and clarity.

Still, loose sapphires aren’t quite as valuable as those mounted into precious metals. For that reason, sapphire jewelry can quickly outsell loose stones.

Luxurious Additions

Sapphires aren’t the most precious stone in the world, but they can be made more valuable when sold alongside other jewels. That’s why nearly all of the priciest sapphires are accompanied by diamonds or precious metal settings like gold and silver.

Luxurious additional materials can transform even the smallest blue sapphires into worthy investments! And sapphire jewelry featuring multiple precious materials can become even more valuable when they’re historically significant antiques.

Historical Significance

Historically important items are a rare commodity, as they’re impossible to replace. After all, if you lose a vintage bracelet from the 1920s, it’s not like you can hop into a time machine and buy another one!

Several of the world’s most expensive sapphire jewelry pieces are historically significant due to their age or previous ownership. Elizabeth Taylor’s BVLGARI Sapphire Sautoir is a fantastic example of how time and celebrity associations can make sapphires (or any item) more valuable.

Supply and Demand

The law of supply and demand is one of the most influential factors influencing prices. In fact, supply and demand are partially responsible for the price of every good or commodity on earth, from fresh fruit to ancient gemstones.

Sapphires typically form over millions of years, and only a rare few possess ideal qualities such as size, blue coloration, and superior clarity. As such, the supply of high-quality sapphires is extremely limited.

In contrast, the demand for these stones remains constant, as sapphires are the birthstone for those born in September. Wealthy investors are also on the lookout for the best sapphires, as these stones can appreciate in value over time, especially when mounted in high-quality precious metals or other jewels.

Because the demand for sapphires exceeds the supply, the value of top-tier blue sapphires will likely remain high (or increase), making them a fantastic physical asset and investment.

What’s the Most Expensive Loose Sapphire?

Setting a sapphire in precious metal and surrounding it with other high-value stones (like diamonds) is a surefire way to create an expensive item. But what’s the most expensive loose (unmounted) sapphire?

That honor goes to a massive 118.88-carat cushion-cut Royal Blue Burmese sapphire that sold for $4.181 million in 2015.

Even though this sapphire didn’t sport the most impressive cut and wasn’t accompanied by other precious materials, it exceeded its original auction estimate by a decent amount. More than likely, its incredible size (represented in carats) and quality impressed bidders.

Hopefully, the lucky owner of this stunning jewel will set it into gold, platinum, or silver to create a one-of-a-kind piece that will become even more valuable with time.

What’s the Most Expensive Sapphire in the World?

The most expensive sapphire in the world is the Blue Belle of Asia. This necklace might feature several rows of sparkling diamonds, but its true glory comes from its nearly 400-carat blue sapphire.

This necklace sold for $17.61 million in 2014, almost double the estimated maximum auction price. It’s not hard to understand why this sapphire necklace fetched such a high price, as it’s undeniably unique and distinctly opulent.

Explore these related articles to learn more about the world’s most expensive luxury items and natural wonders.

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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