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Queen Marie of Romania's Sapphire

This giant rectangular cushion-shaped sapphire is 478 carats. It was Cartier's most valuable item exhibited in the Hotel Maria Cristina at their Autumn Show in San Sebastian in 1919. Two years after the Spanish exhibition, the sapphire was purchased by King Ferdinand of Romania for Queen Marie. (Queen Marie was a grandaughter of both Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Czar Alexander II of Russia).

Of the worlds most famous and historic cut sapphires, the gem is by far the largest, weighing 478 carats. There are only two historic sapphires recorded that are larger, both of which are in museums. The 563 carat cabochon star sapphire, the Star of India, was donated to the American Museum of Natural History as part of the J. P. Morgan collection circa 1900. The 547 carat polished sapphire, 'Peter the Great's Nose', which was originally given by Peter I to Augustus the Strong in 1698, and is displayed in the Green Vault in Dresden, Germany.

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