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Le Couer De La Mer - The Heart Of The Ocean

Cast your mind back to the 1990’s and one of the most successful films of all time, Titanic.  This tragic love story featured the characters Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Rose DeWitt Bukater, who as a young woman was played by Kate Winslet.  Gloria Stuart, born on the 4th July 1910, and who lived to be 100 years old, played Rose as an old lady, recounting the story of her past and her brief encounter with Jack Dawson.

As we watch the film, Rose is recalling her memories of the voyage after a drawing is found of her wearing the precious Heart of the Ocean necklace.  The exquisite necklace consists of a stunning heart shaped blue diamond, which lies within a setting of smaller diamonds. It is thought by Brock Lovett, (a treasure hunter), that the necklace still remains in the ships wreckage, and that it may be connected to Louis XVI.  As the story unfolds, we learn that Rose’s fiancé Caledon Hockley gave her the necklace as a gift.  In the final scenes of the movie, after surviving the ships sinking, Rose is seen discovering the necklace in the pocket of Cal’s coat which she is wearing, and letting the heart shaped necklace drop into the ocean.

Titanic Heart of the Ocean Source: http://topidolblog.com

Inspiration from History

The fictional necklace, the Heart of the Ocean, takes its origin from two sources of inspiration.  Firstly, it is understood that on the actual Titanic there was a guest called Kate Florence Phillips travelling with Samuel Morley. While making their voyage, she received a necklace which featured a blue sapphire from Samuel, as a gift of his love.  Mr Morley was already married, and it is believed that the pair were setting sail to begin a new life together, however sadly Mr Morley lost his life as the ship sank.

The other source of inspiration is one of the world’s most famous diamonds, the Hope Diamond.  It is understood that Jean Baptiste Tavernier sold a number of diamonds, including a 112 3/16 carat blue diamond (the Tavernier Blue) to Louis XIV in 1668. Some years later the Tavernier Blue was cut and from it the smaller 67 1/8 carat stone then became known as the Blue Diamond of the Crown or the French Blue.   In 1792, during the French revolution, looting resulted in the crown jewels being stolen and the French Blue vanished for some time, some believe the French Blue was cut again at this time.

In 1812, records show Daniel Eliason, a diamond Merchant based in London as having a stone which many believe was the French blue. There is further suggestion that this stone was also included in King George IV’s collection after this date.  In 1839 Henry Philip Hope became the owner and the stone which was known thereafter as the Hope Diamond. The stone continued to be bought and sold with owners of this piece also including Pierre Cartier in 1909.  In 1949, Harry Winston purchased the diamond and later donated it to the Smithsonian Institution.  It remains on display in the Harry Winston Gallery in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in America.

Asprey & Garrard made the original Heart of the Ocean necklace which we see in the film. The necklace featured cubic zirconias with a white gold setting.  The London based Jewellers later produced a Heart of the Ocean necklace, which featured a 171-carat (34g) sapphire shaped into a heart with 103 diamonds completing the amazing platinum creation.  Remarkably, after being donated, the necklace was auctioned and raised $2.2 million for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and the Aid for AIDS charity.  As part of the sale it was arranged that Celine Dion would be allowed to wear the necklace at the Academy Awards that year, 1998.   Celine Dion sang My Heart will Go On, the song which accompanied the film Titanic.

Gloria Stuart famously had the honour of wearing Harry Winston’s $20million Heart of the Ocean inspired creation to the Academy Awards that year, with an incredible 15-carat (3g) blue diamond featuring in this amazing piece of jewellery design.

Featured Image: Necklace http://micwits101.deviantart.com/art/