Heart of the Ocean
The Heart of the Ocean (also known as Le Cœur de la Mer) is the name of a fictional blue diamond featured prominently in the 1997 film Titanic. In the story, the diamond was originally owned by Louis XVI and cut into a heart shape after the French Revolution. Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane), the wealthy son of a Pittsburgh steel tycoon, purchased the diamond for his fiancée Rose (Kate Winslet).
In the 1943 film Titanic, a blue diamond plays an important role in a love affair, as well. A primary plot point in this earlier film is the theft of the diamond, which creates a dramatic break in a romantic relationship.
In the film
In the film, treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) searches for a necklace, which he believes lies within the wreck of the RMS Titanic. His hunch seems to be confirmed when his team salvages a drawing, dated April 14, 1912, the day the Titanic struck an iceberg, in which a nude woman is portrayed wearing only the necklace. The necklace was fashioned from a large blue diamond worn by Louis XVI. Shortly after his execution in 1793, the diamond disappeared and was recut into a heart-like shape, known as "The Heart of the Ocean". The story of the heart of the ocean is very like the story of the Hope Diamond, except the Hope Diamond was worn by Louis XIV in a royal necklace rather than a crown. (In the film, Lovett says the Hope Diamond is worth less than the Heart.)
The woman in the picture, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Gloria Stuart when old and Kate Winslet when young), contacts Lovett and is flown out to his recovery ship, where she relates her story of her voyage. She reveals that, although now known as Rose Dawson Calvert, she is in fact the girl in the drawing. Rose's fiancé, Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane), had bought the Cœur de la Mer. Rose wore the necklace when Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) drew her—the very drawing that Lovett later salvaged. Rose's perspective of the voyage changes from the past tense to the present, as she relives her memories.
When Rose and Jack return to her suite after having fled Caledon's valet, Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner), he meets them outside the stateroom door, chastises them, takes hold of Jack's arm, and drops the necklace into Jack's coat pocket, undetected. As they enter the room, they are confronted by Caledon, who claims Jack has stolen the necklace. In a short search of Jack, the diamond is found in the coat he is wearing. Jack's pleas of innocence are thrown in doubt when it is discovered that he has "borrowed" the coat he is wearing to sneak into first class, and he is branded a thief.
Before the Titanic sinks, Caledon puts his top coat on Rose, forgetting the necklace is in its pocket, until later. After the sinking, Rose is still wearing the coat. Before disembarking in New York City, Rose discovers the necklace.
At the end of the film, Rose walks alone to the stern of the salvage ship and opens her hands to reveal the necklace, which she has always kept a secret. She lets the necklace fall from her hand and into the water above the RMS Titanic's wreck site.
Many of the deleted scenes from the film displayed Lovett's obsessive curiosity about the diamond's whereabouts during the course of Rose's story. In one deleted scene, after Cal realizes the diamond is in the coat he gave to Rose, he sends Lovejoy to retrieve it, promising the diamond to Lovejoy if he succeeds. Lovejoy fails, after fighting with Jack.
In the alternative ending, Lovett and Lizzy (Suzy Amis), Rose's granddaughter, notice Rose walking along the deck toward the ship's stern. They see her stepping onto the railing and run to confront her. She shows them the diamond, dangling it over the rail and threatening to drop it in order to keep them back. When questioned about having the necklace all this time, Rose admits there were many times she thought of selling it, but refrained from doing so in order to live on her own without Cal's money. She allows Lovett to hold it in the palm of his hand, something he has wanted to do since he first searched for the gem. She then flings it overboard.
Original and reproductions
After the film's success, Asprey & Garrard were commissioned to create an authentic Heart of the Ocean necklace using the original design. The result was a platinum-set, 171-carat (34.2 g) heart-shaped Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 103 diamonds. The necklace was valued for up to $20 million and was donated to Sotheby's auction house in Beverly Hills for an auction benefiting the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Southern California's Aid For AIDS. It was sold to an unidentified Asprey client for $17 million, under the agreement that Celine Dion would wear it two nights later at the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony. Neither of Asprey's creations have ever been made available for public viewing. The original necklace was ultimately acquired by private collector, George Holmes.
When the film was released in 1997, The J. Peterman Company sold less expensive reproductions. Their necklace consisted of 137 Austrian crystals and a detachable, inauthentic "blue diamond" pendant packaged in a navy blue, hinged presentation box.
In popular culture
- In the movie Bruce Almighty (2003), Bruce Nolan, aboard the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, asks a woman he refers to as "Katharine Hepburn's mom", "Tell me, why did you throw the blue 'Heart of the Ocean' jewel over the railing of the Titanic?"
- In the animated film Shark Tale (2004), Don Lino throws Sykes into the picture of Rose that Jack drew of her wearing the Blue Heart of the Ocean (The picture, however, shows Rose as clothed rather than nude).
In music and music videos
- In the Britney Spears music video "Oops!... I Did It Again", an astronaut gives the necklace to Britney, who says, "But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean in the end?" The astronaut replies: "Well baby, I went down and got it for you."
- In the American Dad! episode, "The Magnificent Steven", Roger is "drawing [Hayley] nude wearing the Heart of the Ocean".
- In the Futurama episode "A Flight to Remember"—a parody of Titanic book titled A Night to Remember—the robot Bender's aristocrat love interest owns an enormous diamond on a chain. After she sacrifices herself to save the rest of the group, the diamond is all Bender has to remind himself of her, but quickly loses interest when Hermes Conrad determines it to be a fake.
- The NewsRadio episode "Sinking Ship" is a parody of Titanic. Dave gives the necklace to Lisa for her birthday, who says, "It's a bit much."
- In The Simpsons episode "The Old Man and the 'C' Student", there is a parody scene on a yacht in which Smithers is drawing Mr. Burns in the nude wearing the necklace, as Jack drew Rose.
- The Suite Life on Deck episode, "The Kidney of the Sea", parodies the Titanic movie. Jack is portrayed to be Zack, Violet is Rose, Ashton is Cal, and Violet's mother is Ruth Bukater. Zack saves Violet from being hit with flying cake, and she invites him to dinner to show her gratitude. At dinner, Ashton gives Violet a necklace called the Kidney of the Sea and later accuses Zack of stealing it. After Zack falls into the hot tub, Violet clutches him from outside and says she will never let go. In the end, Violet tosses the necklace into the ocean.
- Davidson, Terry (March 11, 1998). Real 'Titanic' Necklace to Benefit Diana’s Trust: Movie’s Paste Necklace Recreated with Real Jewels. Interview with Diane Sawyer.
- Van Der Voort, Jane (February 11, 2001). "Heart Of The Matter". The Toronto Sun.[page needed]
- "Necklace fetches Titanic $17m at Di fund-raiser". South China Morning Post. March 23, 1998.[page needed]
- "J. Peterman Co. Finds Merchandising 'Jewel' in 'Titanic'; 'Heart of the Ocean' Necklace To Be Sold Through Company's Catalog". Business Wire. March 23, 1998.[page needed]