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 DeWitt Bukater (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 1997 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 alternates between past tense and 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; in the past, she had considered selling it, but each time refused to allow herself to live off Cal's money since the diamond belonged to him in the first place. She lets the necklace fall from her hand and into the water above the RMS Titanic's wreck site, allowing the sea to finally claim its heart as well as showing how worthless she believed it to be in the wake of so many deaths.
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 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 $1.4 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.
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.
- 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]
- "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]