Stewart Sapphire

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Stewart Sapphire
Weight ca. 104 carats (20.8 g)
Color blue (exact colour grade unknown)
Cut oval
Original owner Alexander II of Scotland
Current owner Elizabeth II
Estimated value unknown

The Stewart Sapphire (sometimes known as the Stuart Sapphire) is a historical sapphire that forms part of the British Crown Jewels. Its name originates from the Scottish House of Stewart.

Its original owner is traditionally King Alexander II of Scotland. The sapphire was set into his crown for his coronation in 1214. In 1296 Edward I of England claimed the sapphire along with the Stone of Scone during his attacks on Scotland. [1] King Edward III of England later gave the sapphire to his brother-in-law David II of Scotland. King David, in turn, presented the sapphire to his nephew, Robert II, the first monarch of the House of Stewart and namesake of the Stewart Sapphire. During the Interregnum Oliver Cromwell sold the jewel along with the rest of the British Crown Jewels. After the Restoration, the sapphire was returned to Charles II of England. The sapphire is recorded as being part of the Stewart relics taken by James II to his exile in France.[2] After his death it passed to his son, James Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', who gave it to his son Henry Benedict, Cardinal York. After Henry's death the Stewart cause was dead and he left it to George III.[3]

In 1838 Queen Victoria had the jewel set into the new Imperial State Crown,[1][4] at the front, below the Black Prince's Ruby. George VI had a new Imperial State Crown made, almost identical to the old one. The Stewart Sapphire was set in the new crown. Upon the acquisition of the Cullinan diamonds, the Stewart Sapphire was moved to the rear of the crown to make space for the 317 carats (63.4 g) cushion-shaped Cullinan II. Even though the sapphire is extraordinarily large, it is more of historical than monetary value. The sapphire was drilled so that it might be worn in a pendant.

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