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The 392.52 carat Blue Belle of Asia, An Extraordinary Sapphire (4th Largest in the World)

While many notable fancy colored blue diamonds grace the halls of auction houses around the world, colored stones like blue sapphire can also achieve a level of quality and prominence worthy of high distinction and exclusivity. One of the largest pristine blue sapphires ever to arrive at the international jewelry scene is aptly named the Blue Belle of Asia.

This 392.52ct vivid blue gemstone was recorded as the fourth largest sapphire in history, following the likes of the Queen of Romania Sapphire, the Blue Giant of the Orient, and the Logan Sapphire. It was mentioned that this particular gem was unearthed from the gem-rich mines of Sri Lanka, previously referred to as Ceylon. Many blue sapphires of bright saturation and medium to medium-light color are still called 'Ceylon Sapphires' due to the notable production of fine blues associated with the area.

The Blue Belle of Asia has a long history of ownership. After its discovery in the 1920's, it was soon obtained by Macan Markar in Colombo. Then in 1937, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors Limited bought the sapphire for his estate. There were some indications that the stone had meant to be presented to Queen Elizabeth for her coronation in May of 1937, however this did not happen as the Blue Belle instead vanished from the public eye for the next several decades.

In 2014, Christie's auction house held a Geneva auction wherein the Blue Belle of Asia was seen again. The stone at the time was listed by a private persona, and it eventually sold for just over 17 million dollars, which at the time broke all records for the most expensive colored gemstone to be sold at auction. There are not many sapphires of this quality and size, even in national museum displays and exhibitions.

Its historical significance and rarity shows collectors that sapphire's place as part of the 'Big Three' colored gemstones (along with ruby and emerald) is well earned in the jewelry trade, and that fine blue sapphires are truly some of the rarest treasures of nature.
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