In keeping with our September sapphire theme, this week’s Engagement Ring of the Week is a 1930s Art Deco design, set with a cushion cut sapphire of a vivid yet soft blue color, full of fire and flash. Sapphire engagement rings have a long history, including Empress Josephine’s Moi et Toi ring in last week’s post, and they remain a popular choice for brides who want something unique.
Symbolizing faith and truth, the sapphire’s rich color inspired many historical authors. In the 1780s, Madame La Comtesse de Genlis, governess to the future King of France Louis Philippe, composed a group of children’s stories titled “Tales of the Castle: Or, Stories of Instruction and Delight.” The second volume describes a ring set with a blue stone that changes color to denote fidelity. Legend has it that her ring is based on a real sapphire named Le Saphire Merveilleux, which was part of Henry Philip Hope’s storied gem collection (the same collection once home to his cousin’s infamous blue diamond).
To play off the striking color and streamlined 1930s design, we paired our own Saphire Merveilleux with glittering Art Deco wedding jewels in shades of white and blue, including a filigree aquamarine bangle and a glowing opal cocktail ring.
Historical figures including King Solomon, Charlemagne, Catherine the Great, and Helen of Troy are also linked to sapphires. Princess Diana’s classic ring, now Duchess Kate’s, is one more lovely stone to add to this famous collection. For wedding inspiration, we look to the 1930s and screen siren Jean Harlow, whose 150-carat cabochon sapphire engagement ring was given to her by Hollywood leading man William Powell.