The magnificent 423 carat Logan Sapphire was cut from a crystal mined in Sri Lanka and is the world's famous faceted blue sapphire . It is the heaviest mounted gem in the National Gem Collection, and in its brooch setting is framed by twenty round brilliant-cut diamonds, totaling approximately 16 carats. Logan sapphire is blue in color with very slight violet overtones. Presently, the stone is housed in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Natural History alongside the Bismarck Sapphire Necklace and the Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace. It is the heaviest mounted gem in their collection.
The stone belonged to Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon (1881-1961), the third Baronet of Bombay . He is supposed to have acquired it from a Maharaja in India . It was later purchased by Col. Meyer Robert Guggenheim (1885-1959) who gave it to his wife Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim as a Christmas/anniversary gift in late 1952 or early 1953. Rebecca gifted it to the Smithsonian in December 1960 but retained possession of the piece until April 1971 . By that time Rebecca was married to Joan A. Logan, hence the stone got the name Logan.
Rumour has it that the first owner of the Logan Sapphire was a native of Sri Lanka, beheaded for hiding his discovery from his leader. One of the gemstone’s early owners was Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon, 3rd Baronet of Bombay, a businessman and hotelier from the wealthy Sassoon family. Supposedly the Sassoon family may have acquired the sapphire from a maharaja in India.
The sapphire was exhibited at the 1939 New York World’s Fair held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York, United States. Sassoon planned to auction the gem in 1941 to raise money for the British war effort during World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945), but the auction did not take place.
In the early 1950s, Sassoon sold the gem to the American diplomat Meyer Robert Guggenheim who gave it to his wife, Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim, as a Christmas and anniversary gift in 1952. Mrs Guggenheim often wore the sapphire on a clip at formal events, but it was so heavy that she had to wear it with a shoulder strap.
In December 1960, a year after her husband’s death, Mrs Guggenheim deeded four-sevenths of the gem to the Smithsonian Institution and the remaining portion the following year. The transaction was only in deed, and the sapphire was not physically divided. She wanted the gem to be reserved and worn only by the First Lady of the United States on appropriate occasions, which never happened.
The Logan Sapphire weighs 422.98 carats (84.596 g) and is approximately the size of a large chicken egg, measuring 49.23 mm × 38.26 mm × 20.56 mm (1.938 in × 1.506 in × 0.809 in). It is a mixed cushion-cut sapphire.
Natural History Museum Logan Sapphire
Logan Sapphire Replica