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Article: The Millennium Sapphire - A Monument of Human Triumphs

The Millennium Sapphire - A Monument of Human Triumphs - DSF Antique Jewelry

The Millennium Sapphire - A Monument of Human Triumphs

The Millennium Sapphire is a 61,500-carat gem the size of a football that honors human creativity by featuring pictures of notable historical individuals.

It is one of the most valuable and known gemstones and works of art in the world, valued at US$150 million.

The Millennium Sapphire, created by Italian artist Alessio Boschi, is a monument to human greatness and comprises 134 figures, including the faces of Beethoven, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and Martin Luther King Jr.

The Millennium Sapphire  Human Triumphs

The Millennium Sapphire (source:

The Millennium Sapphire: Destined For Greatness
Prior to being shaped into its present shape, the Millennium Sapphire was an unknown dark-blue gemstone found in Central Madagascar.

This Sapphire was destined for fame from the moment it was discovered due to its size and weight (89,850 carats, 17.97 kilograms/40 pounds, 29 cm long, 19 cm wide, and 16 cm tall).

A miner in Madagascar found the Sapphire in 1995. However, the discovery's precise location was unknown. Only that it was found in Central Madagascar is known.

The island nation of Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean. It is situated about 400 kilometers off the East African coast.

The Sapphire was created when oxygen, aluminum, titanium, and iron came together deep inside the earth's crust under extreme heat and pressure.

The rough gem was finally brought to the surface by geological factors such as erosion, continental drift, and others, where the miner discovered it.

The Sapphire caught the attention of a French mining company operating in Madagascar because they thought it would be lucrative.

So they bargained with the miner for a price and bought it from him. The stone was then placed in a homemade wooden container and sent to Bangkok, Thailand.

Bangkok has always been a significant hub in the world of precious gemstones. Bangkok is the final destination of many colorful gemstones from throughout the world. Because of this, the majority of colorful gemstone dealers, jewelry purchasers, and wholesalers have a location here, according to

The French miners typically marketed their high-quality sapphire exports from Madagascar through an American trader named Jeffery Bergman, who is headquartered in Bangkok.

Bergman was dubious despite hearing rumors of this enormous jewel. But what he saw when he uncovered the stone wrapped in newspaper captivated him.


Jeffery Bergman was now in charge of the Sapphire as it started its certification process.

For independent laboratory certification, he brought it to the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences.

The lab issued a Gemstone Identification Report after completing the gemological examination, concluding that the gemstone is a natural sapphire.

The Gemological Institute of America also accredited the Millennium Sapphire when it was still in its rough state.

Later, the sapphire was verified by the Gubelin Lab of Switzerland to be 61,500 carats, or about 28 pounds or 12.3 kilograms.

Daniel McKinney
To inform the rest of the world of the tests' independent results, Bergman contacted Reuters. The Reuters report shocked the precious gems industry, and within a few days, it was covered by USA Today, CNN, NBC, and The Bangkok Post, among other media sites.

Then Bergman went to London to consult with European experts about the diamond.

Bergman began organizing an auction on behalf of the French miners after the Sapphire gained popularity and certification.

Fortunately, Thailand was where the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis began, and as a result, buyers who had previously been liquid disappeared from the market since the Thai banks that had provided their financing went bankrupt.

The French miners who had delivered the stone to Bergman desired funding to expand their business in Madagascar.

Bergman thereupon contacted American gem buyer Daniel McKinney, who was in a liquid state at the moment.

In partnership with his mentor John Connally, a former Texas governor and US Treasury Secretary, Mr. McKinney founded the Hong Kong Gem & Jewelry Show and the vertically integrated jewelry company Wyndmere.

The sapphire served as inspiration for Mr. McKinney, who within a short period of time assembled a group of investors to buy the jewel.

The Millennium Sapphire Project began after the magnificent sapphire received new owners.
The Design Of The Millennium Sapphire

One of the gem's owners, Daniel Mckinney, wanted to use the entire stone and retain it as one crystal as an homage to humanity rather than cutting it into smaller parts.

Alessio Boschi, a renowned jewelry designer and artist from Italy, was selected in 1999 for the Millennium Sapphire undertaking.

After a thorough investigation, Alessio Boschi chose 134 images that represented significant figures and events in human history. The designs on the stone also allude to its origin in Madagascar.

The completed Millennium Sapphire, which took nearly two years to create, is a design masterpiece that was executed in an extremely precious and uncommon medium, making it by far the most expensive and largest carved sapphire in the world.

The sapphire was transformed from an unpolished gemstone into a symbol of the victories of mankind.

Alessio made his start in the field in 1996 after graduating from the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome.

He relocated to Athens and started making jewelry with a focus on colored gemstones after completing various freelance jobs in France and Italy.

Every carving on the Millennium Sapphire honors a notable thinker, inventor, or creative from history. Each carving is accompanied by a three-dimensional lapis figurine.

Each historical era was investigated, and a well-known person was selected to personify the essence of that time.

Important people are represented on the Millennium Sapphire, including:

- Mozart
- Michelangelo
- Christopher Columbus
- Lao Tzu
- Newton
- Albert Einstein
- Beethoven
- Shakespeare
- Alexander the Great
- Bach
- Rousseau

Guinness Record

The Millennium Sapphire, which weighs 61,500 carats, won the title of "World's Largest Engraved Sapphire" from Guinness World Records in 2001.

It is still regarded as the biggest gem-quality carved sapphire in the world today.
The Millennium Sapphire made a cameo in Seattle in 2004 for the naming of Princess Cruises' ship, The Sapphire Princess, and it was shown at the 2002 Academy Awards.

The fair market value of the Millennium Sapphire was estimated by art appraiser Pascal Butel, M.S. INALCO to be between USD 100,000,000 and USD 150,000,000 in 2020.

The Millennium Sapphire is coveted by jewelry collectors and continues to fascinate lovers of beauty with its elegance, finesse, and the way it stands out in the eyes of its beholders.
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