ROMANCE With Stone – “La Coeur de la Mer”

“La Coeur de la Mer” is the gem’s proper name as introduced in the 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic directed by James Cameron.

The gem, a stunning blue diamond, supposedly belonged to King Louis XVI, but disappeared during the French Revolution in 1792, when the King was beheaded. Later, the “Blue Diamond of the Crown” appeared as the re-cut Heart of the Ocean gemstone in a stunning pendant.

The resemblance between The Hope Diamond and the Heart of the Ocean
After watching the hit film, Titanic viewers fell in love with the romantic storyline as well as the remarkable Heart of the Ocean; a necklace Kate Winslet’s character, Rose wore in the film. Even though the gorgeous Heart of the Ocean is only a fictional diamond, there is a one of a kind blue diamond that comes close to its beauty. Meet the magnificent Hope Diamond, a stone that resembles the unique features of the Heart of the Ocean: The Heart of the Ocean is an instantly recognizable piece of diamond jewelry, well known for its tragic yet romantic past as well as its stunning beauty. The fact that the necklace never really existed is far less important than the romance, commitment, and devotion it represents. The Heart of the Ocean is an even more impressive gem than the Hope Diamond (Hollywood having the license to make anything more extravagant for the big screen). At a whopping 56 carats, the gemstone measured nearly two inches in length. Surrounded by smaller colorless diamonds and accented by additional diamonds mounted to the 18-inch chain, the heart-shaped gem is a work of art even before it is memorialized in a stunning pencil sketch.

The famous Hope Diamond, also known as the Le Bijou du Roi (The King’s Jewel) is a magnificent blue diamond that weighs an estimated 45.52 carats. The origins of the remarkable diamond date back to India, where the original and much larger blue diamond, the Tavernier Blue was bought by a French gem merchant named, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

The Hope Diamond’s rare blue colour and exceptional size have placed the diamond in a class of its own. The one of a kind diamond gets it unique colour due to trace amounts of atoms. Besides the blue diamond being breathtakingly beautiful, people believe it has been cursed. According to popular believe, anyone who owns the diamond will face evil and bad luck. The Hope Diamond is currently held at the Smithsonian Institute.

Using a blue diamond as an iconic symbol is perfect for a romantic tragedy. The rich blue color not only denotes luxury, but it also is a traditional color for sadness and despair – a prelude to the tragedy to come. With a distinctive heart cut, it is reminiscent of the romance and love the movie’s tale presents. Ironically, the fictional gem is also similar to the oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds that constituted Princess Diana’s engagement ring – another romantic tale that ultimately ended in tragedy. Today, the “Titanic necklace” is a popular trinket for movie fans and wistful romantics alike.

According to the movie, Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane) bought the pendant as an engagement gift for his fiancée, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), a week before sailing on the Titanic. The gemstone makes its first actual appearance (not a photograph or drawing) 46 minutes into the movie as Cal presents the gift to Rose, explaining that he’d planned to wait until their engagement party, but since she was so distraught (she’d nearly fallen off the ship’s stern that evening) he thought to give it to her sooner to demonstrate how he could provide for her. In a fitting and romantic end to the movie, Rose tosses the necklace overboard at the site of the Titanic’s sinking. instead keeps the gem for decades, until interest in it resurfaces when Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) begins salvage operations on the sunken liner. The picture Jack drew is aired on television, and the then 101-year-old Rose (Gloria Stewart), visits the research vessel and tells her story.

The immense popularity of the movie prompted the House of Harry Winston to recreate the pendant for the startling cost of $20 million, but fans of the movie can easily find replicas for far lower prices. While no additional real gemstone replicas are available ( blue diamonds being exceedingly rare and expensive), plastic or crystal duplicates can be purchased for relatively low prices, typically ranging from $30-100 depending on the accuracy, detail, and size. Because the movie gem was indecorously large, the most popular replicas are smaller sizes but include enough detail – the surrounding white gems and appropriate chain length, for example – to be suitable replacements. While immediately after the movie’s release and sweeping Academy Award honors there were many companies offering replicas, they are more difficult to find today – online auctions are now the easiest way to find replicas.

By Olga Bejuà / 2020 ART D&F Magazine

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