Heart of the Ocean - Titanic
The date was April 15, 1912 when the tragic sinking of the Titanic took place. Hundreds of people lost their lives when the vast ship hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. Ever since then, there have been many films, documentaries and other various books depicting the sinking. None of them can compare to the mass publicity received from the 1997 film by James Cameron, Titanic.
One specific prop from the set that caught the eyes of millions, was a necklace worn in an extremely memorable scene. Wearing nothing but the Heart of the Ocean necklace around her neck, Rose (Kate Winslet) poses for a portrait while Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) begins to draw. During the scene all the attention was being conveyed to the piece of
jewelry around her neck. The idea of this necklace was based off of a 1943 film version of the Titanic and similarly the necklace was used as a prop of love.
Although the prop was part of a movie, the actual cost to fashion this extraordinary piece was about $10,000. It was crafted by London-based jewelers, Asprey & Garrard and was to capture an Edwardian style. Sometimes mistaken for a Sapphire, the blue heart shaped gem in the centre is actually a blue diamond that was worn by Louis XVI. Numerous white diamonds create a border around the jewel all set in white gold.
Since the 1997 film, many reproductions of the necklace have been made, some of lesser value than others. Shortly after the film’s success, Asprey & Garrard were commissioned to fashion a replica of the necklace. Using a 171-carat Ceylon Sapphire and 103 diamonds Asprey & Gerrard produced a replica necklace valued at at $4 million. Around the same time, another jeweler by the name of Harry Winston used a 15-carat blue diamond to fabricate a replica worth an incredible $20 million. Of course there are lesser-valued replicas that go for retail prices of about $20, but these two reproductions stand high above the rest.
The Heart of the Ocean was made out to be part of a tragic love story, but rumour has it that there was actually a similar necklace on board the
ship that fatal night in 1912. The necklace was not heart shaped and it was not a blue diamond, this was a genuine sapphire and is known as The Love of the Sea. It belonged to a young lady by the name of Kate Florence Phillips (age 20) and was given to her by her married lover, Henry Samuel Morley (age 40). The two boarded the ship in secret in hopes of starting a new life together abroad in America. As faith took it’s turn, the two lovers were separated as the ship sank. Morley was one of those lost at sea but Kate was one of the few survivors that night. According to sources, Kate found out that she was pregnant with a baby girl. The child was named Ellen; Kate was not particularly fond of her. She was left for her grandparents to raise her. The necklace was later given to her and it was displayed at a Titanic exhibition in Belfast for a few years.
Fact or fiction, anything surrounding the 1912 ship attracts the upmost attention and inquiry. Although tragic, it is a very fascinating story and now, as a century has passed there are still many unanswered questions. But one thing is for sure, the Heart of the Ocean will continue to capture audiences for many years to come, it is truly a stunning piece of craftsmanship.