On Saturday 14th April 2012, there will be one word that resonates like no other: “Titanic.” Not just because Leo will be back on our screens in 3D starring as Jack Dawson, but for the first time, since the ship slipped beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean 100 years ago, all 5,500 artefacts found on the ocean floor will be going up for auction as one collection.
The research and recovery expedition has been on-going since 1987, but was made famous by the 1998 film “Titanic” starring Kate Winslett and LeonardoDiCaprio.
I’m sure you will already know, however if you were in hiding and missed the film, it follows a recovery team searching for a valuable pendant described as “the Heart of the Ocean” (based on the world famous Hope diamond, a 45.54 carat deep blue diamond worn by Louis XIV.) As the storyline unfolds the viewer discovers the background to the pendant and its relationship with the R.M.S Titanic. Jeweller Harry Winston created a “Heart of the Ocean” 15 carat blue diamond pendant. This $20 million pendant was worn in the closing scene of the film. Here is Kate wearing hers and underneath AC Silver’s own look-alike. Which do you prefer?
Although the actual Hope diamond pendant was never aboard the Titanic many valuable items, including jewellery, were lost as the ship went down, only to be discovered 75 years later.
Other Lost Treasures and Jewels
Family members of those lost on Titanic, have told of their loved ones travelling in 2nd class to avoid notice whilst traveling with large amounts of diamonds. Some reports stated two American brothers boarded the ocean liner with a shipment of diamonds from Switzerland - it is estimated these diamonds would be worth $200 million today!!!
Sailors on the Mackay-Bennet, one of the original search and recovery ships in 1912, spoke of instances of diamonds rolling out of the pockets of victims as individuals were pulled aboard.
The question is have any of these diamonds been found after 100 years under the sea, and if so who will be claiming them?
Famous Titanic Passengers
Mr Engelhart Cornelius Ostby, founder of Ostby and Barton - a world famous jewellery chain and the world’s largest producer of gold rings - was on board the Titanic with his daughter Helene on the night the ship sank. Ostby lost his life that night and is said to have gone down with bags of gemstones for his new jewellery designs; these gemstones have never been recovered.
Another famous 1st class passenger, depicted in several films, John Jacob Astor, was said to have been pulled from the sea, still in possession of his gold fob watch, gold cufflinks and a three stone diamond ring belonging to his wife.
One of the known treasures on board Titanic that night was a priceless copy of the Rubyiat of Omar Khayiam, a book of poetry encrusted with 1,500 precious stones.
More Sparkling Discoveries
Some miracle recoveries on the ocean floor include; one Edwardian diamond and filigree ring, displaying over 75 diamonds, a handcrafted diamond and sapphire ring, a large three stone diamond found hidden within a leather satchel and maybe the most poignant of all, a gold link bracelet with the name ‘Amy’ in diamonds.
The artefacts rescued from the ocean bed are our way of preserving and honouring the legacy of the R.M.S Titanic and all that were lost at sea – the real hearts of the ocean.
One of the beauties antique jewellery has is the story behind the pieces,the lucky people who have managed to get their hands on the above recovered items will have a piece of history with them forever. We have many items with wonderful tales behind them and feel free to contact us for details on such items, or browse our store.