The stone was reputed to be the second most beautiful large emerald in the world, surpassed only in weight, by another emerald owned by Catherine the Great.
In 1796, it passed to Tsar Paul I who owned it from 1796 to 1801, then Tsar Alexander I from 1801 to 1825,
Tsar Nicholas I 1825 to 1855,
Tsar Alexander II 1855 to 1874,
Grand Duchess Vladimir 1874 to 1920,
Grand Duke Boris 1920 to 1927,
Maison Cartier 1927 to 1954,
John D Rockefeller Jr from 1964 and then changing hands several times, Esmerian a.s.o until today in the collection of a distinguished private collector.
This legendary pear-shaped gem weighing today 75.61 carats was part of the Russian Imperial collection for over 100 years before it was given by Tsar Alexander II of Russia to Grand Duchess Vladimir, born Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1854-1920 (Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna), on the occasion of her wedding to his son Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia in 1874.
Grand Duke Boris, her son, who got all her emerald jewels, sold this emerald, upon his mother`s death, to Cartier in 1927.
Will be auctioned at Geneva in May 2019 by Christie’s Estimate $2.3-3.5m.
More about the history
Romanov Royal & Imperial Sapphires |Saphir Historische Safire der Familie Romanoff Jewels
Jewels of the Romanovs – Sapphire brooches update after the new cutting of the 249,35ct Ceylon Sapphire – to 197ct.
The imperial sapphire was worne from the tsarina at the masked ball in 1883.