Carole Lombard’s Star Sapphire Brooch

 
The Carole Lombard jewelry design project was the most challenging when it came to locating a star sapphire like the one she owned. We knew it would be impossible to find one within our budget. So we decided to make one.
brooch
 

RESEARCH & DESIGN

Carole Lombard’s “goose egg” of a star sapphire was an outstanding gemstone - 152 carat star sapphire to be exact.

After searching for weeks with various gem dealers, we decided to recreate the gem in glass. Figuring out the true size of the sapphire was tricky due to the fact that several of the newspapers reported different carat weights for the star (anywhere from 150-157 carats). We used a gemstone calculator and determined the size of the gemstone from a scaled photograph of the brooch. With our best estimates in diameter and height we were able to come to the agreement that 152 carats was about right.

With the resources on the internet we connected with Hollywood historians/collectors and found several pictures of Carole Lombard wearing her brooch, on and off screen. We use these images to develop the re-creative design drawings. Once the drawings were approved we then started carving the wax model.

 
 

Possible setting styles for the gems

Emerald and Diamond brooch - sample for setting details

Emerald and Diamond brooch - sample for setting details

Pin Style

We decided to create a pin stem similar to the one on this brooch.

Inspiration for the Blue Sapphire

Inspiration for the color of blue.

Inspiration for the color of blue.

Since we knew we could not have the star made and we could not locate one we decided to have it re-created in glass. It was here in San Diego we found a glass artist willing to work with us on this project - Kathleen Mitchell.