The Timeless Gems from Montana That the Queen Adored

The seven most notable gemstones worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II spanned her seven decades as the head of the British Empire. During royal ceremonies, state visits, worldwide culminations and other occasions, she was accompanied by a frequently unique and occasionally startling assortment of precious stones.

Such fortunes are all as unique as the queen and her rule, ranging from some of the biggest and most flamboyant to the unexpected and gently poignant.

Montana is dubbed the Treasure State, because of its abundance in minerals and stones, notably two varieties of sapphires—the Yogo Sapphire and Fancy Montana Sapphires. Here’s a brief history of some of the timeless Gems from Montana that the Queen Might have adored:

The Yogo Sapphire

Yogo Sapphires are the most valuable sapphires to be discovered in North America. These gems are regarded as among the best sapphires in existence. Only a small region, known as Yogo Gulch, in Montana’s Little Belt Mountains produces these distinctive stones.

The sapphires were unintentionally discovered by gold prospectors in the 1880s, and gradually they came to dominate the mining in the region.

Fancy Montana Sapphires

In the western part of the state, there are three main locations where Fancy Montana sapphires may be found: Dry Cottonwood close to Deer Lodge, the Missouri River close to Helena, and Rock Creek in the Sapphire Mountains. Since the majority of these sapphires need to be heated, they differ significantly from Yogo Sapphire.

They are also discovered in secondary mines, which means that they have been pushed up closer to the surface rather than being located in their original rock matrix veins, making them easier to reach than Yogo sapphires.

Montana sapphires come in a wider range of hues than anywhere else in the world. You can get them in all shapes and forms just like Ruby earrings.

Yogo Sapphire And Montana Sapphire Difference

The preferred terminology for stones discovered at Yogo Gulch is “Yogo sapphire.” The principal deposit of Yogo sapphires is the only one in Montana where mining continues. 

Due to trace levels of iron and titanium, yogo sapphires are often cornflower blue. They keep their brightness under artificial light and have remarkable uniform clarity.

It’s worth noting that the Yogo sapphires are a deep blue, while other Montana sapphires, such as those within the Rock Creek District, are significantly lighter in color. Heat treatment is used to bring out the hues in these sapphires.

Yogos are the consequence of geological change; the ideal combination of materials and cooling conditions produced a gemstone that is almost ideal.

Alluvial deposits are where you can find the other “Montana sapphires.” In general, sapphires from any other Montana sapphire deposit than the Yogo Gulch region are referred to as “Montana sapphires.” Montana produces more sapphires with gem grade than any other state in North America. Jewelry made with Montana sapphires will continue to be popular for a long time.

Renowned Yogo Sapphires

Bess Truman and Florence Harding, received Yogo sapphire jewelry as first ladies. An “all Montana” ring with a Montana gold and Yogo sapphire was presented to First Lady Florence Harding. The proprietor of a yogo mine gave cut yogos to President Harry Truman, his wife Bess, and their daughter Margret in 1952.

Numerous Yogo sapphires were also widely distributed in Europe since considerable Yogo mining was done by British companies. It’s possible that certain members of the British royal family had Montana yogo sapphires in the 1910s.

Yogo sapphire was found in the private gem collections of England’s Queen Victoria, Princess Mary, and the Duchess of York.

Additionally, historians contend that the British Royal Crown Jewel Collection was made with Montana yogo sapphires, which may have been mistaken for oriental sapphires. 

Promotional assertions that Yogos are among England’s crown jewels cannot be verified or disproven beyond a reasonable doubt. It seems doubtful that the sapphire in Lady Diana and Kate Middleton engagement rings is a Yogo; it is believed to have originated in Sri Lanka.