A History of Sapphires in Culture: Charlemagne

Throughout time, sapphires have been revered for their beauty, their strength and durability, and the perceived powers of wellness and protection. In a celebration of the special cultural relevance of sapphires, we have gathered together some of our favorite stories to share of historical sapphires through all cultures. Part III continues Charlemagne.

Charlemagne – 747-814 A.D.

Charlemagne, the founding father of France and Germany and the first ruler of the Western European Empire after the fall of the Roman Empire, was an intensely religious man. To Charlemagne and his contemporaries, sapphires symbolized heaven and the promise of eternal salvation.

Charlemagne owned a sacred amulet in which a relic of the True Cross was placed between two sapphires.  The amulet was buried with Charlemagne in 814, but exhumed about 200 years later by Otto III.   Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, wore it at her coronation in 1804.  Later it passed to Napoleon III, and on his death, his widow gave it to the Archbishop of Rheims.