Once the Millennium Sapphire carving project was achieved, the Sapphire embarked on making more news headlines globally. This article will highlight the global acclaim the Millennium Sapphire attracted and the other projects it has inspired post sculpting.
Guinness World Record
In 2001, the Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed the Millennium Sapphire as the largest carved sapphire in the world. The Sapphire received a certificate for this title. Additionally, the Millennium Sapphire was named as the highest priced and the largest gem-quality sapphire in the world, breaking 3 world records.
Praising the Sapphire for its quality, Marcus McCallum from the Gemologicial Association of Great Britain wrote: “This Crystal is the largest single piece of gem-quality sapphire that I know of. It is very rare to see such a large piece of such good color.”
Furthermore, Gary duToit from the Center for Gemstone Testing, formerly with the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences said: “It’s definitely gem-grade sapphire, a fine gem blue color […]. Other famous blue sapphires cannot compare in terms of size, weight and quite possibly color.”
The Millennium Sapphire was valued between US$90 million to US$500 million after it was discovered in 1995. The Sapphire was recently appraised at $150 million.
The Millennium Sapphire also made news headlines for its appearance at the Oscars in 2002. During this event, the public caught a glimpse of the Sapphire for the first time.
“This is a gift to the nations. This is a historical piece. It will never be reproduced again,” said Mr. Daniel McKinney, one of the owners of the Sapphire, during the appearance.
When covering the Sapphire’s appearance at the Oscars, Fox 11 News reported that the Millennium Sapphire was “a historical treasure,” “a spectacle to behold” and “priceless.”
The other appearance was in 2004 at the launch of Princess Cruises’ new ship, the Sapphire Princess, in Seattle. The Sapphire Princess was making a maiden voyage to Alaska.
The partnership between Princess Cruises and the Consortium of investors in possession of the Millennium Sapphire was fitting because it was the ideal occasion to pay tribute to the Sapphire Princess name.
The Sapphire Sea
One of the projects inspired by the discovery of the Millennium Sapphire was the book ‘The Sapphire Sea’ by John B. Robinson. The thriller tells the story of Lonny Cushman, a gem expert with an overbearing father that is going through a bitter divorce. He flees to the wild sapphire fields of Madagascar with the hope of realizing his dream of finding the perfect gemstone. Cushman reckons that a gemstone will boost an independent career as a gem dealer in New York.
However, after unearthing the greatest sapphire ever found in the last century, he has to fight to keep the stone and his life.
“The Sapphire Sea” is a page-turner that will give readers a glimpse of the island’s culture and educate them on corundum stones.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1991, Robinson traveled to Africa to pursue his writing while working as a guide on Mount Kilimanjaro. He also traded, purchased and sold rare gems. McBooks Press published the book in 2008.
You can purchase this book on Kindle.
Ownership of the Millennium Sapphire
After acquiring the Millennium Sapphire in 1998, the gemstone remained in the possession of the Consortium under the leadership of Mr. McKinney for over two decades.
In the intervening decades, Mr. Mckinney became a US public markets specialist. In particular, Mr. Mckinney, an American citizen who grew up in Hong Kong, became an expert in restructuring Asian companies that had listed in the US markets and fallen out of compliance with US regulators. In the course of one of his restructurings, the management of Chinese-based company Yulong Eco-Materials offered to buy the Millennium Sapphire from him in a bid to save their Nasdaq listing.
In 2018, Yulong Eco-Materials Limited announced plans to buy the Millennium Sapphire in a $50 million deal in exchange for shares. On the first day of trading the free-floating shares in the Nasdaq-listed company, it traded 36 times over and the market value of the company rocketed to well above $400M. The deal fell through, however, because Yulong’s former controlling shareholders and management failed to keep the company Nasdaq listed.
In 2020, GreenPro Capital Corp and Millennium Fine Art, Inc. (MFAI) secured 4% and 96% of the Millennium Sapphire, respectively, from Mr. McKinney. GreenPro then sold its 4% share to MFAI. In turn, GreenPro received MFAI shares. MFAI, a Wyoming holding company that collects fine art masterpieces, now has 100% ownership of the Millennium Sapphire.
Tokenization and Security Token offering
The Millennium Sapphire has inspired its owners to conduct a blockchain project where the Sapphire is tokenized on the Ravencoin blockchain. The project aims to give accredited investors the opportunity to acquire fractional ownership of this historic treasure through the security token offering (STO). For regular updates on this project, please join our Telegram group and follow us on Twitter. You can also check out our website.
The Millennium Sapphire is currently stored in a bank vault in the US in an undisclosed secured location. When in public, as it was during the aforementioned appearances, the Sapphire was accompanied by a security detail of former Secret Service agents.
Read our previous post on the Millennium Sapphire project that took place more than 20 years ago.
Follow us here on Medium for regular informative content about one of the biggest fine art projects in the world. Leave comments below to let us know what you think about our content.