Antique Montana Sapphire Pansy Brooch
Montana sapphire and diamond pansy brooch with centrally set brilliant cut diamond in 18k white gold.
English, possibly by Johnson Walker and Tolhurst, ca. 1920.
Diameter: 2 inches
In 1895, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, the leading American gemologist of the time, was so impressed by the quality and color of the Montana sapphire, he pronounced them “the finest precious gemstones ever found in the United States.” In 1899, Johnson, Walker and Tolhurst, Ltd. of London purchased the New Mine Sapphire Syndicate for $100,000 (approximately $3.1 million in 2020). At this point, the operation became unofficially known as the “English Mine.” The rough material from the English Mine was shipped to London and sold in Europe. The mine went on to produce some 16 million carats until it ceased operations in 1929.