The Heart of the Ocean, the Real Story behind the Famous Fictional Necklace of Titanic

Titanic Famous FIctional Necklace

 Valentine’s may be over but I know that some of us still do marathon romantic movies on a Saturday evening and I’m sure one of the movies included in your list is Titanic. Shown in 1997, Titanic was one, if not the most, successful romantic films that hit the theatres worldwide. Written, co-produced and co-edited by James Cameron, the film tells the story of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, passengers of the RMS Titanic (a real ship which sank on April 15, 1912) of different social classes who fell in love each other during the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

Film experts believed that aside from Cameron’s well-written romance of Jack and Rose, it was the added plot points in the film that made it perfect such as the backdrop story of “The Heart of the Ocean” or “Cœur de la Mer”, the famous fictional blue diamond necklace which theft caused the dramatic break in the main characters’ romantic relationship. The necklace was so famous that several wholesale jewelry sellers imitated its design to sell in the market.

In the film

titanic diamon necklace

According to the film, the diamond in the necklace was original owned by King Louis XVI of France and was then cut into a heart shape after the French Revolution. Caledon Hockley, Rose's fiancée purchased the diamond necklace as a wedding gift for her. It was also this necklace that bought Rose to the recovery ship by Brock Lovett, a treasure hunter who believes that the necklace lies within the wreck of the RMS Titanic. On the first part of the film, after his team recovered a drawing in which a nude woman is portrayed wearing the necklace, dated in the year the Titanic sank, Lovett searched for the woman who happened to be Rose. She was then invited by him to his recovery ship to tell her story about the tragic voyage in which the story started.

The real story

But did you know that there was a real love story that inspired the film and there was indeed a real necklace involved in it. According to history, the necklace was given on the ship to a Titanic passenger named Kate Florence Phillips by her married lover, Henry Samuel Morley.

Kate was a shop assistant from England, who decided to elope with Henry, who was twenty years her senior and was the owner of the shop she worked in. Leaving his wife and children, Henry together with Kate boarded the RMS Titanic as Mr. and Mrs. Marshall to America for a new beginning. However, when the ship sank on the Atlantic waters, Henry died while Kate made it off the ship and made it back to England, carrying nothing but her purse, the necklace from her dead lover and the baby in her womb.

Although Kate’s necklace did inspire the story behind “The Heart of the Ocean”, the original necklace wasn’t a blue diamond but a blue sapphire. It wasn’t heart-shaped as well unlike its fictional counterpart and was known as “The Love of the Sea.”

After the story unfolded, it was then believed that Kate and Henry’s tragic love story aboard the Titanic was the one that inspired the endless romantic tragedy of Jack and her Rose. And the necklace, well, London jewelers Asprey & Garrad using a blue cubic zirconium set in white gold for the film and costs around $10,000. And as today, “The Heart of the Ocean” can be found in Twentieth Century Fox’s archives.


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