Each of the Three Rings of the Elves had its own special gem: sapphire, ruby or diamond, and the Ring that bore the sapphire was Vilya, the Ring of Air. After the Three Rings had been made in Eregion, Celebrimbor discovered the danger from Sauron and sent Vilya north into the safekeeping of Gil-galad, along with the ruby Ring, Narya (the third Ring, diamond Nenya, was kept by Galadriel in Lórien).
Celebrimbor's fears proved well-founded. Sauron marched to war with Eregion and destroyed it, recovering many of the Rings of Power, but the Three Rings remained concealed from him. Elrond attempted to lead a force to the relief of Eregion, but it was far too small to face Sauron's armies, and was forced to withdraw into the valleys of the Misty Mountains. There Elrond founded a hidden refuge, Rivendell, that soon came under siege. At last the Númenóreans came to the aid of Middle-earth, and drove Sauron out of Eriador. Elrond remained in Rivendell, and Gil-galad granted him the Ring of Sapphire to aid in its preservation.
From its founding in the middle of the Second Age, Rivendell survived under the power of Elrond's Ring for nearly five thousand years. With the destruction of the One Ring, though, the power of the Three also failed, and Rivendell lost its special preservation. So Elrond left his refuge in the valleys of Eriador, and took the now-powerless Ring of Sapphire with him as he passed from Mithlond into the West.
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