Nacre, mother-of-pearl, is known for the rare combination of high strength and high toughness. The latter is mainly attributed to the microstructure of nacre while the former is based on the high volume content of a strong mineral phase. We attempt to improve the strength by replacing the mechanically rather inferior constituents of nacre by sapphire and epoxy. To arrange these in a nacre-like structure for improved toughness, we utilize centrifugation-assisted sedimentation that aligns and densifies the planar particles. With this method, we successfully manufacture composite sediments with thicknesses far above 1 mm in which the particles are well aligned as proven by high-energy X-ray diffraction. Mechanically, we developed a simple thermal treatment of sapphire that improves the interfacial strength and toughness with epoxy significantly, leading to remarkable increases in composite strength and toughness.