Celebrity Jewelry: Famous Jewels
We all like to lust over the grand and illustrious gems of celebrities, but the real lookers may be well before your time. Rare, regal, and over-the top designs are rich, not only in value, but also in tales and traditions. These old and famous gemstones and breathtaking pieces of historical jewelry are bound to increase your envy to dangerously high levels!
The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is easily the most famous diamond in the world, coming in at 45.52 carats with a very rare steel blue hue. Besides its uncommon weight and color, the diamond is also known for its lore, believing to have cursed all of its previous owners. The jewel got its start in 1668 with King Louis XIV of France but received its name from its 1839 owner, Henry Philip Hope. Then, in 1958, Harry Winston donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in an unexpected way. He sent it via snail mail in an ordinary brown paper-wrapped box. Keep in mind, the Hope Diamond is valued at $200-$250 million! But the risk was worth it, as now the gem can be enjoyed by all.
Get the Look: Blue diamond jewelry has a certain mystique, but you'll rarely find a substantial size. However, London blue topaz has a comparable color to the Hope Diamond and is more commonly found with large carat weights.
The Heart of the Ocean
Anyone who has ever seen the blockbuster film Titanic (1997) will immediately recognize "The Heart of the Ocean." The look and lore of this fictitious gemstone is actually inspired by the real Hope Diamond and was even set in a similar necklace design. Because of the film's success and the jewel's popularity, jewelers Asprey & Garrard crafted a necklace with a 170.00 carat heart-shaped sapphire and 30.00 ct. t.w. of diamonds. The necklace was worn by Celine Dion during her 1998 Oscar performance of "My Heart Will Go On" and later auctioned off for $2.2 million.
Get the Look: A blue heart shaped-gemstone will give you your own Heart of the Ocean, whether it be a sapphire, London blue topaz, or blue CZ. Find it in a necklace, bracelet, ring, or pair of earrings.
Empress Eugenie's Bow Brooch
In 1853, Empress Eugenie de Montijo married Louis Napoleon and quickly became known as one of the most beautiful and stylish women in Europe. Her famous diamond bow brooch (later sold to the Louvre for $11 million) was crafted in 1855 by the Parisian jeweler Francois Kramer. The antique was originally meant to be a buckle for a diamond belt, but Eugenie requested that it be further embellished and made into a pin.
Get the Look: Diamond bows are so feminine and, in addition to pins, look elegant as earrings, pendants, rings, and even bracelets.
La Peregrina, Spanish for "wanderer," was named to allude to its frequent travels across the world. In the mid-16th century, a Spanish-owned slave first discovered the duck egg-sized, pear-shaped pearl off the coast of Panama and was awarded his freedom because of it. It then bounced between Spanish, English, and French nobility until it found its way to Hollywood in 1969. Richard Burton purchased the pearl, which was set in a pendant necklace, for $37,000. The piece was elaborately redesigned with the assistance of Cartier, and given to Elizabeth Taylor. This spectacular pearl, diamond, and ruby necklace was last purchased at auction for $11,842,500!
Get the Look: Pear-shaped pearls are hard to come by, but simulated pearls (or faux pearls) are a great alternative! To mimic the ornate necklace owned by Elizabeth Burton, find a piece that combines pearls with diamond and gemstones.
Nina Dyer's Panther Collection
Nina Dyer, a model born in 1930 to rich British parents, had a lavish obsession: she loved everything about wild and majestic panthers. And with marriages to more than one wealthy man, she was able to fund her eccentric passion. She had two Black Panther pets, panther skin clothing, and yes, panther jewelry! In fact, she became quite famous for her astonishing collection of diamond and gemstone panther pieces from Cartier. Now that's a signature style!
Get the Look: Panther jewelry is still popular today. You can find bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, and pins featuring the fierce cat in gemstone or tailored metal designs.
Queen Mary's Diamond Riviere
Queen Mary (Mary of Teck) will forever be known for her "Diamond Riviere," or "River of Diamonds." This exquisite necklace features thirty-four old-cut diamonds set in gold and silver and dates back to 1900. The queen gave the necklace to her granddaughter, Princess Margaret, but it was later auctioned off at $1,828,224.
Get the Look: You can create the same feel with a graduated tennis necklace crafted of either diamonds, white topaz, or CZs, depending on your budget.