Unforgettable and inimitable, Marilyn Monroe once sang that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” If the measure of value is measured only in money, then perhaps this statement can be called correct. But if you approach the importance of jewelry from the perspective of the one who wore it.
Throughout the centuries, history has known some more famous jewelry and valuable to those who owned it than their aesthetic features and monetary value. The most famous treasures with a sad past, further in the review.
Specialists evaluate precious stones in jewelry by their purity, color, and several other important parameters. Often the cost of jewelry rises to the skies just because it has a specific history—for example, the infamous Hope diamond, which is considered cursed. Sometimes the story of a stone is insanely romantic. Richard Burton once gave Elizabeth Taylor a diamond called Taylor-Burton. The tumultuous romance of these bright Hollywood stars brought the stone such fame, which such properties as beauty and price were incapable of.
Top five famous piece of jewelry
1. Wallis Simpson Jewelry
The incredible love story of a divorced American woman Wallis Simpson and the English monarch Edward VIII has remained one of the biggest mysteries for almost a century. This marriage went down in history as one of the most scandalous. Indeed, for the sake of his beloved woman, the king abdicated the throne.
The Duke of Windsor idolized his beloved. He showered her with jewelry. Wallis’ jewelry caused a lot of gossip in society. Envious people even said that she “wears her dressmaker’s jewelry.” Thus, gossipers hinted that such giant gems could not be accurate—ordinary glass jewelry.
Edward loved giving his wife exceptional and rare stones. He designed the jewelry himself, together with the jewelers who made them. The Duke did not even want anyone other than his beloved Wallis to touch this jewelry. He planned to destroy all these jewelry values after the death of his wife. Fate decreed otherwise. The Duchess survived her husband for fourteen long years. Her life after the death of her husband was like hell. All the jewelry eventually went under the hammer.
One of the most famous jewelry pieces for the Duchess is the Panther bracelet, made from onyx, diamonds, yellow gold, and emeralds. Of course, people often wondered where the couple got the money for such a vast amount of incredibly luxurious jewelry. It was even rumored that the former king had a habit of not paying his hefty bills to jewelers. The owners of jewelry houses remain silent about this. After all, in the end, they created jewelry for two world-famous people, for the former king.
2. Royal necklace
Speaking of royal family and jewelry, one cannot fail to mention the famous diamond necklace made of many fine threads. Louis XV. Historians commissioned this piece to believe that the monarch planned to present this luxury to his mistress Madame du Barry. According to legend, this French monarch owns the phrase “After us, even a flood.” And so it happened. Retribution for the ruin of the country overtook the heirs of the wasteful king.
Louis XV himself died of smallpox before the work on the beautiful necklace was completed. Both the queen and the king’s favorite refused to pay for it. In the end, the jewelry was disassembled and sold in small pieces.
3. Sancy Diamond
The legendary Sancy diamond, which was found in India back in the Middle Ages, was credited with the properties of a talisman and a killer stone. The stone changed its owners so quickly that even a legend was born that he chooses his owner.
In the 15th century, the diamond was bought by the ancestor of the Duke of Burgundy. It was he who gave the diamond its name. Also, the aristocrat ordered the jewelers to cut the stone and give it the shape of a pear.
According to legend, the Sancy diamond saved the life of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. His helmet was inlaid with diamond. During the battle, the sparkle of the stone blinded the Duke’s opponent. In 1477, Charles lost his helmet in war. The armor was found by one soldier and sold for almost nothing. He died that same evening in a drunken brawl. In this regard, the belief arose that the diamond does not tolerate disrespect for itself and can take revenge on the negligent owner.
The stone continued to change owners and eventually became an exhibit in the collection of Cardinal Mazarin and later of King Louis XIV. This diamond graced his royal crown. After the Great French Revolution, Sancy was lost. In the middle of the 19th century, it was found in the collection of the Duchess of Berry. The diamond was bought from her by the Russian industrialist Pavel Demidov. In 1978, the famous jewel was acquired by the Louvre. The crystal is still kept in the Apollo gallery of this museum.
4. Hutton-Mdivani necklace
The famous Hutton-Mdivani necklace was created from jade. The mystery of its origin has not yet been solved. Nobody knows where these stones came from. It is believed that they were made from a single piece of this mineral, which most likely belonged to the Chinese imperial court.
The jewel has always belonged to famous people. It is best known for the heiress of the trade magnate Frank Woolworth, Barbara Hutton. She became famous by the nickname “poor rich girl.” The father gave the necklace to his daughter for a wedding with the Georgian prince Alexis Mdivani in 1933.
The jewelry itself is made of nearly three dozen large bright green jade beads. Their impeccable purity and smooth texture distinguish them. Also, the necklace is adorned with a large Art Deco ruby and a diamond clasp, the authors of which are the jewelers of the Cartier workshop. Artisans have transformed an ancient jade thread into an elegant necklace adorned with a pin inlaid with rubies.
After two years of marriage, Barbara with Prince Mdivani was awaiting a divorce. The decoration remained with her husband. True, it did not bring happiness. Alexis died in a car accident just a month after breaking up with Barbara. The necklace remained in the ownership of the Mdivani family for half a century. Nina, Alexis’s sister, did not sell the jewel even when she was dying of hunger. It was rumored that when creditors came to her house, she hid the necklace under her deathbed.
A year after Nina’s death, the necklace was auctioned off for a record $ 2 million. Several years later, it was resold for six million. In 2014, at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, the jewel was sold for the third time – this time, it brought its owner $ 27.4 million. As the history of the necklace shows, the time has no power over it.
5. Ruby Graff
Graff has a reputation as one of the most respected jewelry houses in the world. He earned his impeccable reputation thanks to the highest quality of his diamonds. The founder of the company, Lawrence Graff, is one of the world’s foremost diamond experts.
The Graff Ruby is a very unusual gem that belongs to this jewelry house. This is a Burmese ruby, which in 2006 was sold for a tremendous amount of $ 3.6 million for such a stone. This is the highest price ever paid for a colored gemstone. Before that, such rocks, rubies, and emeralds were not valued as highly by jewelers and collectors as diamonds. Ruby Graff has proven that colored gemstones are no less worthy than others. Only once in your life can you come across such a unique stone that you want to buy it twice. This is precisely what the Graff ruby became for Lawrence Graff. He sold it in 2011 to buy it again in 2017.
Characteristics such as weight, clarity, flawlessness, and color make this ruby incredibly rare and valuable. Ruby Graff is every collector’s dream. It is distinguished by its bright, unusual color, “pigeon blood.”
It is the deepest shade of red with a blue undertone. Lawrence Graff sold and bought many beautiful gemstones, but he considers this particular mineral to be one of the best in his entire career. The ruby was set in a ring, sprinkled with small diamonds; as a result, turning the stone into a truly iconic piece.
All of these stunning and precious pieces of jewelry demonstrate that people have spent enormous fortunes on them throughout history. Jewelry has attracted attention for centuries and forced to open wallets. As you can see, some of them have even overgrown with many legends to match their huge price tags.