gemstone.org

Gems of the Rich and Famous

E-mail Print PDF


Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II: This monarch has jewelry. In fact she has so much jewelry that she has a special room to keep it in about the size of an ice rink, and situated 40 feet beneath Buckingham Palace. That does not even include the British Crown Jewels which are kept in the Tower of London. The Queen's personal jewelry is conservatively valued at $57 million and most of it was received as gifts. One of the highlights of the collection is the so-called Timur Ruby, which is actually a magnificent spinel weighing 352.50 carats. It is inscribed with the names of several of the previous owners, who were Mughal emperors. Other fabulous gems in her collection include the Cambridge and Delhi Dunbar Parure, a fantastic suite of emerald jewelry which includes an emerald diadem; the Prince Albert Brooch, a huge sapphire which was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert the day before their wedding; Queen Mary's large ruby earrings, and a v-shaped ruby and diamond bandeau collar which the Queen models on the front cover of the publication "The Jewels of Queen Elizabeth", by Leslie Field, a whole book about her personal jewelry collection. The British Queen also owns several of the large diamonds cut from the Cullinan, the rough that produced the Stars of Africa, the Cullinan I and II (530 carats and 317 carats), which are part of the Crown Jewels. She reportedly refers to the Cullinan III and Cullinan IV, 94 and 63 carats respectively, as "Granny's Chips."


Elizabeth Taylor has a well known jewelry collection, including the 33.19 carat Krupp diamond and the 69.42-carat pear shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond which now hangs from a diamond necklace after Liz decided it was just a little too large for a ring. Richard Burton also gave her a heart-shaped yellow diamond which was originally a gift from Shah Jahan in 1621 to his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who also inspired the Taj Mahal. Although Liz is usually associated with huge diamonds, she also has a fabulous collection of other gemstones. As an engagement present, Richard Burton gave her the emerald and diamond brooch, which she wears with an emerald necklace he gave her as a wedding present. Earrings, a bracelet, and a ring followed. Some of the emeralds in the set were from the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. One of Taylor's husbands, Michael Wilding, gave her a cabochon sapphire engagement ring. Mike Todd gave her a spectacular ruby necklace and earring set. Another gift from Burton was La Peregrina, one of the largest and most historic pearls in existence, a pear shaped drop weighing 203.84 grains once owned by the Spanish royal family.

 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had as exquisite a taste in jewelry as in everything else. She favored large, colorful necklaces and bracelets from Van Cleef & Arpel. Her jewelry collection grew considerably when she married Aristotle Onassis: he gave his bride $5 million in jewelry and often slipped bracelets from Harry Winston in the biweekly bouquets of flowers he sent her. It is a well known fact that her engagement ring from Onassis sold for $2.6 million at the auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Sotheby's on April 24, 1996. You may not have heard about some of the other jewelry that sold at the auction: a beautiful 47-carat kunzite ring that President Kennedy purchased as a gift for his wife but never had the chance to give her. This sold for more than $410,000; a beautiful amethyst necklace with graduated drops which sold for $55,000; lovely red tourmaline briolette earrings that dangled from amethysts, which sold for $35,000; a striking cabochon garnet flower brooch from the 19th century which sold for $145,000; a spectacular 17.68-carat ruby ring which sold for $290,000; some cabochon ruby dangling earrings which sold for $360,000; and a cabochon ruby necklace that was a bargain at $247,500. One surprise was an interesting little scarecrow pin in gold and gems that sold for $100,000!

 

Marlene Dietrich in many of her movies, wore her own suite of dramatic jewelry which was set with huge cabochon emeralds. (All those emeralds were particularly perfect for her role as the jewel thief in "Desire" in 1938.) In "Stage Fright", Dietrich tries to use her jewelry to blackmail Jane Wyman. She also wears her own ruby bracelet in that film: that bracelet recently sold at Sotheby's for $990,000. Once when baking a cake at Katherine Cornell's house, Marlene thought she had lost her 37.41-carat cabochon emerald ring which she had removed in the kitchen. The house was turned upside down but the ring couldn't be found. It was only during dessert that the ring was discovered by one of the dinner guests inside a piece of the cake!

Share
 

ICA Member Login


Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner