Know Everything About Gems of the Rich and Famous
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."
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.
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.
Kennedy Onassis had as exquisite a taste in jewelry as in everything
else. She favored large, colorful necklaces and bracelets 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!
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!
was never shown on film wearing more jewelry than a string of pearls
to preserve her image of innocence, but in real life she preferred
very large rubies and star
sapphires. She owned both the 60-carat Star of Bombay and the
200-carat Star of India. And she was not shy about wearing them both
at the same time
didn't care for diamonds at all, and said so at every available
opportunity. Instead, she wore an engraved emerald
ring and a turquoise ring she called her talisman, which she
never took off.
had such extravagant taste in jewelry that she had to rent it. In
spite of paying only 10 percent of the value of her jewelry, one year
her annual jewelry budget was $500,000. Gloria Swanson wore an
important emerald, amethyst and
gold necklace by Iribe in "Affairs of Anatole" in 1920,
starting a fashion for colorful jewelry
loved sapphires so much the press called them "Joan Blue."
One of her favorite pieces was a bracelet set with three star
sapphires of 73.15 carats, 63.61 carats, and 57.65 carats. She also
received a 70-carat star sapphire
engagement ring from her second husband. She also owned a
72-carat emerald cut sapphire which she often wore on the same
finger! In the forties, Crawford added a 75-carat amethyst ring and a
huge 100-carat citrine ring, both emerald-cut with a simple mounting.
also collected sapphires: her engagement ring from William Powell was
a 150 carat cabochon sapphire. She wore it in her last movie,
"Saratoga", in 1937.
Mazzuchelli has a fantastic new engagement
ring from the new husband set with a Kashmir sapphire from
London jeweler Laurence Graff. Just goes to show you that this one
has much better taste than her ex.
Al-Rashid, the former wife of a Saudi Arabian billionaire who is now
active on the social scene in New York, has a jewelry collection
estimated to be worth $100 million. Rumor has it that the jewelry is
due to her shrewd business sense: after every major deal on which she
gave her advice, she purchased a major gem. "I enjoy having it
more than wearing it," she told W magazine. "It is a smart
way of investing. I try to buy important pieces that will always
bring their market value." She has a staggering emerald necklace
and fabulous rubies,
which are her trademark.