What are Some of the Most Famous Pieces of Vintage Jewelry?
Serena Norr / April 4, 2018
Throughout history, society has been fascinated by all things glamorous and dazzling. From the breathtaking engagement rings of the royals to the extravagant pieces adorned by celebs, we can’t get enough of famous pieces of vintage jewelry. Read on to check out more about some of the most famous pieces of vintage jewelry that are worth their weight in history.
Famous Pieces of Vintage Jewelry
1. Princess Diana’s Engagement Ring
In 1981, the iconic Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales got engaged. The Ceylon Sapphire ring surrounded by 17 diamonds cost the royal couple what was at the time $60,000 but today would be worth up to half a million. It was considered controversial due to not being considered unique or custom-made and had been available for anyone to purchase. It is said that Princess Diana chose this ring simply because she found it to be very beautiful. This historic ring is now on the hand of Kate Middleton, having been given to her by Prince William.
2. The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous diamonds in the world. At 45.52 carats, this Fancy Dark Grayish Blue diamond is thought to have originated in India and was sold to King Louis XIV in 1668. Not only is this diamond breathtakingly beautiful but it is also thought to be cursed and has its fair share of legends surrounding it. The Hope Diamond has since had numerous owners, including American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. It currently resides in Washington’s National Museum of Natural History where it is on permanent exhibition.
3. The Graff Pink
The Graff Pink is a 24.78-carat pink diamond, which is considered one of the rarest diamonds to ever be discovered. The diamond is classified as “fancy intense pink” by the Gemological Institute of America and is mounted in a ring. It was once owned by the famous American jeweler Harry Winston who sold it in the 1950s to a private collector. It was sold again in 2010. The diamond is considered remarkable due to its vivid color, size, incredible rarity, and its purity, being in the top 1 to 2 percent of diamonds in purity.
4. The Heart of the Ocean Diamond
The Heart of the Ocean Diamond is the name of the blue diamond from the 1997 film Titanic. Following the release of the popular film, the diamond was reproduced and made with a 171-carat sapphire in the shape of a heart surrounded by 103 diamonds set within a platinum necklace. This exact replica was worn by Gloria Stuart at the 1998 Academy Awards and was at an estimated price of $20 million.
5. The Koh-I-Noor Diamond
The Koh-I-Noor diamond was presented to England’s Queen Victoria in 1849 and it is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world with a name meaning “Mountain of Light.” In the past, it belonged to various Indian and Persian rulers. The diamond has remained in possession of the British royal family and is currently on the coronation crown of Queen Elizabeth. It is on display in the Tower of London alongside the Crown Jewels.
6. Grace Kelly’s Engagement Ring
Legendary actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainer, the Prince of Monaco, in 1956. Over 30 million people watched the televised event and this marked the shift from Grace Kelly the actress to Princess Grace of Monaco. The 10.47-carat diamond engagement ring has an emerald-cut centerpiece with two smaller baguette-cut diamonds on either side of it. The dazzling ring would be worn for the rest of her life until her tragic accident in 1982.
7. The Tiffany Diamond
This breathtaking yellow diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1877 at 128.57-carats. It is one of the largest yellow diamonds to be discovered and was purchased by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1878. In 1961, it was worn by Audrey Hepburn in publicity shots for the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This diamond is currently on display on the main floor of Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Ave.
8. The Cartier Halo Tiara
This glimmering tiara was worn by Kate Middleton on the day of her wedding to Prince William in 2011. It was made by Cartier in 1936 of diamonds and platinum and was purchased by the Duke of York for the Duchess three weeks prior to him becoming King George VI and her becoming the future Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth. Also known as the Scroll Tiara, it was loaned to Kate Middleton by the Queen Mother. This tiara was also previously loaned to Princess Margaret and Princess Anne before their individual collections of tiaras grew.
Throughout history, famous vintage jewelry has held a special place in our hearts and our history books as being both fascinating and beautiful. We can only wonder which jewels will captivate us in the years to come.