25 Most Expensive Pieces of Jewelry

You won’t believe how much the most expensive pieces of Jewelry cost. The first faceted gemstones we know of were made in Europe in the late 13th century. Since then, humanity’s love affair with wearing all things sparkly and rare from the earth has only increased. Once accessible only to Royalty, outrageously expensive jewelry is now available to any common millionaire or billionaire. For all those who love sparkly things and big price tags, here’s 25 of the most expensive pieces of jewelry.

25

The Hope Diamond

Hope_Diamond_CloseupSource: https://en.wikipedia.org & http://mineralsciences.si.edu/

The Hope Diamond is probably one of the most well known gemstones on the planet. It’s known that the 45.52 carat blue diamond originated in India, but not who discovered it or first cut it. We do know that King Louis XIV of France purchased a large blue diamond in the 1660s and had it re-cut into a heart shape in what is now known as The French Blue. When King Louis and Marie Antoinette were, y’know, beheaded because of the French Revolution, the French Crown Jewels all went to revolutionaries, then they were stolen in the 1790s. Oops. In the early 1800s a blue grey diamond of 45 Carats popped up in London, and this is the first official record of what we know as The Hope Diamond, getting it’s name from Henery Phillip Hope, who obtained the diamond for his collection. In the 1850s experts started speculating that The Hope Diamond was a recut of the stolen French Blue, and eventually it was sold in 1901 by Henry Hope’s grandson. It made it’s way through gemstone dealers – including Cartier -and picked up a legend about a curse, until it landed in the talented hands of one Harry Winston in 1949. He placed it in it’s current setting and the necklace was donated by Gift of Harry Winston, Inc to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in 1958, where it is still on display (which means you can go see it in person for free). It is currently insured for $250 Million Dollars US.

24

The Panther Body

Cartier-onyx-and-diamond-panther-braceletSource: http://theenchantedmanor.com/

Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, was the American socialite who Edward VIII abdicated the British throne for in the 1930s (he would then become her third husband). The Duke of Windsor showered his beloved with many jewels over their lifetime together, and this particular piece was a collaboration between the Duchess and Cartier in 1952. The panther body is fully articulated to wrap gently around the wrist instead of being rigid, and is made of diamonds and onyx set in platinum, with emeralds for eyes. It was auctioned at Sotheby’s for £4,521,250 in 2010.

23

The Heart Of The Kingdom ruby

Garrard’s-Heart-of-the-Kingdom-Ruby-–-14-millionSource: http://www.therichest.com/

The Heart Of The Kingdom ruby and diamond necklace is valued at $14 million dollars. The oldest known jewelry house in the world – The House of Gerrard – created this necklace with a heart shaped ruby of over 40 carats, surrounded by 155 carats of diamonds. Supposedly the piece can also turn into a tiara. Of course it can.

22

The Aurora Green Diamond

auroraSource: http://www.cnn.com/

The Aurora Green Diamond is the largest green diamond to ever be sold at auction, and it’s selling price in May of 2016 was $16.8 Million dollars. It’s 5.03 carats set in gold with a halo of pink diamonds.

21

The Patiala Necklace

thepatilianecklaceSource: https://en.wikipedia.org

Created by House of Cartier in 1928, the Patiala Necklace was made from the ruling Maharaja of the state of Patiala. It contained nearly THREE THOUSAND diamonds (which are also a Maharaja’s best friend, apparently) including the “De Beers” diamond, the seventh largest diamond in the world with a cut weight of over 230 carats. The necklace also contained a number of other diamonds between 18 and 73 carats as well as Burmese rubies. Sadly, the necklace disappeared in the late 1940s, and was mostly found over the next 50 years. In 1982 the De Beers diamond showed up at an auction in Geneva and sold for $3.16 million. In 1998, the remaining pieces of the necklace were found in a ravaged state in a secondhand Jewelry shop in London. Most of the large diamonds all the rubies were gone. Cartier bought the necklace and over several years created replicas of the missing stones out of cubic zirconia, and restored it to resemble it’s original state. It is estimated that had the necklace not be broken down, in it’s original state it would have been valued between $25 and $30 Million USD.

20

Oppenheimer Blue

Oppeinheimer-BlueSource: http://www.cbsnews.com/

In the spring of 2016, the “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond sold for nearly $58 Million Dollars. The stone was the largest Vivid Blue Diamond ever put up for auction, coming in at 14.62 carats. That makes the selling price over $3.5 Million per carat. Flanked by trapeze shaped white diamonds, the Oppenheimer is set in platinum, and is a size 6.

19

Cartier 1912 brooch

SymbolicChaseCartierBroochSource: http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/

Solomon Barnato Joel was a humble Englishman who left for South Africa during the Diamond rush in the 1870s. Several decades later in 1912, his fortunes made, he walked into Cartier with his four best diamonds to be made into a brooch for his Beloved. The brooch – sometimes known as the Cartier 1912 brooch – features a pendant suspended from two smaller brooches. The pendant contains a pear shaped diamond of over 34 carats, set above an oval shaped diamond of 23 and a half carats. It was sold at auction in 2014 for over $20 million.

18

The Graff Vivid Yellow

graff-yellow-diamond-in-handSource: http://www.therichest.com/

The Graff Vivid Yellow is a 100 carat yellow diamond, mounted in a gold band, with… more diamonds (diamonds are like chocolate and coffee -enough is probably enough, but more is also good). Originally a 190 carat rough diamond purchased in South Africa (it was a world record), it took around nine months of cutting to get the gem in it’s current state. It’s worth over $16 million.

17

La Peregrina (Wanderer)

Elizabeth Taylor wearing La Peregrina (Wanderer)Source: http://amazingbeautifulworld.com/

Elizabeth Taylor received a necklace for her 37th birthday which contained the pear shaped pearl known as La Peregrina (Wanderer). The pearl has a history going back over 500 years starting with it’s discovery by a slave off the coast of Santa Margarita and at one point belonged to Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain. It’s now at home in the necklace once belonging to Ms. Taylor. The necklace itself is a double strand pearl necklace with floral patterns made of rubies and diamonds. La Peregrina is the centerpiece of the elaborate pendant. The necklace was sold by Christie’s auction house for $11.8 Million USD in 2011.

16

The Oriental Sunrise

the_oriental_sunrise_a_unique_and_rare_pair_of_diamondSource: http://www.nationaljeweler.com/

This fancy pair of earrings is named “The Oriental Sunrise” (because as you will notice, the fanciest Jewelry have names). Each earring has a fancy orange-yellow oval diamond, weighing 20.20 and 11.96 carats, as well as additional diamonds in the link and mounting. They sold at Christie’s auction house on May of 2016 for $11.5 Million.

15

Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication.

The_SupercomplicationSource: https://en.wikipedia.org

The most expensive watch ever made is the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication. Commissioned by banker Henry Graves Jr, it took three years to design and then five years to create. The Supercomplication has 24 different functions, including a celestial map of New York as seen from Grave’s home. It remains the most complicated watch built without the assistance of computers, and sold at auction in 2014 for $24 million USD.

14

Oval shaped Jubilee Ruby

Oval shaped Jubilee RubySource: http://www.nationaljeweler.com/

The most expensive colored (non diamond) gemstone sold in the United States was sold at Christie’s New York in April of 2016 for $14.2 Million dollars. The oval shaped Jubilee Ruby is set in 18 karat cold and platinum, and comes in at just under 16 carats.

Note: if you’re wondering what the technical difference between a diamond and a gemstone is, the answer is…the market! Diamonds – the kind most people buy, anyway – in general are artificially inflated the world over. They’re literally so expensive because the market is controlled to keep them so expensive. Same with the difference between Diamonds and Gemstones. People will pay more for diamonds so..diamonds cost more.

13

The Pink Star Diamond

The Pink Star Diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa and is the largest known diamond having been rated vivid pink. The 59.6 carat stone was sold at Sotheby’s auction house for a staggering $83 million in late 2013, however the buyer defaulted and the ring was returned to Sotheby’s where it has been valued at a mere $72 million.

12

A Heritage In Bloom

Wallace-Chan-Heritage-In-BloomSource & Image: http://www.forbes.com/

A Heritage In Bloom is a necklace created in 2015 by current Jewelry Artist Wallace Chan. The piece contains 24 D-color internally flawless diamonds that were originally cut from a diamond called the Cullinan Heritage, which was 507.55 carat rough diamond. The necklace, which can be worn many different ways, took over 47,000 man hours and 22 artisans to create the piece in over 11 months. It features diamond studded bad for good fortune and diamond butterflies for eternal love. Though the necklace is not for sale, estimates for the cost of jewels and material put the value of the necklace around $200 Million USD.

11

The Cullinan Dream

cullinan-dream-diamondSource: http://www.forbes.com/

The Cullinan Dream is a 24.18 carat Fancy intense blue diamond set in platinum and flanked by smaller white diamonds. It sold at auction for $25.3 Million USD.

10

Jacob & Co Cuff-Liks

Jacob-Co-cufflinksSource & Image : http://www.elitetraveler.com/

The most expensive pair of cuff-links in the world were made by Jacob & Co, jewelers known for their lavish creations. The pair of emerald cut canary diamonds weigh a total of 41 carats and cost $4,195,000 USD. Because men deserve sparkly things that cost a small fortune too. Lavish Jewel equality.

9

Brooch shaped like a peacock

Graff-peacock-broochSource: http://www.forbes.com/

In 2013 Jeweler Graff Diamonds created a brooch shaped like a peacock, containing a total over over 120 carats of colored diamonds, with a 20.02 carat fancy deep blue diamond at the center. The large blue center diamond can be removed from the brooch and worn two different ways. The brooch is valued at $100 million dollars.

8

Mariah Carey's engagement ring

mariah-carey-engagement-ringSource: http://www.etonline.com/

When a Billionaire asks a legendary Diva to marry him, the ring has to be pretty amazing. Mariah Carey’s engagement ring from Billionaire James Packer is exactly that – amazing. The 35 carat diamond set in platinum ring (which is, by the way, twice the size of Kim Kardashian-West’s) was created by New York jewelry designer Wilfredo Rosado, and has a price tag of $10 Million dollars making it the most costly celebrity engagement ring to date. Carey kept the ring after the couple’s split.

7

The Rosebery Pearl and Diamond Tiara

The Rosebery Pearl and Diamond TiaraSource: http://www.toried.com/

In 2011 a Tiara that once belonged to Hannah de Rothschild (Once the richest woman in Britain) was sold at Christie’s Auction in London for £1,161,250. The Tiara, known as The Rosebery Pearl and Diamond Tiara, consists of large pearls and diamond clusters, and the top pieces can be removed if one chooses to wear a smaller tiara (why would you chose that? You’re already wearing a tiara..).

6

The yellow diamond centerpiece

incomparablediamondnecklaceSource: http://www.fashionlady.in/

The centerpiece of this necklace is a 637 carat yellow diamond that was found by a girl in a pile of rubble in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1980s. In 2013 international luxury goods dealer and jeweler Mouaward used the gem as the centerpiece for it’s “L’Incomparable” diamond necklace. Aside from the huge yellow diamond, the necklace features 90 other colorless diamonds of various cuts and is valued at $55 Million USD. That’s 986 times the median US household income for the year this piece was sold.

5

The Star of China

ChinaStarSource: http://www.forbes.com/

The Star of China is the largest and most perfect briolette diamond at over 74 carats, and sole at auction for $11.15 Million in 2015 (that’s about $148,000, or one small house in the US, per carat). At the time of auction the gem was unnamed, but new Owner Tiffany Chen, who is vice chairman of China Star Entertainment Ltd., named the diamond after her company.

4

Rolex Chronograph watch

Rolex Chronograph watchSource: http://dailynewsdig.com/

Only 12 Rolex Chronograph watches were made in 1942, and they were given to famous race car drivers in Europe. It was designed with a split second chronograph to assist drivers in keeping track of their lap times. One of these pieces was recently auctioned off for $1.6 Million.

3

The Blue Bell of Asia

The Blue Bell of AsiaImage & source: http://www.topteny.com/

The Blue Bell of Asia is named for the color of the sapphire, Belle meaning beautiful, and Asia because the 392 carat blue Ceylon sapphire centerpiece was found in Sri Lanka in 1926.The necklace was sold at Christie’s Auction House in Geneva for $17.3 million dollars in 2014.

2

The Dragon and Spider Phone Cases by Anita Mai Tan

anita_mai_tan_880000_dragon_and_spider_iphone_case_can_be_worn_as_a_necklaceSource: http://luxatic.com/

The Dragon and Spider Phone Cases by Anita Mai Tan cost $880,000.00. The Dragon and Spider Phone Cases are a set of iPhone cases that can also be worn as necklaces. The Dragon is made from 18 Karat gold and 2200 diamonds including many colored diamonds. The Spider case is made of 18 karat gold and 2800 colorless and black diamonds. iPhone cases can now be considered Jewelry (when they’re covered with diamonds).

1

The original Wittelsbach Diamond (also known as Der Blaue Wittelsbacher)

Wittelsbach_Graff_DiamondSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wittelsbach-Graff_Diamond

The original Wittelsbach Diamond (also known as Der Blaue Wittelsbacher) was a part of both the Austrian and Bavarian Crown Jewels at one point in it’s history. A 35.36 carat dark blue diamond, it was purchased in 2008 by Laurence Graff, a London Jeweler. In a move that generally ticked off everyone who knew about the Wittelsbach Diamond, or Austrian/Bavarian history, Graff cut off almost 4 and a half carats to enhance it’s clarity and remove flaws, then renamed it the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond. While some may comment on the Hubris of a guy cutting into a historically significant 350 year old gem, Graff is a master of his art and is responsible for several of the pieces on this list. In 2011 it was sold to the former emir of Qatar for $80 million.



Images: 1. 350z33 via en.wikipedia.org CC 3.0, 2. Image via Luxatic.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 3. Image via Jckonline.com originally from Sotheby’s.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law. 4. Image via Christies.com, used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 5. Image via bendavidjewelers.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 6. Image via mouawad.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 7. Image via zimbio.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 8. Image via allmagnews.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 9. Image via thejewelleryeditor.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 10. Image via luxatic.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 11. Image via investments.diamonds used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 12. Image via Forbes.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 13. Video via Twitter @Sotheby’s, 14. Image via Christies.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 15. Ihor-docenko via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Image via jewellerynetasia.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 17. Image via luismiguelhoward.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 18. Image via mining.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 19. Image via thejewelleryeditor.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 20. Image via nationaljeweler.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 21. Image via victoriaraj.wordpress.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 22. Image via thejewelerblog.wordpress.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 23. image via raredelights.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 24. Image via theenchantedmanor.com used here for identifying product. Image of is of low quality and is believed that this image may be exhibited under fair use provision of United States copyright law., 25. Mbalotia via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0.

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