Throughout history, jewels have been a symbol of status and wealth, adorning the bodies of the most powerful and prestigious members of society. Some of these pieces have become famous for their beauty and rarity, but most of all for their incredible value. In this article, we will explore the most expensive jewels in the world, each one more dazzling than the last.
What have been the most expensive jewels of all time?
1. Pink Star
If you’re a fan of pink tones, you’ll be amazed by this spectacular diamond. This piece features a pink diamond extracted from a South African mine, which is famous for its absolute perfection, as it has no flaws in its shape or color. This stone weighs 14.23 carats, which is unusual for this type of diamond. After its extraction, it was meticulously cut for twenty long months to achieve its current shape. In 2017, this jewel was auctioned off and purchased by Chow Tai Fook for a price of 20.3 million euros.
2. Winston Blue
The blue-colored diamond is renowned for being the largest of its kind. It was named after the jeweler Harry Winston, who acquired it in the 1950s. Winston is also recognized for owning other significant pieces such as the Hope diamond, which inspired the creation of the «Heart of the Ocean» diamond in the film Titanic.
3. Hutton-Mdivani Necklace
This unique piece of jewelry crafted with jadeite beads, gold clasp, rubies, and diamonds is a must-have on this list. Although the material value of this art deco piece is undeniable, its historical significance is even greater as it has been owned by royalty. It is named after its owner, the American heiress Barbara Hutton.
Originally designed by Cartier for Barbara Hutton, the wealthiest woman of the last century, it was a gift from her father on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Alexis Mdivani. The piece remained in her family for half a century until her death. It was then auctioned in 1988 for a price of 2 million euros. Finally, in 2014, Cartier regained ownership of the necklace at an astounding price of 20 million euros at an auction.
4. L’Incomparable diamond necklace
This piece couldn’t be left out of the list as it holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive necklace ever sold. The centerpiece of this jewelry is a yellow diamond pendant, known as Internally Flawless, framed in rose gold and decorated with no less than ninety white diamonds. The weight of the central stone reaches 407 carats, while the smaller white diamonds weigh 230 carats. It is believed that the yellow diamond was found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, although it currently belongs to a luxury goods company.
5. Graff Diamonds Hallucination jewelery watch
Perhaps you thought watches were not jewelry, but English jeweler and billionaire Laurence Graff may make you think again. This watch is considered one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry, with a price tag of 50 million euros.
6. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
This piece holds one of the top spots among the most expensive jewelry in the world. Although this blue diamond is of Indian origin, it was acquired by the King of Spain, Felipe IV, in the 17th century. He, in turn, gave it to Leopold I of Habsburg as a dowry for his marriage to Margarita Teresa.
This piece has passed through several royal houses, so its historical value is unquestionable. In 2008, the diamond was acquired by Laurence Graff, who decided to polish it despite the opposition of his fellow jewelers. Its weight of 35.5 carats and its history made the price reach 70 million euros in 2010 when it was sold to the royal family of Qatar.
7. Diamond Bikini
This piece is undoubtedly the most unique on the list. We’re talking about a jewel bikini, exclusively designed for the famous magazine Sports Illustrated. On the cover of its February 2006 issue, American actress Molly Sims appeared wearing this garment valued at 26.3 million euros.
8. Diamond Zoe
This diamond is known for having the lightest blue color within its category. Colored diamonds are truly difficult to find, especially in blue tones. That is why this 9.75-carat piece is so valued, reaching a price of 3 million euros per carat.
9. Diamond Hope
This piece is one of the most expensive and famous jewels in the world. It weighs 45.52 carats and its unique blue color is due to impurities caused by tiny amounts of boron atoms, which under light give off reddish flashes. Besides its material value, this diamond is desired for its history. In the 1960s, it was purchased by a French gem dealer and later became the possession of King Louis XIV.
The stone was stolen from the royal family and subsequently recut before being acquired by a London banking family, the Hopes, who gave it their name. After many twists and turns, the diamond ended up in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 1958 and has been on display there ever since.
10. Peacock Brooch
This unique brooch is crafted with over 1300 yellow, blue, orange, and white diamonds. In the center, it features a dark blue pear-shaped diamond weighing 20.02 carats. Graff Diamonds is the designer of this exquisite piece, although its current whereabouts and ownership remain unknown.