For many centuries, jewelry has been an integral part of many cultures and utmost value across various civilizations. Precious stones, such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphire, and jade, that commonly compose jewelry, are an underlying symbol of luxury and wealth. Throughout history, jewels like these served as heirlooms that have been passed down generation after generation, especially by people who are part of the royalty or socialites. Thus, the monetary value of precious jewelry is placed at exorbitant heights because of their demand among this group of people.
Giving or receiving a piece of jewelry is one of the most extravagant experiences one can have. Although there have been many jewelry designers that came out in recent decades, there are certain brands that stand around and continue to create timeless items seen in movies and on red carpets. Here is the list of the ten most expensive jewelry in the world.
- Chopard 201-Carat Watch ($25 million)
Considered the second most expensive timepiece in the world, the 201-carat Chopard watch contains 874 high-grade diamonds that come in unusual hues and fancy shapes. The three big diamonds in its center are all heart-shaped and considered the largest diamonds.
In addition to its fancy look, the watch offers a unique feature. When one presses its spring-loaded mechanism, the three heart-shaped diamonds open to reveal the pavé-set watch face.
- Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace ($27.4 million)
This famous necklace is made of 27 graduated jadeite beads and is completed by an 18k yellow gold clasp that has caliber-cut rubies and baguette diamonds embedded. It is one of the rarest necklaces because of the huge size of the jade beads, which are 5 mm bigger than the usual 10-mm diameter of a jade.
The piece is originally owned by an American socialite and heiress, Barbara Hutton. Specifically designed for her, she received it from her father during her marriage with Georgian Prince Alexis Mdivani in 1933. It remained in the family for five decades, until Hutton’s death in 1979.
Just eight years ago, the necklace has been sold for $27.4 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Auction to Cartier Collection.
- Graff Pink Ring ($46.2 million)
Pink diamonds, especially those that exceed 5 carats, are some of the rarest finds. Graff Pink is a 12.02-carat pear-shaped pink diamond ring accompanied by two heart-shaped white diamonds on each side and set in rose gold.
Kept in the private collection of Harry Winston, a world-renowned York jeweler, for 60 years, this piece is now in possession of Laurence Graff when he purchased it for $46 million during an auction in Switzerland in 2010. Graff is a diamond collector known as the “King of Bling.”
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the Graff Pink is graded as a Type IIa Diamond, which means that it is one of the top 2% of diamonds with the highest purity.
- Blue Moon of Josephine ($48.4 million)
This 12.03-carat crystal blue diamond ring was discovered in 2014 in South Africa’s Cullinan mine. It was bought by Joseph Lau, a Hongkong billionaire and collector, during an auction in 2015. He renamed it “Blue Moon of Josephine” after his 7-year-old daughter named Josephine.
- L’Incomparable diamond necklace ($55 million)
The L-Incomparable necklace, created by Mouawad in Lebanon, is a 407-carat rose-gold necklace that features a yellow-step cut stone that hangs in it. Its chain is made of gold with 91 white diamonds attached to it.
The yellow stone is considered the biggest internally flawless diamond in the world. It was discovered by a young girl in a pile of mining debris in the African Congo in the 1980s.
- Oppenheimer Blue ($57.5 million)
The Oppenheimer Blue is named after its original owner, Philip Oppenheimer. He acquired the stone as a gift for his wife, but its history remains largely a mystery except for the fact that it was mined in South Africa.
This 14.62-carat emerald-cut stone has been recognized by the GIA as the largest Fancy Vivid blue diamond. A specific party, whose name is not released to the public, bought this piece at a Christie’s Auction in 2016.
- Pink Star ($71.2 million)
Formerly known as Steinmetz Pink, this vibrant pink diamond piece is the largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond according to the GIA evaluation. It weighs 59.6 carats but was originally cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined by De Beers in 1999 from South Africa.
It was formerly displayed at the Smithsonian Institute as part of its “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit. It was sold to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in Hongkong in 2017 at a Sotheby’s auction.
- Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond ($80 million)
The history of this cushion-shaped fancy deep grayish blue diamond can be traced back to its first owner, King Philip IV of Spain. This piece, weighing 35.36 carats, was included in the dowry of his daughter who married Emperor Leopold I of Austria in 1964.
World-renowned jeweler Laurence Graff purchased this diamond for $22 million and had it cut down to a 31.06-carat piece. In 2011, he resold it to a member of Qatar’s royal family four times its original price.
- Peacock Brooch ($100 million)
Launched by Graff Diamonds in 2013 during a luxury arts and antique fair in the Netherlands, the 10-cm tall Peacock Brooch contains a total weight of 120.81 carats and more than 1,300 diamonds in white, blue, yellow, and orange colors.
Information on where this piece is and who owns it currently is not disclosed to the public.
- The Hope Diamond ($250 million)
Considered the most expensive jewelry in the world, The Hope Diamond is a 45.42-carat dark grayish-blue cushion-cut diamond currently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution.
Its history can be traced through its discovery in India in 1666. Two years later, the piece was bought by King Louis XIV and called it “French Blue.” The French royal family had it in their possession until 1792 when it was stolen during the French Revolution when a crowd looted the crown jewels. In 1839, the jewel reappeared in Henry Philip Hope’s collection catalog and was purchased in 1949 by popular jeweler Harry Winston who eventually donated it to Smithsonian Institution.
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