A few gems

Here are a few pieces of jewelry that have caught my attention over the last few…

This diamond and emerald number is called “The Spanish Inquisition Necklace’ although it has no connection to the Spanish Inquisition. Click on the photo to get a really good look at this stunning piece of jewelry. It is in the Smithsonian’s collection of gems. It was worn by Katherine Hepburn to the Academy Awards in 1947

This diamond necklace is called the “Napoleon Diamond Necklace” and is also in the collection of the Smithsonian. This necklace was made for the Empress Marie Louise as a reward for producing the heir that Josephine Beauharnais had failed to give Napoleon.

This piece is a man’s necklace made by Cartier of Paris for an Indian maharaja, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh. It is considered to be the most expensive necklace in the world. 

One morning, the Maharaja turned up at Cartier with a chest full of various precious stones and asked them to make a necklace using all the stones. He asked Cartier to set the huge yellow diamond as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace. Cartier made a necklace with five rows of diamond encrusted platinum chains weighing 1.6 Kilos (3 pounds) comprising of 2,930 diamonds weighing about 962.25 carats.

The necklace turned out to be so beautiful that Cartier requested that it be displayed before the Maharaja took it to India. It was described as “Rivers of diamonds set on a sea of platinum” and was valued at US $ 25 million (in 1925 dollars!).

This ruby and diamond neckalce was also made for the Maharaja by Cartier. The Art Deco styling is magnificent.

This necklace was made by Cartier as well and is called “The Cartier Tutti-Frutti Necklace”. It is set with rows of emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires set in platinum.

This brooch is from the collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post (the Post cereal heiress and mother of actress Dina Merrill). It now resides in the gem collection at The Smithsonian. It is composed of diamonds and carved emeralds (apparently a very difficult gem to carve) set in platinum.

Here’s a picture of Mrs. Post wearing the enormous brooch with her daughter Nedenia (Dina). Mrs. Post had the largest private collection of important jewels in the world at the time.


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