Even the great perils of mining cannot keep people away from the enigmatic bits of a precious stone that have been deemed of the highest importance since the earliest civilizations were discovered deep under the ground. These valuable stones, such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and jade, have stood the test of time as symbols of riches and affluence across the world.
The passage of time has seen gems move through the hands of kings and socialites alike, and in certain cases, they have even been given as gifts from one to the next. It is because of the desire for these diamonds among the wealthy, royal, and renowned that their monetary worth has reached such astronomical heights. The following seven pieces of jewellery are among the most costly ever created, and they date back thousands of years.
Have you ever wished you could see what the most costly jewellery looked like in real life? What sort of stone is it, and what kind of component (necklace?) is it made of? Ring? Bracelet?) The following are the most costly and uncommon jewellery items that have ever been sold.
1. THE HOPE DIAMOND — $250 MILLION
Hope Diamond, a 45.52 carat blue stone with a total weight of 45.52 carats, is the world’s most costly and, in many ways, most renowned diamond. Physicists believe the odd blue hue is due to impurities created by minuscule levels of the element boron in the material.
Beyond the diamond’s enchantment in appearance, rumours concerning its ill-luck and curses have had the opposite impact, making it a gem that has been avidly sought for throughout history. Perhaps the odd brightness in the diamond sparked the creation of these legends? After being removed from all light sources, the stone is illuminated by the tiny levels of boron present.
This stone was substantially bigger than it is today before it was transformed into the Hope Diamond. It is believed to have originated in the Golkonda mines in southern India.. The Tavernier Blue was called after Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French gem trader who purchased it in 1666 and renamed it. It was cut and dubbed the French Blue not long after that, and it was sold to King Louis XIV in 1668 under that name by Tavernier.
The French Blue was taken from the royal family in 1792 and cut a second time in the following century. When it was discovered in a London banking family’s gem collection in 1839, the greatest part of what was left of the diamond was given the moniker “Hope.” Hope was the last name of the couple. They had no children. From then on, it passed through a number of hands until being purchased by Evelyn Walsh McLean, a young socialite billionaire from Washington, in 1911. She died in 1949, and the diamond was sold to another gem seller, Harry Winston after she had suffered a series of misfortunes that were attributed to the diamond’s curse. He toured it extensively for many years before presenting it to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in 1958, where it is now on display.
2. PEACOCK BROOCH — $100 MILLION
Despite the fact that the Peacock Brooch, created by Graff Diamonds, does not have nearly as much history as the Hope Diamond, its estimated worth is around $100 million. It was initially shown at the TEFAF art exhibition in the Netherlands in 2013 when it was officially published. The brooch, which is designed like a peacock with fanned wings, includes a total of 120.81 carats of diamonds and more than 1,300 stones in various colours of diamonds, including white, yellow, blue, and orange. The centre stone is a 20.02-carat dark blue pear-shaped diamond that is very uncommon and weighs 20.02 carats on its own.
Lawrence Graff created Graff Diamonds in 1960. Graff Diamonds is a family-owned and operated business. The firm has grown into an international jeweller with its headquarters in London. All Graff jewellery is produced in accordance with the Kimberly Process, an ethical paradigm that prohibits the purchase or usage of diamonds that might contribute to the perpetuation of human misery or conflict. Besides the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, which is valued at $80 million, Graff has a number of other valuable gems on the market, including the Graff Pink, which is valued at $46.2 million.
At this time, there is no information available concerning the location or ownership of the Peacock Brooch.
3.PINK STAR — $71.2 MILLION
The Pink Star diamond has a weight of 59.6 carats, despite the fact that it was initially cut from a raw diamond weighing 132.5 carats. It was discovered in 1999 by De Beers, a well-known worldwide diamond mining business, in South Africa and mined in 1999. During the course of 20 months of cutting, the Pink Star took on its present form. The Gemological Institute of America has rated this diamond as the biggest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that has ever been discovered to this day in history.
Before it was known as the Pink Star, this rare diamond was known as the Steinmetz Pink, and it was on display at the Smithsonian Institution as part of the show “The Splendor of Diamonds” before becoming the Pink Star. Chow Tai Fook Enterprises in Hong Kong purchased the property at auction in 2017 for $71.2 million.
4. OPPENHEIMER BLUE – $57.5 MILLION
The Oppenheimer Blue, named for the physicist Phillip Oppenheimer, has a weight of 14.62 carats. It is a brilliant blue diamond with an emerald cut that has caught my eye. In fact, the Gemological Institute of America has recognised this diamond as the biggest Fancy Vivid blue diamond, which is virtually identical to the Pink Star’s title as the largest pink diamond. In 2016, it was auctioned off for $57.5 million to a party that was not publicly identified.
There is little known about the history of the Oppenheimer diamond other than the knowledge that it was mined somewhere in South Africa, most likely in the early twentieth century, and that it is a rare and valuable gem. Further information is unavailable since the object is believed to have originated from one of De Beers’ mines, and that firm has closed its archives.
However, the history of the individual whose name the diamond bears is known to the public. Known across the diamond industry for more than a century, the Oppenheimer family has a long history of success. Despite the fact that the diamond was named expressly for Sir Phillip Oppenheimer, who purchased the stone as a present for his wife, it is unclear when the transaction took place or how much was paid. It was 1999 when the first transaction involving this diamond occurred after he passed away in 1995. At this point, it weighed 14.71 carats, which was a modest increase from the previous weight.
5. L’INCOMPARABLE DIAMOND NECKLACE – $55 MILLION
The L’Incomparable Diamond necklace is comprised of 407.48 carats of diamonds that are set on a bed of 18k gold and form the centrepiece of the piece. The diamond at its heart is the biggest Internally Flawless yellow diamond ever discovered, which is about the size of an egg. It is presently the most costly necklace in the world, and it is held by Mouawad, a Swiss and Emirati luxury goods firm. It was recently sold for $55 million dollars, making it the most valuable necklace in the world as of 2013.
Interestingly, the enormous diamond that sits at the heart of the necklace has a rather odd backstory. It was found by chance in a mound of mining debris in the Democratic Republic of the Congo around 30 years ago by a little girl.
6. BLUE MOON OF JOSEPHINE – $48.4 MILLION
This diamond was purchased in 2014 by Hong Kong millionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung, who is on the run from the law after being convicted of a felony. He purchased it for his seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, in whose honour the stone was given its name. It weighs 12.03 carats and was purchased by the offender for $48.4 million, becoming it the most expensive diamond of any hue ever sold per carat.
The Blue Moon of Josephine, found in 2014, is another diamond from the South African mines to grace the world’s jewellery. When it was discovered in the rough by Petra Diamonds, it weighed 29.6 carats and was difficult to overlook because of its unusual crystal blue hue. Its current owner, Lau, was convicted of bribing a previous Macau minister the next year, and he was sentenced to prison. Because of the lack of an extradition agreement between Macau and Hong Kong, he is not spending time in prison and continues to be a fugitive.
7. THE HUTTON-MDIVANI JADEITE NECKLACE – $27.4 MILLION
This legendary piece of jade jewellery, which is now in the possession of the Cartier Collection and is composed of 27 graded jadeite beads with a clasp made of 18k yellow gold, rubies, and diamonds, has a long and illustrious history of wearing it by royalty. Previously, the necklace belonged to Barbara Hutton, an American socialite and heiress who married Georgian Prince Alexis Mdivani in 1933. The necklace was given to her by her father as a wedding present for their union. Designed expressly for Hutton, the necklace was passed down through generations of the Hutton family for more than five decades, until Hutton’s death in 1979. With her inheritance from retail magnate Frank Winfield Woolworth, Barbara Hutton became one of the richest women in the world by the time she was 21 years old.
The necklace itself is a one-of-a-kind piece of jewellery owing to the fact that beads of such high-quality jade are seldom larger than 10mm in diameter due to the rarity of jadeite boulders, making this a really unique piece of jewellery. Considering that each bead of the necklace is more than 15mm in diameter and that all beads were carved from the same rock, the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite necklace is a very rare piece, which accounts for its high price tag.
We hope you liked learning a little bit more about the most costly jewellery ever sold in the history of mankind. When seeking beautiful items at a more moderate price, Friedman’s offers a large assortment of exquisite coloured jewellery to choose from. This includes our gemstone earrings, fine jewellery necklaces, and much more.