There are certain pieces of jewelry that have achieved fame through their simply exquisite design, the rarity of the gemstones that they incorporate – and their sheer breathtaking beauty. Unlike pieces from modern designers such as Anita Ko, these pieces cannot be bought! Here are five examples that will definitely take your breath away – and cause your jaw to drop due to their price tags.
The Most Expensive Jewelry in the World
1. The Hope Diamond – Priceless
This diamond is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute, courtesy of ex-owner Harry Winston who donated it (it was also owned by Lord Philip Hope, who took possession of the stone in 1830 after it had been missing for 40 years after being stolen. It was previously in possession of Louis XIV, amongst other luminaries. It was unearthed four centuries ago at the Kollur Mine in the Golconda Sultanate, which is now part of India. This incredible gemstone sports a rare blue color (with sparkle courtesy of tiny impurities of boron atoms) and weighs in at a cut weight of 45.52 carats. To say it is priceless is obviously subject to argument, but its historical value and rarity make it incredibly difficult to assign a price to this gem (but it is certainly worth more than the next in line – the Peacock Brooch by Graff).
2. Peacock Brooch by Graff – $100m
Graff, world-famous London-based jewelers, have created the Peacock Brooch. This piece of jewelry consists of over 1,300 gemstones, with a centerpiece of a 20-carat sparkling, flawless blue diamond. Primarily designed as an exhibition piece, it is rarely worn in public.
3. The Pink Star – $72m
Gemstones and jewelry above a certain value and rarity very rarely reach the market, so when Sotheby’s offered this incredible gem up for auction in 2013, it attracted immense interest. It actually attracted a bid of $83 million. However, the buyer could not come up with the purchase price – and the offer expired. Sotheby’s retains the gem as part of its collection, where the striking pink color and size of the gem (59.60-carats) continues to attract gasps of admiration.
4. The L’Incomparable Necklace – $55m
One of the most striking pieces of jewelry in the world, the L’Incomparable Necklace was designed by the Mouawad jewelry company – and is today acknowledged as the finest example of this type of jewelry in the world. The centerpiece is the world’s largest flawless diamond – all 407.48 carats of it. However, that is surrounded by 102 smaller stones. It was found in a pile of discarded Kimberlite (worthless oil where diamonds are often found) by a young girl 30 years ago.
5. The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace by Cartier – $27m
Stepping away from diamond centric examples, the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace by Cartier is made from 27 large jadeite beads boasting incredible color. The Necklace is secured by a ruby and diamond clasp. It was owned by Barbara Hutton, daughter of Frank W. Woolworth (of Woolworth retail fame), who gifted this exquisite piece to his daughter in 1933 on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Alexis Mdivani.
The sheer beauty and rarity of these pieces and the gemstones found set in them is a guarantee that they will hold their value for generations to come – long may they share their brilliance with admirers from across the globe – and those ultra-wealthy enough to own similar pieces.