What Is The Most Expensive Piece of Jewelry Ever Made?
|Tiffany's reimagined World's Fair Necklace. Photo Tiffany & Co|
Tiffany & Co. is currently offering the priciest piece of high jewelry it’s ever created in its 184-year history.
The World’s Fair Necklace, which was unveiled at a Tiffany event in Dubai last week comprises a staggering 180 carats of diamonds set in platinum that are just as gasp-inducing as the price tag.
What does it look like?
"The World's Fair Necklace," unveiled in Dubai on Sunday, features a stunning 180 carats of diamonds set in platinum. Its centerpiece is an 80-carat oval, flawless, D-color (highest grade and virtually colorless) "Empire Diamond," named for the iconic jeweler's hometown. The Empire Diamond was ethically sourced in Botswana, cut and polished in Israel and set in Tiffany's workshop in New York City.
Tiffany (TIF) said the necklace is its most expensive piece ever created.
How much does it cost?
|The Empire Diamond can be popped out and mounted onto a ring by carefully unscrewing a few small fasteners around the stone. Photo CHELSIE CRAIG/WWD|
The good news for jewelry lovers with deep pockets is that this necklace is available for sale — unlike Tiffany's famous 128.54 carat "Tiffany Diamond," which Tiffany said is priceless and not for purchase.
The luxury retailer has not yet put a price on The World's Fair Necklace, but industry experts estimate its value to be between $20 million and $30 million.
Tiffany's diamond jewelry is famous for adorning celebrities over the decades, from Audrey Hepburn to Beyoncé Knowles. Beyoncé made fashion history as the first Black woman to wear the iconic 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond for Tiffany's new "About Love" campaign.
The World’s Fair Necklace pays homage to the Tiffany necklace that was made for the World’s Fair in 1939. The original, which was priced at a comparatively modest $28,000 in the ’30s, was set with an aquamarine stone totaling 200 carats as well as 429 diamonds. The reimagined piece, however, which was two years in the making, features a total of 578 diamonds, including 353 round brilliant stones and 224 custom-cut baguettes.
|The Empire Diamond. Photo Tiffany & Co.|
The pièce de résistance is the “Empire Diamond.” Named after a fellow New York City icon—the Empire State Building, that is—this 80-carat D color flawless diamond takes the place of the original’s aquamarine stone at the center of the necklace. The oval-shaped rarity is the largest and most expensive diamond ever offered for sale by Tiffany’s. While the famous 128.54-carat “Tiffany Diamond” is technically bigger, it has been labeled by Tiffany as “priceless” and is not for sale.
|Tiffany chief executive officer Anthony Ledru said that high jewelry is as important to the jeweler as ever, and the category is seeing growing traction in global markets. “We are seeing a very dynamic trend for high jewelry and are experiencing the highest level of high ticket transactions in our brand’s history. |
“This year’s Blue Book Collection has been very well received — especially with our renewed focus on the historic works of Jean Schlumberger. Money cannot buy history and money cannot buy style — our clients know this. As a result, we had a record year in China and the U.S. for our high jewelry collection. Dubai is the natural next destination for us.”
Other Tiffany & Co.'s expensive jewelry pieces
Tiffany & Co. is well-known for its little blue box and exquisite jewelry. There are very few women who wouldn’t find themselves excited over the presentation of a little blue box from Tiffany’s at any given time. While the famed jewelry store does have items that are affordable for virtually everyone, most pieces are a bit on the expensive side. These five pieces, however, are more expensive than anything else.
Jean Schlumberger Dahlia Clip – $275,000
|Photo Tatler Asia|
In 1956, Jean Schlumberger began his career designing jewels for Tiffany’s. He’s a French designers with a reputation for whimsical creations. This piece is designed to resemble a beautiful flower with a large emerald set in the center and surrounded by dozens of diamonds in a platinum setting.
Diamond Drop Earrings – $350,000
If there’s one thing that never goes out of style, it’s the diamond earring. This look works everywhere from brunch to a night on the town at a black-tie event. These drop earrings are designed using platinum. Each one features a marquise diamond, a pear shaped diamond and two brilliant round diamonds.
Tiffany Legacy Bracelet – $470,000
Each of the dozens of diamonds on this breathtaking bracelet was hand cut in a special shape for Tiffany’s. The diamonds are brilliant, and the bracelet strongly resembles something from the Edwardian period. It’s seven inches long, and all diamond all the way.
Tiffany Legacy Necklace – $845,000
You simply cannot purchase the legacy necklace without the matching legacy bracelet mentioned above. This piece is designed to look just like the Legacy bracelet, with 12 additional inches so that it fits the neck. That’s also why it’s so much more expensive, because it uses more than twice as many diamonds.
Tiffany Ring with an Important Diamond – $2.1 Million
This ring really does go by this name. Tiffany’s gemologists spent years searching for a diamond with this much clarity and color – it has a D color – in this size. The diamond is 12-carats. It’s surrounded by dozens of much smaller diamonds and set in a platinum band. This ring is only for the very wealthy.
What are top 10 most expensive pieces of jewelry ever made?
10. The Perfect Pink – $23.2 Million
Pink diamonds seem to have gained a lot of popularity recently, with many such gemstones being sold for eight figure sums in the past few years. A great example of this is the aptly-named Perfect Pink, which went for over $23 million in November 2010.
The 14.23 carat diamond is quite a rarity according to Christie’s, who only sold around 20 such pink stones over 10 carats in almost 250 years of history.
9. The Winston Blue – $23.8 Million
The Winston Blue is an extremely valuable ring featuring the largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world, which was auctioned by Christie’s in May 2014.
The stunningly beautiful 13.22 carat piece was acquired by Harry Winston, and named in honor of the company’s legendary founder by its CEO, Nayla Heyek. The price of the deal was a hefty $23.8, far exceeding expectations (as it often seems to happen when people try to outbid each other for these things).
8. The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond – $24.3 Million
The Wittelsbach blue diamond is one of the most prestigious gemstones in the world. With a history going as far back as the 17th century, it was part of the Bavarian crown jewels before disappearing for decades during the 20th century. It finally reappeared and was subsequently bought at an auction by Laurence Graff for over $24 million.
The legendary jeweler then proceeded to recut the stone, reducing it from 35.52 carats to a little over 31 carats, thus improving its clarity, brilliance, and grade. This move has proved to be quite controversial, being compared to painting over a masterpiece by Rembrandt or Da Vinci in order to make it “prettier.”
7. Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace by Cartier – $27 Million
It comprises 27 large jadeite beads of splendid color, with diameters ranging from 15.4 mm to 19.2 mm, and once belonged to the famous socialite Barbara Hutton, daughter of retail tycoon Frank W. Woolworth. The beautiful necklace, mounted by Cartier with a beautiful ruby and diamond clasp, was a wedding gift for her first marriage, in 1933, to Prince Alexis Mdivani.
6. The Orange – $36 Million
When it was auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva in November 2013, this incredible stone, simply referred to as The Orange, was by far the largest fancy vivid orange diamond to be sold this way. Unsurprisingly, it fetched a record-breaking bid as well, which rose to an amazing $35.5 million, blowing its estimated value of $21 million out of the water.
5. Pink Emerald-Cut Graff Diamond – $46 Million
|Photo The Blue Diamond|
Graded “Fancy Intense Pink” by the Gemological Institute of America, this 24.78-carat emerald-cut stone was bought at auction by none other than Laurence Graff himself, who described it “the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in my career.”
4. L’Incomparable Necklace – $55 Million
The impossibly expensive L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace was unveiled by the internationally acclaimed Mouawad jewelry company and still has the honor of being the most valuable piece of its kind in the world.
3. The Pink Star – $72 Million
Rarely is a gemstone of its quality and value available for purchase, so when Sotheby’s auctioned this impressive 59.60-carat diamond called the Pink Star in late 2013, you know buyers with very deep pockets would line up to acquire it. In fact, interest for the diamond was so great, the final bid far exceeded the estimated $61 million it was expected to fetch, and actually rose to more than $83 million.
Unfortunately, the buyer couldn’t come up with the record-breaking fee in time, so Sotheby’s has retained the stone, valuing it at $72 million.
2. Peacock Brooch by Graff – $100 Million
The piece boasts over 1,000 gemstones (1,305 to be exact), weighing in at 120.81 carats, with the deep blue diamond at its heart tipping the scales at just over 20 carats by itself. Certainly not intended to be worn (at least not in public), unless you actually get a kick out of having the GDP of a small nation on you when you go out.
1. The Hope Diamond – Inestimable
One of the most infamous pieces of jewelry in history, the Hope Diamond is legendary not only for its great beauty, but also for allegedly being cursed.
Over the centuries, it was in the possession of the likes of Louis XIV and Harry Winston, with the latter donating it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958, where it has been on display ever since.
The mesmerizing, 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond has been valued in the hundreds of millions; however, according to the Smithsonian, its rarity, extremely high profile, and immense cultural value make its worth ultimately inestimable – and we’re inclined to agree.
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