For centuries people have tried to stand out from the rest and what better way to do this, than by covering themselves with beautifully ornate trinkets made out of the most precious metals and gems known to man. These ornaments have evolved to such a degree that many today are considered true works of art, displaying both the wealth and social status of their owners. Here are ten of the most expensive pieces of jewelry around the globe.
10. Queen Mary’s Diamond Riviere and La Peregrina Pearl $1,828,224
Worn by the first of Britain’s female rulers, Queen Mary, this beautifully ornate diamond necklace is now estimated to worth over $1.8 million. It is made out of 34 old cut diamonds set in place with gold and silver. It was then given as a gift to Princess Margaret in the early 1900s.
9. The Laurence Graff Ring $2.6 Million
An exceptionally rare 2.26 carat red diamond set the world record back in 2007 as the most expensive red diamond ever sold at an auction. It was bought off by the English jeweler Laurence Graff at the price of $2.6 million. Its price was set by the maroon color of the central piece as well as its octagonal shape.
8. Marie Antoinette’s Necklace $3.7 Million
The fifteenth child of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Emperor Francis I, Queen Marie Antoinette of France was notorious for her lavish and luxurious lifestyle at the expense of her people. The necklace was crafted by De Beers, it has two yellow diamonds weighing 7.06 and 5.24 carats respectively and an additional pink diamond, all aligned vertically. The main stone of 8.05 carats acts as an anchor, straightening the necklace and pulling all the remaining smaller jewels set in platinum into place.
7. The “Red Scarlet” Necklace $5.1 Million
The Red Scarlet necklace was sold for $5.1 million in an auction held in Hong Kong on November, 2012. It was crafted by the world-renowned jeweler, James W. Currens out of 26 Pigeon Blood Burmese rubies of varying weight, each surrounded by a cluster of white marquise and pear-shaped diamonds mimicking a bouquet of flowers and set in place with platinum and 18 carat gold.
6. Sotheby’s Golconda Diamond Ring $6.5 Million
Even if Golconda diamonds, which this ring is made out of, usually don’t have the same shine in them as other diamonds do, with the help of cutting edge technology, this dazzling 30.31-Carat D-color uncut gem is certified by GIA to be of Excellent Polish and Symmetry and centerpiece to one of the most expensive rings in the world. It was auctioned at the “Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn” sale of 2011 for $6.5 million.
5. The Cullinan Diamond $9.69 Million
Auctioned at $9.69 Million during Sotheby’s semi-annual sale in Geneva, this precious blue diamond ring made quite an impact among the most wealthy back in 2009.
4. The “Heart of the Kingdom” $14 Million
With a dark red colored 40.1 carat Burmese ruby like no other and surrounded by hundreds of smaller pear shaped white diamonds, this necklace which can also be used as a tiara and is worth $14 million. What makes it so special is the ruby’s “pigeon blood” color.
3. Tiffany Yellow $12 Million
This Tiffany Yellow diamond was discovered back in 1877 and cut to 128.54 carat cushion in 1878. It was worn only once at the Tiffany Ball by Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse who had the unique honor of doing so. The yellow diamond is unequaled in its brilliance and is on display by the ground floor of the Tiffany & Co. store in New York City.
2. Bvlgari Two-Stone Diamond Ring $15.7 Million
Belonging to an European collection up until the 1970s, this Bvlgari stone ring is crafted out of two huge blue and white diamonds, sitting symmetrically from one another. This perfect balance and the beautiful color combination of these two precious gems and by using geometry in its design, make this ring one of the most fanciest in existence.
1. The “Incomparable” Diamond Necklace $55 Million
It is said that the original brownish yellow stone was found by a local girl in Congo more than 30 years ago. It was shown throughout several museums, including the Smithsonian after which it was cut to take its current day remarkable shape. Together with the other 90 white diamonds, its total weight reaches 637 carats. Because of its asymmetrical shape and the fact that it looks like a vine, this luxuriant piece of jewelry truly lives up to its name.
Bonus – Great Star of Africa $2 Billion +
Discovered in 1905 South Africa, the Great Star of Africa originally weight in at 1.33 pounds and had 3,106 carats. Two years later it was presented as a birthday gift to King Edward VII of England. The Crown Jewels are made from this one initial piece of African heritage which was cut in about 100 gems of different sizes. The largest (500 carats) was placed inside the State Scepter -image above- and the next one after that (300 carats) in the State Crown.
This huge gemstone is the largest diamond ever found, and while it was transported to London from Pretoria in South Africa, a decoy was used on board a steamer ship filled with detectives in order to catch or deter would be thieves. The real diamond however was sent in an ordinary wooden box.