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  : : Gems of the Rich and Famous
Gem Stones of the Rich and Famous
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Onassis was once the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. She had a large and magnificent jewelry collection and loved large colorful necklaces and bracelets. Jackie O acquired most of her jewelry from her second husband Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who gave her $5 million in jewelry and slipped bracelets into the bouquets of flowers he often sent her.
Jewelry owned by Jackie Onassis and sold at the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Sotheby's on April 24, 1996 included:
  • A pair of Cabochon ruby and diamond earrings, a wedding gift from Onassis in 1968, sold for $360,000. They had been valued at $25,000 to $35,000.
  • 17.68 carat ruby ring - $290,000
  • Cabochon ruby necklace - $247,500
  • Amethyst necklace - $55,000
  • Red tourmaline briolette earrings dangling from amethysts - $35,000
  • Cabochon garnet flower brooch - $145,000
  • A European collector paid $112,500 for two simulated pearl necklaces
  • An Asian collector paid $85,000 for two other simulated pearl necklaces

The Emerald engagement ring of Jacqueline Kennedy OnassisThe Van Cleef & Arpels engagement ring John F. Kennedy presented to Jacqueline consisted of one 2.88 carat diamond mounted next to a 2.84 carat cut emerald.

The Emerald engagement ring.
As a result, emeralds became one of the most popular choices for brides-to-be during the mid 1950s.

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen's personal jewelry is conservatively valued at $57 million. She has so much jewelry that she has a special room to keep it in, hidden beneath Buckingham Palace. This does not include the Crown jewels which are kept in the Tower of London. Her personal jewels include:
  • The Timur RubyThe Timur Ruby which is actually a magnificent spinel weighing 352.50 carats. It is not faceted, but retains its original baroque shape. There are fascinating inscriptions on the stone, written in Arabic script, stating the previous owners of the stone, all Mogul emperors and showing that’s its history dates from before 1605 AD.


  • The Cambridge and Delhi Dunbar ParureThe Cambridge and Delhi Dunbar Parure, a fantastic suite of emerald jewelry designed and crafted by the crown jewelers, in anticipation of the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on June 22, 1911, and their subsequent proclamation as the Emperor and Empress of India.



  • The Prince Albert BroochThe Prince Albert Brooch, a huge sapphire which was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert the day before their wedding.

  • Queen Mary’s Large Ruby earringsQueen Mary’s Large Ruby earrings. These earrings were a fifty-ninth birthday gift to Queen Mary from King George V and consist of large oval rubies surrounded by nine brilliant-cut diamonds.
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich used to wear her own jewelry in her movies.

Marlene Dietrich ruby braceletIn "Stage Fright", 1950, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock Marlene wears her own ruby bracelet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, c.1937.

In October 1992 it sold for $990,000 at Sotheby's in New York to an unknown bidder.
She also wore her own cabochon emerald suite in the 1938 movie Desire.

During a dinner party at Katherine Cornell's house, Marlene took off her 37.41 carat cabochon emerald ring while she was baking a cake in the kitchen and couldn’t find it. The house was turned upside down but the ring couldn't be found. It was only during dessert that the ring was discovered by one of the dinner guests inside a piece of the cake!

Liz Taylor
Although Liz Taylor is usually associated with huge diamonds, she also had a fabulous collection of other gemstones.
As an engagement present, Richard Burton gave her an emerald and diamond brooch that she wore with an emerald necklace he gave her as a wedding present.

La Peregrina from Elizabeth TaylorPossibly the most interesting pieces of jewelry given to Elizabeth Taylor from Richard Burton was La Peregrina, one of the largest and most historic pearls in existence, a pear shaped drop weighing 203.84, previously owned by queens and generals for over 500 years !

Earrings to match La Peregrina were given to Elizabeth Taylor by Aaron Frosch years after her 40th birthday. The earrings are natural pearls and diamond pendants by Bulgari. She wore them in the movie "Ash Wednesday" (1973).

Another one of Taylor's husbands, Michael Wilding, gave her a cabochon sapphire engagement ring.

Mike Todd gave her a spectacular ruby necklace and earring set.

In 1975, at her second wedding to Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor showed off
the Grand Duchess of Russia’s emeralds, Set by Bvlgari, the suite includes earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet.

Liz Taylor Engagement Ring Diamond and Emerald Necklace of Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry

Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly received a 12-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring from Prince Rainier. Also given to Grace was a friendship ring with rubies and diamonds. The prince was said to be one of the wealthiest bachelors in the world and Grace was a Hollywood icon, so the world was captivated by the intermingling of Hollywood and old-world royalty. Once married, Grace did not make any more movies.
In her final screen performance before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly wore the magnificent diamond ring. During the film, aptly titled "High Society", actor Bing Crosby looks at the ring and quips, "Some stone, did you mine it yourself?"

Lady Diana Spencer

Prince Charles gave Lady Diana Spencer a huge, oval sapphire engagement ring surrounded by 14 brilliant cut diamonds. The ring was valued at £42,000.Unusually for a choice by a member of the Royal Family, it was not unique and any member of the public could buy the same ring from the Garrard catalogue

Before the Princess of Wales’s death in the 1997 Paris car crash, the ring was valued at more than £250,000 because of its connection to the royals, and in particular Diana. The large central stone is a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire and the solitaire diamonds surrounding it are set in 18-carat white gold. Diana’s choice sparked a trend for similar looking rings.

Lady Diana Spencer with here Blue Sapphire ring Kate Middleton and Price William

Price William inherited it and then presented it to his then fiancée, now wife, Kate Middleton.

Sarah Ferguson
Sarah Ferguson received a ruby and diamond ring. The Royal family’s choice of precious gemstones for engagements rings actually started a huge demand.

Camilla Parker-Bowles
Prince Charles presented Camilla Parker-Bowles with an engagement ring featuring 3 baguette diamonds on each side. The ring was formerly owned by the Queen Mother and is valued at half a million pounds.

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford was so keen on sapphires that the press called them "Joan Blue" after her. One of her favorite pieces in her extensive collection included a bracelet set with three star sapphires of 60 carats each. She was also the owner of a 70-carat star sapphire engagement ring from her second husband, and a 72-carat emerald-cut sapphire, which she often wore together on the same finger! In the 1940’s, Joan added a 75-carat amethyst ring and a huge 100-carat citrine ring, both emerald-cut with a simple mounting.

We hope you've found this article interesting. Why not email us with your thoughts or any questions? We always like to hear from our customers.

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  • First Published: September-23-2011
  • Last Updated: March-06-2014
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    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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