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The Most Expensive Jewelry Gifts in History
With the holidays around the corner, many people are planning on giving the gift of jewelry this season. Ever wonder what the most famous and expensive jewelry gifts in history have been? So have we! Here’s a list of some of the most expensive jewelry pieces ever given as gifts.
The Fabergé Easter Eggs. Handcrafted by the House of Fabergé between 1885 and 1917, the most famous eggs were made for Czar Alexander III’s wife, Czarina Maria Fedorovna. In 1885, Peter Carl Fabergé delivered to their palace what appeared to be an enamel egg. The Czarina was delighted to discover that within the egg was a “golden yolk” containing a gold hen, which contained a miniature royal crown and tiny ruby egg. From then on, Czar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to deliver a new, custom-made Fabergé egg each Easter, always exquisitely hand-crafted and full of jeweled surprises.
Liz Taylor’s Taylor-Burton Diamond. Liz Taylor’s passing and Christie’s recent auctioning of her jewelry — estimated at $150 million—renewed interest in her extensive and expensive collection. One of the most famous of her many pieces was the Taylor-Burton diamond. Taylor wore the 69.42 carat pear-shaped stone to many events, including Princess Grace’s 40th birthday party in Monaco. It was once the most expensive stone in the world and is currently estimated to be worth $3.5 million. Taylor sold the diamond in 1978 following her divorce from Burton to fund her charity work.
The Maria Alexandrovna Sapphire Brooch. Originally from Sri Lanka, The Maria Alexandrovna Blue Sapphire is a 260.37-carat, oval-cut blue sapphire with an evenly distributed medium-dark saturated blue color. The brooch gets its name from the Russian Empress, Maria Alexandrovna, the empress consort of Czar Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, who purchased the blue sapphire at the Great London Exhibition held in 1862, and presented it to his empress. In later years, the sapphire was set in a brooch consisting of 56.60 carats of smaller diamonds.
Princess Diana’s Diamond and Sapphire Engagement Ring. Following Prince Charles proposal, Lady Diana Spencer chose a gemstone ring from a Garrods catalog, instead of having a diamond ring custom made for her, which was the royal custom. The decision launched her reputation as “The People’s Princess.” Affordable replicas of her ring were so popular, that it became known as “the commoner’s ring.”
Following her death, Prince William inherited the ring, and he famously presented it to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, when he asked her to marry him on November 16, 2010. This ring has a large oval sapphire surrounded by 14 round diamonds set in 18K white gold. The sapphire is set in 18K white gold, and the sapphire itself is probably between 9 and 12 carats. The ring cost around $60,000 when it was purchased in 1981, and today has been estimated between $500,000 and $4 million.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Godman Necklace. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has a vast collection of jewelry that she wears for occasions at Buckingham Palace and for various State visits and Commonwealth tours. One of the most elegant and impressive is the Godman Necklace, given to her by daughters of Frederick Du Cann, a British naturalist, who purchased the necklace in Bavaria in the 1890s. The emerald and diamond-encrusted necklace is one of the many famous pieces in Queen Elizabeth II’s private collection. It’s most striking quality — besides the diamonds and emeralds — is its perfectly symmetrical floral motif.
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