Jewelry plays an important role in people’s lives. It is more than just an accessory added to an outfit for a bit of sparkle and glam. For a lot of people, it is a physical reminder of an important event or milestone.
Think about it. During proposals, the engagement ring is front and center. At the wedding ceremony, the exchange of rings is, along with the vows, a much-awaited part by the couple and their guests. It is also not unusual for families, friends, and lovers to give each other a necklace, a pair of rings and earrings, a ring, a bracelet, or a watch to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, and other occasions.
Moreover, people wear jewelry for self-expression. Throughout history, gemstones have been looked at as symbols and attributed with different meanings. Jade, for example, has been used in ancient times and up to the present for massage and meditation. Meanwhile, the pink rose quartz is the stone of love, and wearing it will bring romance into one’s life.
There is a lot that goes into jewelry. It is the role of the jeweler to not only create beautiful pieces but encapsulate the message that the giver or wearer wants to convey through these treasures. So much effort goes toward designs and marketing for fine jewelry.
Brands typically hire famous photographers, models, and photo-retouching services to make jewels shine. But at the end of the day, people choose the jewelry that best represents their passion and devotion. With that said, here are three of the most famous jewelry gifts ever.
3 Iconic Jewels Gifted to 3 Iconic Women
Decades ago, Hollywood stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were some of the world’s most popular and adored couples. The two fell in love while filming “Cleopatra” (1963), which made them famous. They wedded in 1964 at the Ritz in Montreal.
The marriage was, from the start, chaotic. The two were often in the headlines due to their extravagant lifestyle and their frequent verbal and physical altercations. In 1969, Burton gave Taylor a gift, a 69-carat diamond ring from Cartier that, at the time, cost $1.5 million.
It was said to be a product of a fight they previously had at a restaurant when Burton called Taylor’s hand large and ugly. She responded by saying that he should get her a 69-carat ring to make her hand look more dainty.
Eventually, Taylor decided it was too large to be a ring. She later fashioned it into a necklace that perfectly covered her scar from an emergency tracheotomy.
And he did exactly that. The ring dubbed the Taylor-Burton has a pear-shaped diamond with 58 facets and was unearthed in South Africa in 1966. Cartier acquired it and reportedly drew long lines of people who wanted to view it at the store before Burton finally bought it and presented it to Taylor.
Princess Diana’s Engagement Ring
Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring is one that she picked out herself, and it reportedly caused quite a stir at Buckingham Palace.
When she and Prince Charles got engaged, she chose to pick from the selection of royal jewels and rings from the official crown jeweler Garrard. However, Diana opted for a ring that was neither unique nor bespoke. Her ring was a stock item that anyone else could have bought.
That did not make the royals happy. The princess did not care that the ring was not popular among her new family and her critics outside the palace. She loved it, and she continued to wear it even after she divorced Prince Charles.
Now, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wears the Ceylon sapphire stone surrounded by diamonds and set in a white gold band. It was given to her by her husband, Prince William when he proposed in 2010.
Van Cleef & Arpels Pearls for Grace Kelly
A classic Hollywood royalty, Grace Kelly became a real-life princess when she wedded Prince Rainer of Monaco in 1956. The “To Catch a Thief” and “Dial M for Murder” star is a huge fan of pearls, telling an interviewer once that she “favors” it onscreen and in her private life.
A few months before they tied the knot, Prince Rainer took Kelly to the Van Cleef & Arpels store in New York. They walked out with several pearl jewels, including a three-strand necklace with a diamond swirl. Kelly must have loved the gift so much because, later on, Van Cleef & Arpels became the “Official Supplier to the Principality of Monaco.”
Nowadays, Kelly’s daughter Princess Caroline of Hanover is seen wearing the iconic Van Cleef & Arpels pearl necklace.
Jewelry, no matter the size or cost, is special if given as a gift. It holds memories and emotions and adds a spark to everyday life.