Famous People and Their Diamond Collections
Dazzling diamonds have been collected by the rich and famous for centuries, with the glittering stones adorning every imaginable piece of jewelry from imperial crowns to chandelier earrings.
Following are a few of the legendary collectors of these historic gems.
Her name evokes timeless glamour, and Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond collection is crowned by one of the world’s most famous diamonds. Purchased from the collection of a German munitions magnate, the Krupp Diamond was sold to Richard Burton as a gift for the actress in 1968 for the then-incredible price of $305,000. The iconic actress has worn the magnificent sparkler in every film she’s made since then.
Burton also purchased an incredible 240 carat South African diamond for Elizabeth’s 40th birthday. Now known as the Taylor-Burton diamond, the stone was auctioned in 1978 to fund construction of a hospital in Botswana.
Taylor’s book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, includes photographs of her famous collection and the stories behind them.
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
The history of diamonds is rife with romance, drama, murder, passion and madness, and the magnificent diamond collection of Russia’s last tsar is both breathtakingly beautiful and tinted with tragedy.
Among these gems, now on display at the Kremlin in Moscow, are diamond-encrusted Fabergé eggs, cascading necklaces, diamond-framed portraits and the briolette diamonds in The Empress Josephine Tiara. According to legend, the Tsar’s youngest daughter, Anastasia, survived the family’s execution thanks to the strategic placement of shielding diamonds sewn into her bodice.
The British Royal Family
The jewelry collection of the British Royal family is surely the most famous collection of diamonds in the world. Currently belonging to Queen Elizabeth II, these stunning stones are incorporated into the opulent symbols of royal rule, including scepters, crowns, orbs, bracelets, rings and tiaras.
Among the Crown Jewels are the First Star of Africa, set in the Sovereign’s Scepter, and the Second Star of Africa, incorporated into the Imperial State Crown. These stones were cut from the legendary 3,000 carat Cullinan diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found.
The collection also includes the historic 106 carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, now set in the Queen Mother’s platinum crown, and the small diamond crown made for Queen Victoria.
Actress, producer, and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, is a passionate collector of fine diamond jewelry, and her gem collection is estimated to be worth over $100 million. Included in this opulent assortment are an eternity ring created from a band of diamonds, elaborate diamond chandelier earrings and the Riviera necklace.
The star also owns numerous colored fancy diamonds from Australia’s legendary Argyle Mines, including a unique necklace featuring seven diamonds, among them a rare natural pink diamond.
Learn more about diamonds or start your own diamond collection one piece at a time by finding a trusted AGS diamond jeweler near you.
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