Baubles and Bling: Some of the Most Popular Jewelry Pieces the World Has Seen

photo: Purely Diamonds
photo: Purely Diamonds

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but all jewelry plays an important role in a woman’s life. From the oldest known jewelry — 100,000 year old beads made from Nassarius shells — to the stunning rose gold and bright gemstone baubles of today, jewelry has the ability to change any outfit, mood, or marriage.

But where do we get our love for jewels from? Celebrities, of course. Here are some of the most famous baubles history has ever seen.

Princess Diana’s Engagement Ring

When Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, he broke with royal tradition by not choosing a custom-made engagement ring. Instead, the ring, which features an 18-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 17 round diamonds, was featured in the Garrard Jewelry public collection. Today, the now-heirloom ring is worth nearly half a million U.S. dollars and graces the hand of Kate Middleton, who received it from Diana’s son Prince William in 2010.

The Hope Diamond

Known as the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond weighs 45.52 carats. It was one of the first blue diamonds ever discovered, and was passed through the French monarchy by King Louis XIV until world-renowned jeweler Harry Winston purchased it in 1949. Now set in a necklace accompanied by 16 round- and square-cut diamonds, it sits on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The Tiffany Yellow

With a weight of 128 carats, this yellow diamond has been making admirers gasp since its discovery in 1877 South Africa. It diamond has only been worn twice since then, most notably by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 for publicity photographs for her hit movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Currently sitting in a display case at Tiffany’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the Tiffany Yellow rests in a diamond necklace setting.

Heart of the Ocean Diamond

Inspired by the 1997 hit Titanic, this diamond was created for actress Gloria Stuart — who played Rose in the film — to wear to the Academy Awards. The 15-carat blue diamond has an estimated value of $20 million USD.

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