Holly Madison’s Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Holly Madison's EDC engagement ring with this Vintage Diamond Owl Cocktail Ring. The Night Owl is the mascot of Electric Daisy Carnival, over which Holly Madison reigns as Queen Supreme. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Capture the Essence! of Holly Madison’s EDC engagement ring with this Vintage Diamond Owl Cocktail Ring. The Night Owl is the mascot of Electric Daisy Carnival, over which Holly Madison reigns as Queen Supreme. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.


Holly Madison’s engagement ring features a showstopping 18-carat, cushion-cut yellow diamond. This huge diamond is mounted in what looks like rose gold in a bezel-style setting decorated with milgrain details. Further security is added by four claw-like platinum prongs.

The body of the ring is fashioned out of what looks like platinum, though it could be white gold. The shank and shoulders are deeply carved, giving them a tree-branch appearance. A collection of pink, yellow, and blue daisies made of gold and colored gemstones provide the cathedral support for the diamond center stone.

These gorgeous daisies, fashioned out of pink, yellow, and blue diamonds and mounted in what looks like rose gold, are clustered together on the sides, top, and bottom of the diamond. The bezel setting extends far down the pavilion, allowing a stylized owl to peek out from behind these side daisies. The daisies and owls are completely symbolic of the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Indeed, the entire ring is a tribute to the EDC, as its known by fans and participants. Holly Madison and her now-husband Pasquale Rotella are the queen and king of the EDC, a festival that calls itself a movement.

Mr. Rotella, whom Forbes calls a “live events entrepreneur,” created the festival as a way to celebrate electronic dance music culture in an atmosphere that stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. The electric daisy represents the umbrella of love and unity under which a collection of misfits can come together to experience a true sense of family.

The festival’s mascot, a giant “Night Owl”, signifies the nocturnal nature of the ravers as it calls its followers to spread their wings and fly as they enjoy the nocturnal wonderland of the EDC. It is with this huge, theatrical family that Pasquale and Madison went to for one of their most memorable nights.

It was at EDC Las Vegas, on June 22, 2014, that Pasquelle Rotella proposed to his sweetheart, Holly Madison. He slipped this exquisite ring on her finger, a ring he designed himself, with the help of jewelers Layna and Alan Friedman of Premier Beverly Hills Jewelry Designers. Under the magic of an electric daisy sky, the couple “rode around the festival on the art car until the sun came up” {cited}. All the while Ms. Madison wore this wondrous ring on her finger!

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond

Elizabeth Taylor wears The Krupp Diamond in 1986. Photo credit: PH1 Blakemore, USO. Photo has been cropped and is in the public domain.


The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond weighs a jaw-dropping 33.19 carats. You can see it there in the photo, shimmering on Ms. Taylor’s left ring finger. It must rise three-quarters of an inch off the base of her finger!

The Krupps from Germany

Richard Burton bought the now-famous ring for his wife for $305,000 on May 16, 1968. It had gone under the hammer at Sotheby’s New York as part of the Vera Krupp estate auction.

Vera Krupp had been married to Alfried Krupp, head of one of the most well-known German munitions companies. Simply called Krupp, the company has been most widely known for its nefarious involvement in Jewish labor camps during World War II.

The Krupps purchased the diamond from Harry Winston, whose brilliant platinum setting demonstrates perfectly the mesmerizing effects of what was then known as the Krupp Diamond. After acquiring the gargantuan diamond, Elizabeth Taylor followed the lead of Ms. Krupp and wore the ring almost daily for the remainder of her long life.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Favorite Diamond

It became such a vital part of Ms. Taylor’s signature style that it was renamed in 2011 the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. Ms. Taylor, during an interview with Larry King in 2003, eluded to what she called the “perfect poetic irony” of a Jewish girl now owning the ring that once defined a woman who married a known Nazi war criminal who was convicted of murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews during World War II.

Larry King joked about the ring being cursed, but it is clear in the transcript that Ms. Taylor entertains no such superstitions about the stone. In her book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, she writes of the diamond in euphoric, worshipful terms:

“When I look into it, the deep Asscher cuts–which are so complete and ravishing–are like steps that lead into eternity and beyond. … To me, the Krupp says, I want to share my chemistry–my magic–with you.”

Christie’s Legendary Jewels Sale

Never once does she appear to fear the stone, though the life she lived was definitely marked with its fair share of troubles. Liz Taylor’s life was a battlefield, particularly in the area of love. She suffered numerous health issues and divorced eight times. She claims to have nearly died at least four times. Her eighth marriage and her fifth experience with death were her last on both counts.

On March 23, 2011, the world lost one of its shining stars when Ms. Taylor succumbed to congestive heart failure after a long seven-year battle with heart disease. Nine months later, in one of the most legendary sales in auction history, Christie’s placed the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond (formerly known as the Krupp Diamond) on the auction block for the second time.

Experts at Christie’s set a materials estimate of between $2.5 and $3.5 million for the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. According to reports written for Forbes and for Korea Joongang Daily, the diamond ring was purchased for a staggering $8.8 million by a man named Daniel Pang. All told, this sale fetched a staggering $115.9 million, with a second sale of her lesser known jewels realizing $21.3 million, bringing the total for her entire collection to over $137 million.

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond in Korea

Mr. Pang purchased the historic diamond on behalf of a major Korean retail group called E-Land. The South Korean company owns a collection of construction firms, apparel companies, retail malls, hotels, restaurants, and theme parks.

E-Land’s most celebrated park, located in Daegu, is fashioned as a European-style theme park centered around the Woobang Tower. Known as E-World, this theme park was earmarked to host the fabled Elizabeth Taylor Diamond in one of its exhibition halls.*

Though the two dames that once owned this magnificent diamond are gone from the earth, their legacy of treasuring nature’s most magnificent gifts remains alive and strong. Diamonds truly are eternal, and they carry their stories with them wherever they go.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

*Attempts to contact E-World for a statement were met without success. If anyone has visited E-World in Daegu and seen the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond on display, please email me to let me know (angelamagnottiandrews@gmail.com).


  1. Christie’s. “The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: Jewelry (II).” Posted December 14, 2011.
  2. Christie’s. “The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale (I).”
  3. Christie’s. “The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond Diamond Ring,” Lot 80, Sale 2623, posted December 2011.
  4. CNN Larry King Live. “Interview with Dame Elizabeth Taylor.” Aired February 3, 2003.
  5. “E-Land pays $8.8 million for 33-carat Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring,” Korea Joongang Daily, December 16, 2011.
  6. “E-World…the happiest place in Daegu!” Sneakers, Socks, and Soju blog. Posted June 12, 2013.
  7. The Krupp Diamond.” InStyle, photo gallery, #6 of 10. Accessed February 25, 2015.

Spark Creations Fashion Jewelry

Get your Spark on with this gorgeous designer sapphire engagement ring. A stunning 1-carat blue sapphire is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds. A gorgeous combination for a modern sophisticated bride. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Get your Spark on with this gorgeous designer sapphire engagement ring. A stunning 1-carat blue sapphire is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds. A gorgeous combination for a modern sophisticated bride. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.


Spark Creations leads the pack in fashion jewelry. Each Spark jewel is designed to fully express the company’s express vision to present innovative jewels in live-action color with custom-fit colored gemstones from around the world. Their claim is that nobody does color better than Spark.

There are two  ways to approach the design of ready-to-wear fashion jewelry. One is to fashion the setting around the stone, and the other is to fashion the stone precisely to fit into the setting. Spark Creations prides itself on taking this second approach, applying customized cuts to create collections of spectacular colored gemstone rings, bracelets, necklaces that dazzle with color and brilliance.

This sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring represents Sparks Creations at their finest. It features a 1-carat, bright blue sapphire at the center of an oval halo fashioned from 18 round brilliant diamonds set with milgrain details.

Each of the shoulders of this gorgeous engagement ring features a unique design using five tapered baguette-cut diamonds set in a decorated channel of 18k white gold.

Each face is set with 27 round brilliant diamonds with further milgrain detailing. The central stone is prong-set into a cathedral setting decorated with an elaborate openwork design featuring six hearts that surround the diamond’s pavilion.

This gorgeous ring  is believed to hail from Spark Creations’ classic Color Collection. This collection centers on Greek-inspired designs featuring sapphires, tsavarites, rubies, emeralds accented by white diamonds. Color is central, with the white of the diamonds offering that “Spark” of contrast that makes the color appear so vibrant.

It is this vibrant spark, coupled with a commitment to quality, that infuses every Spark Creations jewel with timeless elegance and singular sophistication.

Is yours a love that sparks with fiery romance?

If so, then perhaps you’d like to add a bit more Spark to your fire with this one-of-a-kind Spark Creations Sapphire and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring.

Judith Conway Designs

Judith Conway expresses her passion for purity by designing exquisite diamond engagement rings in pure platinum. This Judith Conway diamond solitaire engagement ring is a beautiful example of this commitment. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Judith Conway expresses her passion for purity by designing exquisite diamond engagement rings in pure platinum. This Judith Conway  engagement ring is a beautiful example of this commitment. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

Judith Conway infuses every one of her engagement rings with a subtle elegance. She is committed to marking a couple’s most memorable moments with designs that reflect purity and a sense of the eternal.

To this end, she works primarily in platinum, a metal she describes as a pure “expression of integrity” and “a reflection of inner truth.” All of her platinum rings are made with a high-grade alloy that is 90% to 95% pure. Her artisans polish the platinum to its highest shine possible. This ensures that Judith Conway rings do not fade or tarnish.

Located in Beverly Hills, California, her design firm, called Judith Conway Designs, is staffed with highly trained jewelers who have dedicated themselves to the art of hand carving. Judith Conway jewels are crafted in such a way as to highlight the central stone from absolutely every visual angle.

Every Judith Conway ring exudes subtle refinement and exceptional quality. Her signature pairing of platinum with conflict-free white diamonds is a perfect testament to the rare beauty that comes when a master artisan fuses nature’s raw materials together to create a timeless work of art. To wear a Judith Conway diamond engagement ring is to claim the essences of purity, elegance, and distinction as your own.

If your sweetheart values a commitment to these essential qualities, then allow us to recommend a Judith Conway engagement ring to punctuate your eternal commitment to her.

A Leo Diamond®

A Leo Diamond exhibits excellent brilliance and scintillating fire. This diamond solitaire engagement ring features a .48-carat Leo Diamond mounted in platinum and 18k white gold. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
A Leo Diamond exhibits excellent brilliance and scintillating fire. This diamond solitaire engagement ring features a .48-carat Leo Diamond mounted in 14k white gold with a platinum head. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

A Leo Diamond® effortlessly emits an exquisite brilliance in an original way due to its patented modified round brilliant design. Each Leo Diamond® is precisely cut with 66 facets.

The cut’s eight additional facets, which distinguish it from the round brilliant cut, are carefully placed on the pavilion of the diamonds. This precise design ensures excellent return of light, thereby maximizing brilliance and fire.

As one expert commented after inspecting a Leo Diamond®, these extra facets “do a good job of lighting up the center” of the stone. It is this increased brilliance that serves as the signature characteristic of these specially crafted diamonds.

This unique cut is the genius of Leo Schacter and his team at Leo Schacter Diamonds. Mr. Schacter navigates his work with a distinctive passion for diamonds and a dedication to excellence and integrity. Every Leo Diamond® conveys this commitment to quality and brilliance.

Pictured above is a classic diamond solitaire engagement ring which features a .48-carat Leo Diamond® mounted in solid 14k white gold with a platinum head. The inside shank of the ring is engraved with the words “THE LEO”, with a small white diamond set in place of the “O”. The diamond itself is laser inscribed with the serial number LEO 063720.

Each Leo Diamond® carries one of these distinctive serial numbers. This “fingerprint” allows a prospective buyer to trace the stone back to the diamond cutters and/or polishers who crafted that particular diamond to perfection.

In the case of this particular stone, an inquiry informs us that a group of four artisans worked together to craft this Leo Diamond®. Yankee Cohen and Elijah Zariff from Israel, together with Haim Amoyal and Albert Iluz from Morcco,  cut and polished this diamond to perfection. Each of these men are celebrated by Leo Schacter Diamonds as specialists in what they call “brilliandeering”–the art of “revealing the maximum sparkle and fire from within the stone.”

To own a Leo Diamond® is to own a work of distinction. These remarkably cut stones reflect an “unmistakable passion for diamonds” and are endowed by their makers with the symbolism of true and passionate love.

The Krupp Jewel Heist

The Krupp Diamond was recovered by the FBI in 1959, in a Las Vegas heist carried out by four gunmen. This is a photo of a replica of the famous diamond from the FBI's website.
The Krupp Diamond was recovered by the FBI in 1959, in a Las Vegas heist carried out by four gunmen. This is a photo of a replica of the famous diamond from the FBI’s website.

The Krupp Jewel Heist was big news in Nevada in the 1950s. In early April 1959, Vera Krupp heard a knock at her door.

“Who is it?” she called.

“Ma’am, I’m here with my  crew. We’d like to offer a good price for paving your driveway,” he answered.

Paving her long drive made some sense. It would certainly be less upkeep, and money certainly wasn’t a huge issue. Perhaps she turned to her foreman, with whom she had been enjoying an afternoon drink {4}. Might he have nodded his approval?

Whatever transpired in those minutes between the knock and what happened next, Vera could not have been prepared for the four gunmen that forced their way in after she opened the door {4}. All her self-assurance must have leaked out as she watched them handcuff her foreman while they tied her up.

She must have cried out in pain and anguish as they forcibly ripped the Krupp jewel off her finger, causing her to bleed. It was this prize that had alerted one James George Reves, to the potential score he might be able to make off the Baroness Krupp.

A Gambler Makes His Move

He is reported to have taken notice of the ring during one of Ms. Krupp’s visits to town. Being a gambler, Reves decided to take a chance and get some boys together to make a move. Their efforts paid off. After blindfolding their victims and tying them back to back with the cord of a nearby lamp, the crooks walked away with $700,00 in cash and $340,000 in jewels {2; 4}.

After a huge struggle, Vera and her foreman broke free and attempted to call for help. Unfortunately, a dead battery in the phone stopped them in their tracks. Their only option was to drive 24 miles to the airport for help. The FBI was brought in on the case immediately {2}.

Meanwhile, the crooks reconvened in Las Vegas, where it was decided that Mr. Reves would attempt to sale the jewel intact. He and his wife set out on a trip across the States, looking for a dealer willing to take such a huge risk .

The Krupp Jewel Winds Up in New Jersey

A tip in Miami set Mr. Reves on a course toward Newark, New Jersey. Apparently to fund this leg of his journey, Mr. Reves had fenced the baguette diamond accent stones in Chicago {4}. To keep a low profile, Mr. Reves and his wife checked into a motel in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where they made arrangements to meet a man named Julius Berger.

The FBI had already nabbed one of Reves’ partners, a fugitive named John William Hagenson {2}. It took another six weeks for word to reach the agents in Newark about a local grocer trying to pawn a large diamond in Elizabeth. A raid of the Cadillac Motel, where Reves and his wife were staying, was arranged, six weeks after the initial theft, by Special Agent in Charge William Simon of the Newark FBI {4}.

The Krupp Jewel is Recovered

According to Special Agent Bert Stickler, a thorough search was made of the hotel room without any luck. He writes that he decided to search a closet filled with clothes one last time. Since the pockets had already been searched, Agent Stickler decided to run his hands over every inch of material he could get his hands on. He found the diamond sewn into the lining of a sports jacket and turned it over to the agent in charge {4}.

A trial was held in November 1959, during which Mr. Hagenson, Mr. Reves, and several other suspects were tried before a jury {2}. By December, all the suspects were convicted, though Hagenson was released after winning an appeal {2}. The diamond was returned to Vera Krupp, who appears to have changed her habits after her harrowing experience.

First, she had a secret bedroom and bathroom added at the end of a long corridor.  The access to this safety zone was hidden behind a few of the wood panels on her bedroom wall. According to one report, though she continued to wear the Krupp Diamond almost daily, when she went to town she pinned it to her bra strap to keep it out of the public eye {1}. She also paid for the right to become a starred deputy of the Red Rock Canyon area {3}.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer


  1. Clarke, Norm. “DJ finds out popularity doesn’t translate to job security,” Las Vegas Review, January 4, 2002.
  2. FBI, The. “A Byte Out of History: The Case of the Disappearing Diamond.” Last updated November 17, 2006.
  3. Papa, Paul W. Discovering Vintage Las Vegas: A Guide to the City’s Timeless Shops, Restaurants, Casinos and More. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot, 2014.
  4. Stickler, Bert P. “The Krupp Diamond Case.” Published in Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, INC. Turner Publishing Company Staff, 1996.

Cartier Turban Ornament for the Maharajah of Kapurthala

The Maharajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala wears the Cartier Turban Ornament fashioned in 1926. The largest hexagonal emerald weighs 117.40 carats.
The Maharajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala wears the Cartier Turban Ornament fashioned in 1926. The largest hexagonal emerald weighs 117.40 carats.

The Cartier Turban Ornament, made in 1926 for the Maharajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, has been called by Newsweek “one of the most famous pieces Cartier has made” {2}.

Designed by Royalty?


According to the Maharajah’s great-grandson, Tikkaraja Shatrujit Singh, the ornament was drawn by Jagatjit Singh himself {2}. It features nineteen emeralds in varying sizes and shapes and numerous pearls and white diamonds for accent. The emeralds belonged to the vast treasury of the Maharajah, who commissioned Cartier to reset them in this exquisite modernized turban ornament.

According to Hans Nadelhoffer, former president of Christie’s in Geneva, who wrote Cartier, the definitive work on the jewelry maison’s legendary history, notes that the design was pure Orientalism, a sure departure from the Art Deco style Cartier was known for during the 1920s. This may serve as further proof that Jagatjit Singh did indeed design the ornament himself.

The Cartier Turban Ornament

Nadelhoffer calls it a “pagoda-style tiara,” an apt description indeed {p. 166-67}. The large central emerald, a hexagonal cabochon, weighs 117.40 carats. It is surrounded by round and rose-cut diamonds with six white pearls at each point.

Just below it rests a smaller emerald cabochon with two wing-type clusters of diamonds set on either side. Beneath this stone hangs a cluster of pearls. Above the central stone rises a top knot of three more emeralds, one smaller hexagonal cabochon, one crescent-shaped, and one pear-shaped. Diamonds serve as accents between and atop these stones.

Symmetrical swags of diamonds, emeralds, and pearls round out the piece on either side of this central display of opulence. Three oval-shaped cabochon emeralds form the foundation of these swags. Each one is surrounded by pave-set diamonds, and each has a round-cut diamond perched atop it.

Placed in between are two faceted, oval-shaped emeralds with a small emerald bead and a pearl mounted atop each one. A curving arch of diamonds holds everything in place, and a final diamond flourish in the shape of a crescent, with a single pearl resting in its shadow, finishes off the piece.

Upon the Brow of a Great Prince

In his book Cartier, Hans Nadelhoffer included a photograph of an ad taken out in Star Magazine in 1931. The ad included a full-spread photograph of the exquisite turban ornament along with the following caption: “For the Brow of a Great Prince” {1}.

Indeed, the Maharajah of Kapurthala was a great prince, and he loved the opulence his position and wealth afforded him. He commissioned the piece for his Golden Jubilee in 1926, and sat for the above portrait before the painter Marcel Baschet {1}. He wore the ornament throughout his jubilee celebrations and perhaps on other state occasions over the next ten years.

These occasions, if they happened, do not appear to have been recorded. There are only two other occasions Jagatjit Singh was known to have worn his Cartier Turban Ornament. One was during the Silver Jubilee of King George V of England in 1935 and two years later at the coronation of King George VI {3}.


  1. Nadelhoffer, Hans. Cartier. Chronicle Books, 2007, p. 162.
  2. Reddy, Sameer. “There’s Nothing Else Like it in the World,” Newsweek, May 26, 2008.
  3. Traveler’s India. “Lives of Indian Royalty in Europe: The heyday of European jewelers.” Zeno Marketing Communications, Inc., 2004.

What’s So Special About Orange Diamonds?

Capture the Essence! of Orange Diamonds with this Colored Diamond Cocktail Cluster Ring with Orange Diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Capture the Essence! of Orange Diamonds with this Colored Diamond Cocktail Cluster Ring with Orange Diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

A fancy orange diamond mingles with fancy yellow, fancy green, blue, champagne, and white diamonds to form this gorgeous cluster cocktail ring set in 18k yellow gold.  Colored diamonds enjoy a special status in the world of jewels.

Not only are they rare, but they take the exquisite fire of a diamond to a whole new level. As demonstrated by this magnificent ring, colored diamonds come in nearly every color, but it is the orange diamond with which we are concerned today.

Orange Diamonds

Orange diamonds come in a variety of shades, ranging from faint orange to deep, vivid orange. It has long been believed that the color is a result of a nitrogen impurity in the carbon crystal structure. However, experts disagree about what causes the orange in diamonds.

Gemologists at William Goldberg cite nitrogen as the element responsible {2}. However, Harry Winston believes hydrogen is the culprit. Perhaps it is a combination of the two that really comes into play. For now, the true source of orange in diamonds remains a mystery {2}.

These orange beauties are found primarily in the mines of South Africa and Western Australia. Orange diamonds are counted among those other hard-to-find colors, such as blue, pink, red, and green.

The most desirable would be a Fancy Vivid Orange, which is an orange diamond without a hint of brown.  As you might expect, most of these rare beauties have become historically famous and now reside in the collections of some of the world’s most celebrated jewelry collectors.

Famous Orange Diamonds

Two of the most famous orange diamonds are the Pumpkin Diamond, owned as recently as 2003 by Harry Winston {7}, and the Koi Diamond, owned as recently as 2013 by the Rawstone Business Holding {1}.

The Pumpkin Diamond is a Fancy Vivid Orange which weighs 5.54 carats. It was mounted in a pinky ring designed by Harry Winston in 1997/98. It was worn by Halle Berry on her left hand during the 2002 Academy Awards ceremony. If you haven’t seen her acceptance speech, I highly recommend giving it a viewing. It remains one of Hollywood’s most moving moments.

The Koi Diamond is a multi-hued orange and white diamond weighing 32 carats, which has been cut in the shape of Japan’s celebrated Koi fish {1}. The pattern of colors adds to the resemblance and makes the Koi Diamond one of the most unique fancy-colored diamonds in the world.

Rare and Wonderful

Orange diamonds are the second rarest colored diamonds, with red being the rarest. According to William Goldberg, less than 1% of all diamonds are orange, with pure orange coming in at an even lower rate {8}. The grading of an orange diamond is based on tint and undertones. The Pumpkin Diamond has been classified with the rare distinction of pure vivid orange without a hint of brown, making it among the rarest of the rare.

What do you think of orange diamonds? Would you wear a fancy vivid orange diamond?

Perhaps your style would lead you away from the rarest of the rare and more toward a yellow-orange stone, or a browner orange, like the one pictured in the cocktail ring.

What about it? Which shade of orange do you prefer?


  1. Butler, Phil. “Sparkling Koi Diamond, the ultimate embodiment of Japanese legend and tradition,” Japan Today, May 19, 2013.
  2. Genis, Robert. “Collecting Orange Diamonds,” Gem Forecaster, November 2003.
  3. Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDA). “Orange Diamonds.” Accessed January 30, 2015.
  4. Naturally Colored. “Orange Diamonds.” Accessed January 30, 2015. http://www.naturallycolored.com/diamond-education/orange-diamonds-wiki.
  5. Rachminov Diamonds, 1891. “Fancy Color.” PDF accessed January 30, 2015.
  6. Rare Colored Diamonds. “FAQs.” Accessed January 30, 2015. http://www.rarecoloreddiamonds.com/faqs.html.
  7. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “The Splendor of Diamonds.” Accessed January 30, 2015.
  8. William Goldberg. “Orange Diamonds: Colors of the Fall,” October 24, 2012.

Nina Dyer’s Black Pearl Necklace

Black pearls comprise one of the world's most celebrated jewels, Nina Dyer's Black Pearl Necklace. Celebrate the allure and mystery of Black Pearls with this Tahitian Black Pearl and Diamond Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Black pearls comprise one of the world’s most celebrated jewels, Nina Dyer’s Black Pearl Necklace. Celebrate the allure and mystery of Black Pearls with this Tahitian Black Pearl and Diamond Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

Nina Dyer’s Black Pearl Necklace is among the world’s most important black pearl jewels {Christie’s 1997}. It was commissioned by Baron Heinrich von Thyssen for his then-wife, a former model named Nina Dyer.

Fashioned by Cartier circa 1955, the necklace features an astounding 151 natural black pearls mounted in three strands with a diamond clasp. The largest strand features 53 pearls weighing a total of 979.52 grains {3}. The smaller strands feature 49 pearls each, weighing in at 644.72 grains and 787.44 grains {4}.

On May 1, 1969, four years after Ms. Dyer tragically killed herself at the age of 35, Christie’s brought the necklace to the attention of some of jewelry world’s most elite collectors and dealers. It was sold to an undisclosed buyer for 580,000 Swiss Francs ($607,648 in today’s dollars) {1}.

For nearly thirty years, Nina Dyer’s Black Pearl Necklace remained free from public scrutiny. That is until, in 1997, again under the hammer at Christie’s in Geneva, the magnificent necklace again made headlines with a realized price of $913,320.

After making this small splash in the news, one of the world’s most celebrated jewels has once again receded below the radar. Perhaps its on display in the library of a wealthy businessman. Or perhaps the European elite have seen it ’round the neck of a princess or countess at a charity ball.

Wherever it may be, I’m certain it’s enchanting those around it. If you wish to be enchanted by the mystery of the black pearl, please allow us the opportunity to introduce you to our collection of Tahitian black pear jewels.


  1. Christie’s. “Lot 88/Sale 1237: A Superb Three-Strand Black Pearl Necklace.” November 17, 1997.
  2. Jennifer. “The Black Panther Queen,” Jennifer Fabulous Blog, August 14, 2012.
  3. Nadelhoffer, Hans. Cartier: Jewelers Extraordinary. New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., 1984.
  4. Veysey, Arthur. “Love, Tragedy, and a Fabulous Collection of Jewels,” Chicago Tribune, No. 117, April 27, 1969, Features p. 1.

Aquamarine: Birthstone for March

Capture the Essence! of March's birthstone with this magnificent 66-carat, oval-cut aquamarine pendant in white gold and white diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Capture the Essence! of March’s birthstone with this magnificent 66-carat, oval-cut aquamarine pendant in white gold and white diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

Aquamarine, that lovely ocean-hued gemstone, is the birthstone for March. As such, it is fabled to grant those born in this month, which straddles winter and spring, with the gifts of personal courage, loyal friendship, unity, and love.

It is this last point which makes aquamarine the perfect choice for an engagement ring or anniversary gift. That, and its exquisite beauty, which radiates in hues of blue or blue mixed with green.

Aquamarine is cousin to the enchanting green emerald, both being forms of beryl. It owes its range of colors, from pale sky blue to greenish-blue to deep blue, to the presence of ferrous iron in its crystal structure. It is a durable stone, often coming to the surface in large chunks of eye clean rough.

A rating of between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness ensures that aquamarine jewels can withstand most of the hazards associated with daily wear. It can be cut in almost any form, making it suitable to all forms of jewelry, including pendants, finger rings, brooches, and more.

Its historic use as a protective stone, worn most prominently by the seafaring men of Ancient Greece and the royal families of Ancient Egypt, dates back several millennium. In these historic accounts, it is frequently associated with the most celebrated gods of the sea, Neptune and Poseidon, and has been called the gift of mermaids, mermaids’ tears, and mermaids’ treasure.

At EraGem we have a large selection of beautiful aquamarine jewelry. It would be our pleasure to share the wonders of these exquisite gems with you in person. Call today to make your personalized appointment with our knowledgeable sales staff.