Category Archives: Celebrity Jewelry

Paulette Goddard’s Diamond Fringe Necklace

Paulette Goddard (left) sits with Louise Rainer on set for the film 'Dramatic School' (1938). Ms. Goddard appears to be wearing her diamond fringe necklace in the shoot. Photo in public domain.
Paulette Goddard (left) sits with Louise Rainer on set for the film ‘Dramatic School’ (1938). Ms. Goddard appears to be wearing her diamond fringe necklace in the shoot. Photo in public domain.

 

Paulette Goddard owned one of the most delectable diamond fringe necklaces of all time. Most certainly, it was the most notable in her vast collection of jewelry. Ms. Goddard, once married to Charlie Chaplin, became one of the most celebrated jewelry collectors of the 1930s and 1940s.

She is most famous for carting around her favorite pieces in a jewelry box which she carried to all of her movie sets. She showed them off to the production crew in between takes. Like many actresses in those days, she wore most of her own jewels in the movies in which she starred.

This particular necklace was fashioned by the prestigious firm of Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin. It is set in platinum with myriad white diamonds in all shapes and sizes. It has rounds, pendaloques, marquise, and emerald-cut diamonds, and separates into two pieces, allowing the wearer to don a portion of it as a bracelet.

The bracelet piece is comprise of a central marquise-cut diamond centered between a set of five graduated round brilliants on one side and six on the other. The bracelet terminates on either side with three fluted flourishes paved in white diamonds, four of them iced in round brilliants and two of them in baguettes.

Overall, the piece is blindingly beautiful. One source reports that it is comprised of 46 emerald-cut diamonds and 60 other diamonds amounting to 29 carats in accent stones {cited}.

The same website reports that after her death on April 23, 1990, Paulette Goddard bequeathed nearly all of her assets, including her jewelry, to New York University. The estimated value of her estate at the time of her death was $20 million.

Her jewelry and art collections were sold through Sotheby’s in New York, and the estimate for Ms. Goddard’s diamond fringe necklace was set at over $175,000. I’m sure it brought in far more than that, though I have not been able to secure the final bidding price for the piece, as yet.

Ms. Goddard claims that she never once purchased a piece of her extensive jewelry collection for herself. Every gem was given to her by a friend or lover. Her list of paramours includes the aforementioned Charlie Chaplin, as well as Burgess Meredith and Erich Remarque (the famed writer of All Quiet on the Western Front, who also had a longstanding love affair with Marlene Dietrich).

In addition to her endowment to New York University, Ms. Goddard made many contributions to the university while she was still living. The New York Times, reported in 1990  that after Erich Remarque passed away in 1970, she gave his personal library, all his manuscripts, and his diaries to the institution.

For the last twelve years of her life, Ms. Goddard awarded 300 theater and film students $3 million dollars in scholarships to attend the university’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Her vast collection of fine art was counted as part of her $20 million estate, though she had already sold $2.9 million of Impressionist art in 1979. To her dying day, Paulette Goddard was dedicated to theater and film, and to the arts.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews

 

Cameron Diaz’s Engagement Ring

Take your cues from Cameron Diaz. Choose a wide yellow gold band with diamond accents to signify your love. This Jude Frances ring is made of matte yellow gold with a beautiful design etched in diamonds across its surface. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Take your cues from Cameron Diaz. Choose a wide yellow gold band with diamond accents to signify your love. This Jude Frances ring is made of matte yellow gold with a beautiful design etched in diamonds across its surface. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Cameron Diaz’s engagement ring is a mystery. She and now-hubby Benji Madden played coy with the press for months on end before surprising everyone with a private Jewish ceremony at her LA estate on January 5, 2015.

And, true to form, she continues to play coy with the press. Currently, she wears no less than two, often three rings on THAT finger, and no one’s quite sure which is her engagement ring and which is her wedding ring.

Questions abound as to the serpent ring and diamond triple-band ring she was wearing before all the rumors were confirmed. Were thy just a playful hint at what was to come? Or has Benji Madden been uber generous with his golden tokens of affection?

Of course, the truth is that we will never know for sure. Cameron Diaz belongs to the elite and noble A-list crowd whose members carefully cultivate relationships with the press. Their private lives are hinted at, but never exposed. And I admire the heck out of these megastars who wear their fame so regally in a world wide web gone gaga.

Of course, while I absolutely respect their right to privacy, I must confess that the air of mystery makes me long for as much information as I can possibly find to give me a clue about Ms. Diaz’s engagement ring.

So here’s what we know: On October 8, 2014, Ms. Diaz attended the Academy’s Hollywood Luncheon in LA, wearing a triple band of gold paved in diamonds with an elegant serpent band in yellow gold snaking up toward her knuckles. She offered her signature bang sweep to the cameras for a full view.

Shortly after, the press went wild. US said “The Sex Tape actress’ new bling has sparked rumors of a possible engagement to boyfriend Benji Madden.”

E!Online reported, “The 42-year-old actress is sporting some curious new bling that has sparked speculation that she and boyfriend Benji Madden may be engaged.”

But no comments were given to the press, and in a few short months, Ms. Diaz was wearing a different combination on THAT finger. On December 16, 2014, Ms. Diaz offered another view of her left ring finger, this time on The Graham Norton Show.

That time she wore a slim gold band paired up with a chunky gold band speckled with tiny round diamonds. Then on December 19, 2014, Cameron Diaz was spotted out and about, apparently shopping. This time, she wore the same chunky gold band dotted with diamonds and another wide gold band that looks indiscernible in the fuzzy pictures offered by US Magazine.

That week, the magazines were reporting a confirmed engagement between Cameran Diaz and Benji Madden, though no direct quotes were gathered from the couple. It is to Glamour that I turned for the best close-up photos of Cameron Diaz’s golden sparklers.

As Kim Fusaro pointed out, two of the three rings seen most recently on Cameron Diaz’s wedding finger are a twisted band which looks very much like a Cartier de Trinity ring, a chunky gold band speckled with diamonds which features a central triangular diamond which Cameron wears with the point descending toward her, and what most assuredly appears to be a Cartier Love ring in yellow gold.

Since she first began wearing these particular rings, as early as July 2014, Ms. Diaz seems to choose the triangle ring most faithfully, usually pairing it with her twisted ring.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the Trinity and triangle ring were either her engagement rings, or rings Mr. Madden gave her to signify the deepening of his affections for her. Perhaps she purchased one for herself and Mr. Madden purchased the other.

I would further propose that the two rings, worn so faithfully by the actress, carry far more than a symbol of devotion. In looking at the mystical meaning of the triangle, a descending triangle is most closely associated with water and female power and divinity. She is reported to have said that surfing is “like being directly in touch with God. It’s healing and amazing.”

Many speculate that none of these rings could be here engagement ring, because she started wearing them too soon after she and Benji started dating.

I would argue that none of us really know when Cameron and Benji started dating. We know only that the pop press reported that they got engaged sometime in December. And we know that they definitely got married on January 5, 2015.

She continues to favor the Trinity ring and the Triangle ring, and occasionally the Love ring. She seems to always be wearing at least one of these rings nowadays, and it makes sense that she would keep us guessing about the personal nature of these rings. Since we don’t really know her.

I have to say, I’m crazy in love with this fantastic celebrity trend of mixing and matching and keeping us guessing right up to the very end.

What do you think? Which ring is Cameron Diaz’s engagement ring?

Sofia Vergara’s Engagement Ring

This 7-Carat Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, like Sofia Vergara's engagement ring, could be called more iceberg than diamond. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
This 7-Carat Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, like Sofia Vergara’s engagement ring, could be called “more iceberg than diamond.” Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Sofia Vergara’s engagement ring came as a surprise on Christmas Day 2014 from her “too handsome” {cited} beau Joe Manganiello. It has been described by USA Today as “more iceberg than diamond” and by the The Knot as “nearly-blinding.”

Ms. Vergara described it to Ellen DeGeneres as “just a little sparkle…subtle, like me.” This, spoken in her usual playful manner against the backdrop of an audience gone wild after they caught a glimpse of what must be over 6 carats in diamonds.

Though she has been more than pleased to offer a glimpse here and there of her gorgeous betrothal gift, the couple has been tight-lipped about Ms. Vergara’s engagement ring details.

Though the Modern Family actress has recently launched her own line of silver and gold jewels with Kay Jewelers, it’s doubtful that a man like Joe Manganiello asked his sweetheart to design her own ring.

Something tells me that he chose from among the best of the best to find the perfect jewel to express his passion for the woman who knocked him off his game from the moment he saw her (uh-hum, butt) {cited}.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The central diamond is prong set and appears to be a cushion-cut white stone of epic proportions, likely 6 carats or more.
  • The central diamond is rimmed around its girdle in a halo of micro diamonds, also colorless.
  • The delicate band, iced in tiny white diamonds, is fashioned from one of the white metals.

Especially with access to all her So Sofia jewelry campaigns, Joe can be under no doubt that his ladylove is a woman whose primary passions are family and jewelry. She mentions, not at all casually, in her Kay Jewelers campaigns, “I’ve loved jewelry since the day I was born….I don’t feel dressed without it – I even go to sleep with jewelry on. It’s how I express myself – my style, my attitude and the way I feel” {cited}

And how does she feel about her engagement ring and the promise it carries so elegantly?

“I’m so lucky,” she told Ellen.

Indeed, if we could all be so lucky, eh?

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

Maggie Grace’s Engagement Ring

A rare Georgian Era diamond engagement ring similar. This ring is similar in style to the antique engagement ring Maggie Grace received from Matthew Cooke in February 2015. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
A rare Georgian Era diamond engagement ring. This ring is similar in style to the antique engagement ring Maggie Grace received from Matthew Cooke in February 2015. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Maggie Grace received a gorgeous antique engagement ring from writer/director Matthew Cooke this past February. The actress told USA Today that her stunning halo ring is from 1810.

antique-diamonds

Photographs of her ring confirm that Matthew Cooke located a rare Georgian Era finger ring for Maggie Grace. All the diamonds appear to be white in color. If they are original to the mounting, then they would most likely be rose cut, as they are in the ring featured in this article. Also, they would likely be backed by silver foil, which granted Georgian Era diamonds significant fire under the glow of candlelight.

Maggie Grace’s central diamond is surrounded by a halo of moderately sized round cut diamonds set in tarnished silver flutes. Its thin band is fashioned from yellow gold. Every one of these characteristics marks it as a Georgian Era jewel.

While modern halo rings feature tiny pave diamonds, Georgian Era halos featured much larger accent stones to surround the stone. This gives them a royal feel, and adds far more fire to the overall appearance of the stones. The tarnished silver behind the diamonds also marks this ring as clearly Georgian. In all likelihood, the underside of the mounting is made of yellow gold (to protect the skin from traces of tarnished silver).

According to Lang Antiques, the gold band on Maggie Smith’s engagement ring would have been fashioned by first melting an 18k gold alloy and pouring it into a mold shaped as a bar. An apprentice goldsmith would then employ a rolling mill, invented in the mid 1750s, to roll out the gold to the desired thickness.

It is truly remarkable that Matthew Cooke was able to find such a rare and precious ring for Maggie Grace. These Georgian Era rings are truly hard to find. Beginning in 1804, wealthy Europeans were encouraged to donate their gold and silver jewels to the cause of war. In exchange, jewelers would fashion exact copies in iron, resetting these imitations with the original stones.

Furthermore, the Georgian Era spans between 1714 and 1830 (approximately), a time when jewels were refashioned from season to season. Diamonds and gemstones were removed from unfashionable pieces and reset in “new” settings which were fitting for wear on the streets and at court. Indeed, it is rare to find an original piece without some kind of alteration.

It appears that Matthew Cooke has done just that. We applaud him on his choice of a rare gift for his rare and beautiful sweetheart.

Sophie Hunter’s Tiffany Engagement Ring

For Sophie Hunter's engagement ring, Benedict Cumberbatch chose timeless Tiffany. While Ms. Hunter's halo ring is a dainty pairing of diamonds and blue sapphires, this modern Tiffany Lucida Diamond Engagement Ring is no less timeless in its interpretation of white diamonds and platinum. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
For Sophie Hunter’s engagement ring, Benedict Cumberbatch chose timeless Tiffany. While Ms. Hunter’s halo ring is a dainty pairing of diamonds and blue sapphires, this modern Tiffany Lucida Diamond Engagement Ring is no less timeless in its interpretation of white diamonds and platinum. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Sophie Hunter’s engagement ring is a timeless Tiffany halo setting with what looks to be a white cushion-cut diamond surrounded by a square halo of small blue sapphires. According to Vogue, Benedict Cumberbatch picked it out himself. The delicate band, made of either platinum or white gold, is encrusted with tiny pavé white diamonds.

vintage-rings-1

Mr. Cumberbatch, who presented Ms. Hunter’s engagement ring to her in November 2014, appears to be one of those gallant British men who has remained largely unaffected by his fame. His decision to publicly announce his engagement in black-and-white in The Times, adds considerable weight to this assessment.

“It’s what I would have done if I wasn’t famous….It’s a normal thing to do in my country. It was a way of telling our friends who we hadn’t been able to tell before (they saw) some grainy shot of a ring on her finger,” he is said to have told USA Today.

The two have kept their relationship largely beneath the radar, and though the couple is so popularly supposed to have met in 2009 on the set of Burlesque Fairytales, the actress, singer, and director told Vogue that she and Mr. Cumberbatch have known each other for 17 years. Theirs appears to be a love that will go the distance.

“To have Sophie in my life is something I am incredibly grateful for and very excited about. It’s a bit of a golden moment for me right now and I am loving it,” Mr. Cumberbatch told reporters {cited}.

In Vogue, Ms. Hunter speaks to Annie Leibovitz, who photographed her exclusive wedding dress fitting, about the centering she has experienced since investing in her relationship with Mr. Cumberbatch. “When two people meet and it’s the right combination, it does ground you suddenly,” she says.

Grounding is the right word for strong relationships. And what better way to express this grounding than with a timeless Tiffany halo engagement ring?

Which do you prefer: colored stones surrounding a white diamond like Ms. Hunter’s engagement ring? Or white diamonds surrounding a colored stone?

Lady Gaga’s Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Lady Gaga's Engagement Ring with this 1-Carat Heart-Shaped Diamond and Platinum Engagement Band. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Capture the Essence! of Lady Gaga’s Engagement Ring with this 1-Carat Heart-Shaped Diamond and Platinum Engagement Band. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Lady Gaga’s engagement ring is a stunning vision in platinum and diamonds. Designed by esteemed jewelry designer, Lorraine Schwartz, it has all the bespoke elements one would expect from the celebrity designer.

From the top, it dazzles in over 6 carats of white diamond brilliance in a perfect heart shape. The only metal visible takes shape as three dainty platinum prongs which are attached to a rim of metal hidden out of sight beneath the girdle of the impeccable diamond.

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True to form, Ms. Schwartz placed the most intimate personal touches on the backside of the ring. First, a delicate framework of diamonds and platinum effortlessly cradles the large diamond.

A view from beneath shows the four spokes of platinum encrusted with tiny white diamonds radiating out from a diamond-lined, heart-shaped center. These spokes rise like ribbons to meet a larger heart-shaped rim of diamonds which gently, but firmly cups the large central diamond.

Not only does this delicate cradle add support, but like a beautiful silk chemise or a pair of lacy panties, it imparts a touch of personal glamour worn intimately against the skin of Lady Gaga’s finger.

Also emerging from this central heart-shaped gallery are the shoulders of the platinum band. From the very top to the very bottom, this delicate band is completely iced in diamonds so that none of the metal is seen. This is a Lorraine Schwartz signature feature.

One final detail, and Lady Gaga’s favorite, by her own admission, is ‘T♥S ‘ shaped into platinum at the very base of the band. The symbols stand for ‘Taylor loves Stefani’, and as must be expected, the whole thing is sugarcoated in teensy white diamonds.

Heart-shaped diamonds are both iconic and romantic. Lady Gaga’s engagement ring is a tribute to both the icon and the romance of love!

Are you in search of a diamond and platinum wonder that holds in its very nature the essence of adoration, devotion, and affection?

If you answered yes to this question, then may we recommend the above diamond and platinum engagement ring?

It features a beautiful 1-carat, heart-cut diamond mounted on a twisting platinum band with its own sugarcoating of diamonds. Click here to read more about how to make it yours!

Holly Madison’s Wedding Rings

Capture the Essence! of Holly Madison's eternity wedding bands with this Marquise Diamond Eternity Ring. This gorgeous ring features over 5 carats of brilliant white diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.
Capture the Essence! of Holly Madison’s eternity wedding bands with this Marquise Diamond Eternity Ring. This gorgeous ring features over 5 carats of brilliant white diamonds. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

 

Holly Madison’s wedding rings are absolutely stunning. Because more is always better, the reality TV star and reigning queen of Insomniac Events’ Electric Daisy Carnival, received two stunners from husband Pasquale Rotella. Working closely with Layna and Alan Friedman to design the absolutely gorgeous eternity bands.

One is crafted from either white gold or platinum and features 15 carats of emerald-cut white diamonds nestled side by side. The second is crafted of 18k yellow gold and features 14 fancy intense yellow diamonds, totaling 12 carats, cut in the cushion style.

For Pasquale, Holly asked the Friedmans to design a magnificent matte rhodium wedding band. At a casual glance, its a simple affair. However, snugly nestled between the band and his finger are 300 black pavé diamonds. A plaque featuring a carved “Night Owl” is the only interruption in a sea of black.

In addition to Rotella and Madison’s wedding rings, the Friedmans created the extravagant diamond tiara that Holly Madison wore during her Disneyland wedding on September 10, 2013. The exquisite floral crown features three large iris-type flowers paved entirely in white diamonds. Each flower features a single prong-set diamond in its center.

A smattering of round brilliants add a touch of decorative elegance, and two smaller flowers serve as anchor points on either end. Crafted in white gold, this exquisite tiara features over 2,400 white diamonds. With nearly 47 carats of sparkling diamonds, it must have glittered like the electric sky that is so celebrated at the Pasquale’s most celebrated Electric Daisy Carnival.

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 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

References

  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.

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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}.

References

  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.