Over the course of the 20th century, the jewellery industry completely transformed as new techniques were developed. Following World War 1 particularly, everyone was ready for change and something new, which was heavily reflected in jewellery design.
With the increase in mass media and reporting came iconic stars, some of which became known for their lavish and stunning jewellery collections. Here are a few of the biggest jewellery icons of the 20th century!
Princess Diana had a breathtaking jewellery collection, resulting in endless amounts of replicas being created over the last couple of decades. From stunning pearl necklaces and striking tiara’s to drop earrings and headpieces, most people were envious of her fashion sense and accessories. Of course Princess Diana was known and loved for so much more than that, which is likely why her pieces became so well known.
One of the most famous pieces of jewellery that Diana owned was her sapphire and diamond engagement ring. It has been valued at around £300,000 and was passed onto Prince William after Diana passed. Princess Kate Middleton now proudly wears the vintage engagement ring after Prince William proposed with it in 2010. Many of Diana’s pieces are now worn by Kate, so her iconic jewellery legacy lives on.
Another significant jewellery icon of the 20th century was Jackie Kennedy. She is known as one of the most fashion-forward First Ladies in history, with her jewellery collection helping to contribute to this reputation. Every piece of jewellery she wore oozed elegance, particularly her stunning emerald and diamond engagement ring given to her by John Kennedy. The ring featured a 2.88 carat diamond and a 2.84 carat emerald.
Her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, gave her a 40 carat diamond ring. After she passed away it was sold at auction for $2.59 million. Jackie’s birthstone was Ruby, so she often received gifts featuring rubies that became an iconic part of her collection.
Elizabeth Taylor had a spectacular jewellery collection thanks to her iconic career as a classical Hollywood actress in the 1950’s. From rings to necklaces and bracelets to brooches, every piece of jewellery worn by the actress was breathtaking. However, she was most well known for her 10 iconic engagement rings.
One of her most impressive engagement rings was given to her by Mike Todd when she was 24 years old. The emerald cut diamond ring was stunning, however sadly the marriage ended when Todd died in a plane accident just a year after they married.
Taylor went on to marry Richard Burton twice, however he never actually gave her an ‘engagement ring’. Instead, he regularly gifted her expensive pieces of jewellery, including a 32 carat Burmese sapphire pendant. She also received the famous Krupp diamond, which was renamed the Taylor-Burton diamond, which is now worth a staggering $10 million.
Throughout her lifetime she wore beautiful jewellery that will mean she is forever remembered as a jewellery icon, alongside her many other achievements. Her collection of vintage jewellery will always be admired.