Over hundreds of years, some of the most luxurious pieces of jewelry have been created for and worn by royalty, socialites and other high-profile dignitaries. These luxurious stones were also provided as gifts, used for trade, or even showcased in museums. Here are ten of the most expensive pieces of jewelry known to man.
The Hope Diamond
Probably the most known jewel in the world, the Hope Diamond is a whopping 45.42 carats. The grayish-blue diamond was first discovered in Golconda, India in 1666 and it was purchased by King Louis XIV in 1668. It remained with French royalty until it was stolen during the French Revolution.
After going through several more owners, the Hope Diamond was purchased by jeweler Harry Winston in 1949. He eventually gave the jewel, worth $200-$250 million, to the Smithsonian Museum for visitors to see.
Blue Moon of Josephine
The Blue Moon of Josephine is a gorgeous 12.03-carat blue diamond. It was mined in January 2014 in South Africa. It was initially assessed as being worth $15-$20 million but eventually sold for $48.4 million.
The diamond, declared as flawless by experts, was auctioned off by Sotheby’s to Hong Kong billionaire and fugitive Joseph Lau Luen-hung. He named it after his then seven-year-old daughter, Josephine. Interestingly enough, the blue diamond displays a red tint when observed under ultraviolet light.
This spectacular 59.60-carat, vivid pink diamond was first unveiled to the public in May 2003 as the “Steinmetz Pink.” It was eventually sold in 2007 and renamed “The Pink Star.” For some time, the gem was displayed at “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
In early April 2017, the Pink Star was sold at a Sotheby’s auction by Hong Kong conglomerate company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. The bright diamond sold for $71.2 million dollars, making it the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.