Top 10 Most Expensive Pieces of Jewelry of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Pieces-of-Jewelry

Jewelry has come a long way over time. From its origins as a protection against bad luck to its journey of becoming a symbol of love to the development of modern jewelry stores, jewelry is one piece of art that is sure to last no matter what.

Many people have pieces of jewelry they consider prized possessions. Whether a family heirloom, a wedding ring, or an expensive luxury item, jewelry signifies style, elegance, and beauty.

As jewelry continues to fascinate the masses, many consumers have begun seeking high-end, expensive pieces that are one-of-a-kind and sure to make a statement. Whether you are looking to invest in the most expensive jewelry or simply interested in its history, the list below will guide you through some of the most sought-after pieces of jewelry.

The 10 Most Expensive Pieces of Jewelry of All Time Are:

  1. The Hope Diamond – $200-$250 million
  2. A Heritage In Bloom – $200 million
  3. Peacock Brooch – $100 million
  4. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond – $80 million
  5. Pink Star Diamond Ring – $71.2 million
  6. Oppenheimer Blue – $57.5 million
  7. Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink Diamond Earrings – $57.4 million
  8. L’Incomparable Necklace – $55 million
  9. Blue Moon Of Josephine – $48.4 million
  10. Graff Pink Ring – $46.2 million

10. Graff Pink Ring – $46.2 Million

Graff-Pink-Ring
photo source: Graff

Pink diamonds are some of the rarest–and most desirable–jewels you can find. Whether it be the stunning color, beautiful sparkle, or rarity, pink diamonds are the dream of many collectors. So it is no surprise that number 10 on our list is the Graff Pink Diamond Ring, worth an estimated $46.2 million.

The ring, initially owned by jeweler Harry Winston before being sold to Laurence Graff in 2010, is notable for its intense color and surrounding white diamonds.

Why It’s Expensive

While pink diamonds are a rarity, you may wonder why the Graff Pink ring is so pricey. Other pink diamonds may sell for around $10,000, so what makes this one special?

A big reason that the Graff Pink ring is so expensive is its sheer carat size. Jewelers struggle to find pink diamonds above 5 carats, let alone of decent quality.

However, the Graff Pink ring earns its price because of its whopping number of carats: 24.78, to be exact. With a weight like that, it’s no wonder that the Graff Pink ring is sought after and desired by many jewelers and jewelry lovers.

9. Blue Moon Of Josephine – $48.4 Million

Blue-Moon-Of-Josephine
photo source: Wikipedia

The stunning Blue Moon Of Josephine ring comes in at number nine. A stunning rare blue diamond mounted on a ring was auctioned off to Joseph Lau in 2015 at a record-breaking $48.4 million. Lau renamed the diamond after his daughter, Josephine, whom he gifted it to at the age of seven.

The Blue Moon of Josephine weighs around 12.03 carats and gets its stunning color from trace amounts of boron. With its elegant appearance and unique beauty, it’s no surprise that the Blue Moon Of Josephine is worth as much as it is today.

Why It’s Expensive

What makes the Blue Moon Of Josephine so valuable? Aside from its distinctive color, the Blue Moon Of Josephine is one of the largest blue diamonds. The ring is notable for its pristine condition and, when viewed under ultraviolet light, glows with a stunning red-orange phosphorescence, making it a rare find.

One thing is for sure: anyone that comes across a stunning blue diamond like this one won’t be able to resist its beauty and charm.

8. L’Incomparable Necklace – $55 Million

L’Incomparable-Necklace
photo source: Mouawad

Diamonds are the prized possession of jewelers worldwide, and for a good reason. The gorgeous, ethereal elegance of any diamond is one of the reasons why we all seem to cherish this jewel so much.

However, some diamonds are valued more than others. Take, for instance, the L’Incomporable Necklace–a prized possession that is literally incomparable to anything in the world.

Named by Guinness as the world’s most expensive necklace, the L’Incomparable Necklace is in flawless condition, with a stunning design of intertwined rose gold branches holding awe-inspiring diamonds. Anyone that comes across the L’Incomparable Necklace will not doubt its worth.

Why It’s Expensive

The L’Incomparable Necklace is undoubtedly one of the most expensive jewelry pieces, but why? For starters, the L’Incomparable Necklace is the largest internally flawless diamond in the world, and its pristine condition has landed it in numerous museums since its creation.

The necklace contains:

  • 35 round diamonds.
  • 27 pear-shaped diamonds.
  • Nine heart-shaped diamonds.
  • Five emerald-cut diamonds.
  • Five cushion diamonds.
  • Four oval diamonds.
  • Three Asscher-cut diamonds.
  • Two radiant diamonds.

The sheer amount of diamonds alone makes this necklace an invaluable possession.

7. Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink Diamond Earrings – $57.4 Million

Like the Greek god and goddess siblings named after, the Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink Diamond Earrings are stunning, eye-catching, and inseparable. The earrings, one a stunning blue diamond and the other a radiant pink, were auctioned off as separate items. The pair have remained together thanks to an anonymous buyer who recognized their value as a complete set.

The Apollo Blue comes in at a value of $42.1 million alone, and when paired with the Artemis Pink at a value of $15.3 million, the earrings total an average of $57.4 million. The fancy, gorgeous earrings are said to be the most valuable ever sold at an auction, making them a dream for any jewelry collector.

Why It’s Expensive

While the Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink earrings are expensive individually, their combined price is record-breaking. Part of its price is the rarity of the blue and the pink diamond, two sought-after colors that only the luckiest collectors can get their hands on.

The Apollo Blue diamond is internally flawless, making it a prized possession. When paired with the fancy, intense pink Artemis diamond, it’s no wonder these two earrings are some of the most precious in the world. At 14.54-carats and 16 carats, respectively, the Apollo and Artemis earrings come together to make the perfect duo.

6. Oppenheimer Blue – $57.5 Million

Oppenheimer-Blue
photo source: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

At number six, we have the Oppenheimer Blue ring, a gorgeous, vivid blue diamond auctioned off in 2016 for a whopping $57.5 million. Set in a stunning platinum ring and flanked by diamonds, this 14.6-carat blue diamond is extremely rare due to its size and color.

At its sale in 2016, the Oppenheimer Blue ring held the record for the most expensive diamond auctioned off. With its striking appearance, unique shade, and elegance, it’s not too stretched to say anyone would jump at the chance to get this ring.

Why It’s Expensive

Like other rare blue diamonds, the Oppenheimer Blue ring comes at a high cost. Why is it so expensive? Part of the reason is that only 10 percent of all blue diamonds discovered are above a single carat, making Oppenheimer Blue a sight to behold but a one-of-a-kind occurrence in history.

Additionally, its “vivid” description means Oppenheimer Blue has the highest color rating for similar diamonds. Many experts consider blue diamonds the rarest, most desirable shade of all diamonds.

If that isn’t enough to show you its worth, you should know that the Oppenheimer Blue comes from none other than Philip Oppenheimer, the late chairman of the diamond-marketing cartel “De Beers.”

5. Pink Star Diamond Ring – $71.2 Million

Pink-Star-Diamond-Ring
photo source: Vincent Yu/AP

You may have noticed the popular trends in this list: blue and pink diamonds and their invaluable beauty. Number five is no exception to this trend. The Pink Star Diamond Ring beat out the Oppenheimer Blue ring when it sold for $71.2 million in 2017.

Like Oppenheimer Blue, the Pink Star diamond comes from a member of the De Beers cartel in 1999. The Pink Star is a stunning, captivating ring more than worthy of its place on this list.

Why It’s Expensive

By now, you’re probably aware that blue and pink diamonds are pretty much always expensive. But what makes the Pink Star Diamond Ring so unique?

Besides its massive carat size–59.60, to be exact–the Pink Star diamond is internally flawless. The auction house where it originates noted that the Pink Star is the largest known internally flawless, fancy, vivid pink diamond.

The Pink Star was initially auctioned off for $83.2 million before the original bidder defaulted on the transaction, leaving it to the second highest bidder but still retaining its title as the world’s most expensive gemstone.

4. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond – $80 Million

Wittelsbach-Graff-Diamond
photo source: Christie’s

Yet another gorgeous blue diamond on our list, the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond ring sold for $80 million after Laurence Graff sold it to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, the emir of Qatar. Another rare beauty, the Wittelsbach-Graff ring, has undergone numerous alterations since its initial discovery in late 17th century India.

A subtly beautiful band holds the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond ring, which shines with a deep, rich blue that screams elegance. The ring has internally flawless clarity and faced some controversy when the previous owner, Graff, removed any minor flaws by cutting the diamond down and polishing it. While this initially seemed like an incredible idea, Graff’s plan worked, as the diamond increased significantly in market value.

Why It’s Expensive

While stunning, many people question why the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond ring is so expensive, precisely because Graff decided to recut the diamond. Aside from its now-flawless quality, the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond has a rich history that makes it invaluable.

One of the initial owners of the diamond, the Der Blaue Wittelsbacher, kept the jewel private for half a century, making it even more coveted by collectors who could only dream of the stone’s beauty. The diamond belonged to King Philip IV of Spain, who gifted it to his daughter after her engagement.

The diamond made its way to the Wittelsbach family, who placed it in the royal crown of Bavaria. It is no shock that the diamond is worth as much today–it’s fit for royalty.

3. Peacock Brooch – $100 Million

Peacock-Brooch
photo source: Graff Diamonds

The prices for our top three most expensive pieces of jewelry are jaw-dropping. However, once you recognize the beauty of each piece, it’s no wonder their value reaches hundreds of millions of dollars. Number three might be a bit of a shock–after all, how can a brooch be far more expensive than some of the stunning, ethereal rings and jewels on this list?

However, one look at the $100 million Peacock Brooch will surely wipe any leftover doubt away. Yet another piece from Graff Diamonds, the Peacock Brooch, is a stunning work of art carefully crafted by Graff’s London artisans. The brooch holds a 20.02-carat deep blue diamond at its center–one of the rarest blue diamonds ever.

The brooch is surrounded by stunning white and colored Graff diamonds. If that wasn’t enough to make this brooch a beautiful work of art, the peacock tail feathers contain numerous white, blue, yellow, and orange diamonds. While you might think the brooch is a lost piece of jewelry, an item like this will make you consider otherwise.

Why It’s Expensive

Besides its array of expensive gemstones, the Peacock Brooch is unique for its versatility. The brooch contains a clasp that allows the wearer to remove the blue diamond at the center and wear it in two ways, making it even more unique than it already is.

The total number of diamonds on the Peacock Brooch is a whopping 1,305; if that weren’t enough, the brooch is a shocking 120.81 carat. With that size, unique array of colored diamonds, and stunning design, any jewelry fanatic would jump at the chance to get their hands on this piece.

2. A Heritage In Bloom – $200 Million

A-Heritage-In-Bloom
photo source: Barron’s

The runner-up on today’s list is A Heritage In Bloom, a breathtaking necklace made of vibrant jade gemstones and stunning, internally flawless round diamonds. The necklace is unlike any other and is pretty much the height of luxury for jewelry lovers.

The authentic and original necklace has a deeper meaning, making it even more valuable. Designed by Wallace Chan, A Heritage In Bloom has a 104-carat stone surrounded by white jade that symbolizes a combination of and unity between cultures. The jade, hugely valued in the east, combined with the diamond, valued in the west, represents the merging of cultures and Chan’s hopes for the future.

Why It’s Expensive

While the meaning behind A Heritage In Bloom is awe-inspiring on its own, once you know the sheer volume of effort put into the necklace, its price tag becomes a no-brainer. The necklace is designed to be worn an incredible 27 different ways and holds a massive 11,551 diamonds.

Along with these diamonds are 72 pieces of stunning white jade stones, 114 pieces of icy green jadeite, and close to 600 rare pink diamonds. The piece is deeply personal, so anyone wanting to purchase it will have to wait–its company of origin, Chow Tai Fook, has no current plans to sell the necklace. For now, we’ll have to stick to admiring its beauty from afar.

1. The Hope Diamond – $200-$250 Million

The-Hope-Diamond
photo source: The Telegraph

Undoubtedly the most expensive piece of jewelry of all time and number one on our list is the Hope Diamond, estimated at a whopping $200-$250 million, though some institutions have stated that its value is upwards of $350 million.

Now a pendant on a diamond necklace, the Hope Diamond has an incredible history and is one of the main attractions at the Smithsonian Institution. Initially held by French traveler Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the diamond has had various owners–and scandals–since given to King Louis XIV in 1668. Since then, the diamond has:

  • Been passed on to King Louis XV
  • Stolen during Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s attempt to flee France and the ensuing looting
  • Found in possession of Daniel Eliason, a London-based diamond merchant
  • Acquired by King George IV
  • Sold through private channels
  • Acquired by Henry Philip Hope, where it received its current name
  • Passed to his nephew, Henry Thomas Hope
  • Passed to Thomas Hope’s nephew, Lord Francis Hope
  • Sold by Lord Francis to help pay debts
  • Sold to a London dealer who then sold the diamond to Joseph Frankels and Sons of New York
  • Sold to Selim Habib, who attempted to auction the necklace off
  • Sold to C.H. Rosenau and resold to Pierre Cartier in the same year
  • Given to Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean after Cartier had it reset and mounted on white diamonds, then turned into a pendant
  • Purchased by Harry Winston Inc. of New York City
  • Donated to the Smithsonian Institution

Why It’s Expensive

Aside from its complex history and historical value, the Hope Diamond is expensive for numerous reasons. First, the weight of the blue diamond itself is a vast 45.52 carats and is classified as a type LLB diamond, meaning it is semiconductive and phosphorescent.

Surrounding the pendant are 16 stunning white diamonds in pear and cushion-cut styles. The necklace’s chain also contains 45 additional white diamonds. The slight violet component of this necklace makes it all the more mesmerizing and desirable. With its rich history, beautiful color, and immeasurable value, it’s no wonder the Hope Diamond necklace is prized and admired by many.

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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