Female Jewellery Icons of the 20th Century

The 20th century provided jewellery enthusiasts with some extremely memorable and iconic moments. The precious gems worn by these famous women have a depth of history behind them, with their rarity making the appearance of them all the more exciting. Here are three of the most iconic women who dazzled the world with their stunning and extremely valuable jewellery collections.

Princess Diana

Very few women wore jewellery quite as elegantly as Princess Diana. Diana was known for embracing bold statement pieces throughout the 1980’s that offered something new and unique to the jewellery style of the Royal Family. Princess Diana’s style was marvelled at by the entire world, and her choices of jewellery were no exception.

One of the most striking pieces of her jewellery was her sapphire and diamond engagement ring which resulted in countless amounts of imitations. She was presented with numerous rings and selected the stunning sapphire herself. Following her death, William proposed to Kate Middleton using the sapphire and diamond ring as a way to include Diana in the occasion he was so thrilled about.

Diana seemed to be particularly interested in sapphires, evidenced as she regularly wore the Saudi sapphire jewellery set gifted to her by the Saudi Royal Family as a wedding present. She was also spotted wearing a sapphire and pearl choker multiple times, most famously as she danced with John Travolta in the White House in 1985. The choker was also spotted soon after Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles, accompanied by the famous ‘revenge dress’.

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy was one of the most fashionable and loved First Ladies of all time. Her fashion sense was just mesmerising in comparison to those who came before her and her iconic jewellery only added to that.

One of her pieces is actually still considered to be one of the most iconic in history. Her engagement ring was made up of a large diamond and emerald, both of which were surrounded by smaller diamonds. It appeared to be a vintage engagement ring, although it was more likely to have simply been inspired by the art deco period. Her engagement ring alone was worth over a million dollars in 1953, so her entire collection must have been worth an unthinkable amount of money.

Another one of her most iconic pieces were her Cabochon diamond and ruby earrings which were a wedding gift, which sold for $360,000. Following the death of John Kennedy, Jackie went on to remarry the diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman, so there is no doubt that her collection would have continued to grow after her time as First Lady.

Marilyn Monroe

Another glamorous lady who was known for her iconic jewellery was Marilyn Monroe. She gradually acquired a stunning collection of jewellery that was envied by people all over the world.

Many of Marilyn’s acting roles featured borrowed diamonds. Most famously in her performance of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she was draped in layers of showstopping diamonds. Sadly, those diamonds weren’t actually real, but her connection to prized jewels went further.

The film resulted in Monroe being closely related to The Moon of Baroda, a 24 carat cut diamond discovered in India. She famously wore the diamond to promote the film, and although she didn’t actually own it, Marilyn did become synonymous with the beautiful stone.

Final Thoughts

These women inspired a new generation to know and love stunning vintage jewellery and their iconic looks are likely to continue inspiring generations to come. Luckily for us, the 21st century is delivering new icons like Kate Middleton, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock who continue to dazzle us with their breathtaking jewellery.