Looking for jewellery inspiration? Check out these Hollywood greats...
First Published: 20th May 2016
Prepare to be dazzled by five of the most famous diamonds in film history…
From Marilyn Monroe’s stunning diamond choker necklace in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to the Heart of the Ocean in Titanic, many iconic jewellery pieces have featured on the big screen that still continue to inspire men and women worldwide. Here’s 5 of the most famous diamond jewellery pieces in film history to draw your inspiration from.
Pearl and Diamond Necklace: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Together with her diamante hair ornament, Holly Golightly’s (Audrey Hepburn) multi-strand pearl and diamond necklace from Tiffany’s has gone down in history as one of the most famous film props ever. Not only did it put New York jeweller Tiffany’s on the map, it also turned Hepburn into one of the biggest fashion icons of the 60s.
Holly Golightly’s pearl necklace is made up of somewhere between 100-120 pearls with a diamond brooch in the middle. For publicity photographs taken in 1961, however, Hepburn worn the original yellow Tiffany diamond. With an original carat weight of 287.42 carats (now cut to 128.54 carats), the Tiffany diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered. The diamond has only been worn by two women during its lifetime, one of them being Hepburn, the other one being Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball.
Pink Diamond: The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther movie revolves around the theft of a large, valuable pink diamond. The diamond is nicknamed the Pink Panther after a flaw at its centre that resembles a leaping pink panther. If it was actually real, it would be classed as a Type IIa diamond. This type of diamond is usually transparent, but can have a pink colour due to a misalignment in its atomic structure caused by plastic deformation.
Diamond Necklace: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
If you think about diamonds and films, the first image that springs to mind is Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Wearing a pink satin evening dress, matching gloves and a dazzling diamond necklace and bracelets, Monroe seduced countless of men with her frisky ode to materialism.
Fun fact: Marylin was originally going to be dressed in nothing but bands of black velvet and masses of rhinestones to create the illusion of a human-sized diamond necklace. This was deemed too revealing in the end.
Ruby and Diamond Necklace: Pretty Woman
The stunning necklace that is presented to the streetwalker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) by the wealthy businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) is actually a custom made necklace by French jeweller Fred Joaillier. It is made with 23 pear-cut rubies surrounded by diamond encrusted hearts and set in 18k white gold. Funnily enough, the story goes that the jewellery store actually sent a security guard to stand next to director Garry Marshall during filming to keep an eye on the necklace. It was worth $250,000 at the time.
The Heart of the Ocean: Titanic
The Heart of the Ocean is a diamond and sapphire pendant in the shape of a heart that was worn by Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) in Titanic, given to her by her fiancée Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane) and gracing her neck on the famous portrait that was drawn on the night the ship fatally hits an iceberg. The design of the necklace was inspired by one of the most precious jewels in history, the Hope Diamond, that was previously owned by King Louis XVI of France. Although the necklace used in the film is not an actual diamond, a real Heart of the Ocean was made following the success of the film. This 170-karat Ceylon sapphire is enclosed by 103 diamonds and was worn by actress Gloria Stuart (the older Rose) at the 1997 Oscars, making it one of the most expensive jewellery pieces ever worn at an award show.
Although the story about the necklace in the film is fictional, rumour has it that there was actually a diamond and sapphire necklace on board of the Titanic back in 1912. Shop owner Henry Samuel Morley had given the necklace to his assistant from Worcester, 20-year old Kate Florence Phillips, who he had left his wife for and had wanted to embark on a new life with in America. Mr Morley didn’t survive the fatal night, but Philips made it off the ship, allegedly with nothing else but her purse and the necklace.