As millennia and centuries go by, history is enriched with the life stories of marking figures. Jewellery is a fascinating and timeless stamp of history, as it traces back to the beginning of time. From the closets of royalty to the necks of iconic Hollywood stars, here are the tales of the jewels that marked history.
Egypt was historically known for its emerald mining which – quite rightly – Cleopatra claimed as her own. Although after an astounding discovery, many of Cleopatra’s emeralds turned out to be Peridot – a green gem of a different shade to emerald. This was also mined in Egypt at the time, and it quickly became one of Cleopatra’s favourites. She gave them as gifts to dignitaries when they came to visit out of respect. Many believed they symbolised fertility, immortality, strengthened memory and even gave protection against demons, infection and poison! We’re not surprised Cleopatra’s collections was predominantly made up of Emeralds and Peridot. McGowan’s has an array of Emerald jewellery online and in store that you can view or shop here.
When we think about diamonds, we automatically start singing ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ and picture Marilyn Monroe with diamonds draped around her neck and hanging from her ears (just us?). Although wearing costume jewellery on screen, she was always sure to be seen in real diamonds when making public appearances, living up to her Hollywood persona. The most famous piece being the Moon of Baroda – a 24.04 carat pear shaped, diamond necklace. The moon of Bardoa came from the famous mines of Golconda where some of the most famous (and expensive!) diamonds originated from – including the Hope diamond, valued at $200million. If this is a bit out of your budget, we have a great selection of diamonds for you to shop here.
Audrey Hepburn’s Pearls
It wouldn’t be a historic jewellery post without the mention of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Throughout the movie, she radiates elegance and dazzles us with beautiful pearls, and the portrait photo of her with a pearl necklace is one for the history books. From the movie, it was also clear that Audrey Hepburn had a deep love for Tiffany’s, but she never actually wore any Tiffany pieces throughout the entirety of the film. Her dreams did however come true after the movie and Hepburn wore a 128.54 carat canary Tiffany Diamond set in public appearances after the movie. That would make up for it!
The Queen’s Pearls
One to top Hepburn’s pearls would be Queen Elizabeth I. Her outfits were always dressed in pearls – she even had them embroidered in her wigs! She had a love for clothes and jewellery, having over 600 pieces. She was often gifted pieces which ensured her collection was always up-to-date and ever growing. One of her most recognised pieces was her six stranded, large pearl necklace, previously belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots. If you want to compete with Queen Elizabeth I herself, pop into our stores to shop our full collection of pearl jewellery or shop a small selection here.