The best pieces of jewellery are those that tell a story. From engagement rings that convey an unbreakable bond to a piece of Fope jewellery that tells the story of a day or event that went so well, what we wear on our bodies tells people facets of our life story.
This is even more so the case with some of the most famous pieces of jewellery in the world, which tell stories decades if not centuries in the making.
One of the most famous and expensive necklaces in the world, the Doubly Fortunate beads are almost unreal in how they look and tell a story of nigh-impossible odds.
Jadite is a valuable stone that comes in a range of colours, but its most valuable colour is the intense bright green which most people associate with the stone. As well as this, transparent jade is difficult to come by and increases its value and rarity.
To find a stone with both of these immaculate quantities is the product of such immense luck that it would become the name of the stone from which these beads were formed.
Princess Diana’s “Commoner’s Sapphire”
One of the most famous and controversial engagement rings ever slipped onto a finger, the “Commoner’s Sapphire” was one of the greatest reflections of the People’s Princess.
The ring, set in 18-karat white gold, consisted of a ring of 14 diamonds that surrounded a huge 12-carat Ceylon sapphire and was inspired by the “something blue” cluster brooch Queen Victoria wore for her famous wedding to Prince Albert.
At the time it was considered as controversial as Prince Charles wanting to marry non-royal Diana Spencer in the first place. The ring was not unique, nor was it custom made. It was made by crown jeweller Garrard but anybody could buy that exact ring, which was breaking a royal tradition.
It would become an incredibly popular style of ring, and the exact jewel would eventually adorn the hand of Kate Middleton in 2010 when Diana’s son Prince William proposed to her.
A stone so legendary it is said to bear a curse, the Koh-I-Noor was at one point the largest cut diamond in the world, weighing 105.6 carats.
Whilst its entire story has been lost to time, it was believed to have been initially mined in the Kakatiya dynasty of India (1163-1323), was acquired by Alauddin Khalji, then-Sultan of the region, and would become part of the legendary Peacock Throne of the Mughal Empire in the 17th Century.
After centuries of conflict between different factions, it would eventually make it into the hands of Queen Victoria after the British annexed the Punjab, and would adorn various crowns, brooches and other pieces of jewellery until the death of the Queen Mother, where it was placed atop her coffin.
It was only worn by female members of the royal family because it was believed to curse all men who wore it with bad luck.