As the saying goes, "jewellery is the ultimate souvenir." It's something that can be passed down through generations, and each piece holds a special meaning and sentimental value. Heirloom Jewellery has the power to remind us of important moments in our lives or those that have come before us; whether it be a special anniversary, a milestone birthday, or even a proposal. It's a way to keep the memory of loved ones close to us and to pass down our own stories and traditions.
In this post, we'll take a look at some of the most famous jewellery heirlooms, their history, and the stories behind them. From the Lesotho Promise Ring given to Meghan Markle by Prince Harry to the Bulgari Bulgari necklace worn by Elizabeth Taylor, these iconic pieces have captured the hearts of many and have become synonymous with love, hope, and memories.
The Lesotho Promise Ring
The Lesotho Promise Ring is a piece of jewellery that holds a special significance for many. The ring, which was given to Meghan Markle by Prince Harry, features two diamonds from Botswana and a central diamond from the personal collection of Princess Diana. The ring was given to Markle as a symbol of their commitment to each other and their future together, and it quickly became a symbol of love and hope for many around the world.
Vogue / Megan Markle's engagement ring, also known as the Lesotho Promise ring
The ring's design is simple yet elegant, featuring a large central diamond surrounded by two smaller diamonds set on a gold band (although this band has since been swapped out for a thinner silver band). The central diamond, which came from Princess Diana's personal collection, holds a special sentimental value as it once belonged to Harry's mother. The two smaller diamonds, which were sourced from Botswana, hold personal significance for the couple as they spent time there together early on in their relationship.
Since the ring's unveiling, it has become an iconic piece of jewellery and a reminder of the late Princess Diana. It has also been pictured on several occasions, including on her first official visit with Prince Harry to Ireland.
The Bulgari Bulgari necklace
The Bulgari Bulgari necklace worn by Elizabeth Taylor is not only a famous jewellery heirloom but also a true icon of Hollywood glamour. This piece of jewellery was a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor, and it was worn by her in several films including "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." The necklace was also worn by Taylor in her personal life and became synonymous with her.
Hulton Deutsch, Town and Country / Elizabeth Taylor adorned in her Bulgari Bulgari necklace
Taylor's Bulgari Bulgari necklace has also been the subject of much media attention, and it has been featured in multiple documentaries and books about the actress and her life. The necklace has also been loaned to various museums and exhibitions, further solidifying its place in history.
The Crown Jewels of England
The Crown Jewels
The Crown Jewels of England is a collection of jewellery and regalia that have been passed down through the British royal family for centuries. These treasures are a symbol of the monarchy and are used during important state occasions such as coronations, state openings of parliament, and the like. The Crown Jewels are kept at the Tower of London and are part of the Royal Collection, which is held in trust by the King for his successors and the nation.
The collection includes the Imperial State Crown, which is worn by the monarch during the State Opening of Parliament. The crown is adorned with over 2,800 diamonds, including the famous Cullinan II diamond which is the second largest diamond in the world. Additionally, the St. Edward's Crown which is used during the coronation ceremony and is made of gold and is encrusted with precious stones including pearls, sapphires, and rubies. The Sovereign's Sceptre with the Cross is also part of the Crown jewels and it is used during the coronation of a new monarch. It is made of gold and is encrusted with diamonds, including the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond.
The Crown Jewels also include other items such as the Crown of State, the King George IV State Diadem, and the Queen Mary Fringe Tiara. These treasures are not only beautiful but also a testament to the rich history and tradition of the British monarchy. They are a symbol of the power, authority, and prestige of the royal family and continue to be an important part of the national heritage of England.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
Returning to Elizabeth Taylor once more, there is another famous jewellery heirloom related to them.
The Taylor-Burton diamond is a pear-shaped stone weighing in at 69.42 carats and is considered one of the most famous diamonds in the world. It was mined in 1966 by De Beers and was purchased by Richard Burton as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor.
Sala66 / Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Taylor Burton Diamond
Much like the necklace previously discussed, Taylor was often seen wearing the diamond in public. The diamond was also featured in several films and events in which Taylor was involved, including the premiere of the film "Cleopatra," in which Taylor starred. The diamond was so closely associated with Taylor that it has since become known as the "Taylor-Burton diamond."
Aside from its association with the famous couple, the diamond has a historical significance. The Taylor-Burton diamond was one of the first large diamonds to be sold through an auction process and also brought attention to the diamond industry in Botswana, where the diamond was mined, encouraging more investments and development of the diamond industry in that country.
After Taylor's death, the diamond was sold in a charity auction in 2011, and the proceeds were donated to AIDS research.
The Hope diamond
The Hope Diamond, a stunning 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond, is not only a breath taking piece of jewellery, but also a rich piece of history.
The Smithsonian Museum / The Hope Diamond
It is said to have originated in India in the 17th century and has since been passed down through the hands of royalty, aristocrats, and even thieves. The diamond gets its name from Henry Philip Hope, an English merchant who acquired it in the early 19th century.
Today, the diamond is on permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C, where visitors can admire its incredible beauty and learn about its fascinating past.
In conclusion, jewellery heirlooms hold a special place in our hearts and in history. Each piece tells a unique story and holds sentimental value. From the Lesotho Promise Ring to the Crown Jewels of England, these heirlooms remind us of the love and history that they represent, and they will continue to be cherished for years to come.