Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grace Kelly’s Diamond Cartier Necklace (and Engagement Ring!)

Grace’s Cartier necklace.

The holidays always get me thinking about jewelry, whether costume or fine, so that, plus the gorgeous book Amazing Cartier: Jewelry Design Since 1937 by Nadine Coleno, which I’ve had checked out from the library for months, means I really have gems on my mind these days!

Can’t seem to give this book back to the library!

A 1956 picture of Grace from the book Amazing Cartier.

In Amazing Cartier, I came across a lovely picture of Grace Kelly, by then Princess Grace of Monaco, wearing a stunning Cartier diamond necklace that was a wedding gift to her. The 1953 necklace is made of platinum with 64 carats of brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds. It’s an interesting combination, those big round diamonds set next to baguette-cut stones. I love this look on her with the big diamonds and the big up-swept hair (what do you think, a fall, maybe?). The text did not say so, but I bet the earrings and brooch she also wears in the photo are set with both rubies and diamonds to represent red and white, the official colors of Monaco.

Grace’s Cartier diamond engagement ring.

The necklace, along with Grace’s Cartier 10.47-carat engagement ring given to her by Rainier, are currently on display at the Denver Art Museum in the exhibit Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century. Oh you lucky Colorado babes! I know we are spoiled here in the city with terrific exhibits, and I count Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels as one of the most amazing shows I have ever attended, but this Cartier exhibition, which has already showed in Madrid and Paris, is one I would love to see. You all know how I feel about Cartier so I would it would be a thrill to visit with iconic jewels once owned by the Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, María Félix (she of the jaw-dropping crocodile necklaces), and of course the incomparable Grace.

Wearing the ring (or perhaps its stunt double) in her last film, High Society.

If you saw the Cartier exhibit, whether in Denver, Madrid, or Paris, let me know what you thought of it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is coming somewhere close to me in 2015!

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century is on display at the Denver Art Museum until March 15, 2015.

15 comments:

Chic atanyage said...

Definitely the age of elegance.

Joyce said...

I live in Denver and I will definitely be going to the Art Museum to see the Cartier exhibit!

Jill said...

Hi Josephine! I'm with you, the 50s were definitely an age of elegance. I love seeing pictures from that time! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Oh Joyce you lucky lady, let me know what you think of it. And maybe send me a postcard from it? If they are making them? I would love one! XO, Jill

Catherine Robinson said...

Absolutely beautiful...she was such a stunning, elegant lady. I would love to see this exhibit...hope it's coming to London ;)
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas xx

GSL said...

Are there any estimated prices these pieces would fetch even without the Grace Kelly provenance? Give us your expert appraisal Jill. High Soceity was good but To Catch A Thief one of my all time favs!

Dawn Lucy said...

Gorgeous! I'll take the necklace for Xmas ... or the ring ... either way! ;)
OXOX
Dawn Lucy
http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

Susan Shull said...

Hi, Jill! Oh,what beautiful jewelry! I had an interesting and touching jewelry story this week. I was checking out at our local CVS, visiting with the clerk who is the mom of a couple of former students, when I noticed her beautiful wedding ring. It was a stunner! I commented and she told me that she and her husband had been together for 23 years. He had intended to get it for their 20th wedding anniversary but with kids in college and cars to buy, etc., they couldn't swing it then. But they could now! I was so happy for her and she was sooooo proud of it, and she should have been. I know that beautiful ring represented 20+ years of sacrifice and compromise and making do. I love "love"!

Glenda said...

From what I heard on Biography, she actually wore her engagement ring in High Society. Such a great movie and such an incredible legacy.

Jill said...

Hi Catherine! I would love to know where this exhibit is traveling next. I think the big exhibit for London in 2015 will be a re-staging of the McQueen show that was at the Met. I hope you go because it is both stunning and haunting. Happy Christmas to you! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hello GSL! You know, I had to scout around to get an answer about a price of a Cartier diamond that big and I read that Cartier is always more expensive than Tiffany and I think I saw that in 2010 a price of a very nice diamond in the 1-carat range from Cartier was between $10-15,000. I'm thinking a ring the size of Grace's would be at least $50-60,000, if not much more. If anybody out there has more reliable intel, do share it with the rest of us! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Dawn Lucy, ha, I'm with you, I'd take either of these pieces! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Susan, I think that is so sweet that she got the ring she dreamed of after 20 years. I wish I could be so lucky! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Glenda! I read that too, that Grace wore her actual ring in the movie, but I am pretty sure I also read that there was a stunt double made of it for her to use. I am reading a bio of her right now so if anything is written about the ring in more detail I will pass along whatever I learn! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Joyce, if you read this, I saw your FB message and I thank you! I will try to pm you on FB but I feel like a hopeless klutz on that medium so if you see this, my email is jillburgess815@gmail.com. Write me and I will give you my address, I would LOVE a postcard from the Cartier show! You are going to have such a good time, I just know it. XO, Jill