I have had a fascination with 1940s and 50s movie stars since…well forever !
Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly…. Glamorous, sexy, confident beauties!
Their feminine dresses cinched in tight to accentuate their tiny waists, dangerously pointed cab to supper-club kitten heels and soft combed out curls…
men didn’t stand a chance !!
But the one thing that I adore the most was their incredible jewellery !!
Mostly gifts from lovers or adoring (and a few philandering ) husbands.
They were dripping in the most divine jewels!!!
Diamonds rings the size of ice-blocks balancing confidently on their well manicured fingers, strands of diamonds and pearl with hints of rubies, sapphires and emeralds draped adoringly around there beautiful necks ready to blind everyone when the paparazzis flashes lit up.
Elizabeth Taylor really was the doyenne of outrageously big, spectacular and beautiful jewellery. But, instead of storing the coveted pieces in a safe once acquired, she wore hers for the world to admire and see until the day she passed away.
Her most famous piece is a ring her husband Richard Burton bought for her. It was a 33.19 carat, Asscher cut diamond called the Krupp diamond which she had fashioned into a ring.
In 1969 Richard Burton also bought the divine Elizabeth Taylor the largest and most historic pearl in existence called…. La Peregrina. It is 55.95 carats or 11.2 grams and to this day is still one of the most perfectly symmetrical pear-shaped pearls in the world. He paid $37000 for it in 1969, and was sold at auction through Christies in 2011 for...are you ready ?? 11.8 million dollars !!!!
The rich history of this stunning pearl is particularly interesting and if you have a lazy afternoon free with a cuppa in hand it’s a quick but very interesting read
Joseff of Hollywood were the top designers of the times chosen by movie houses to design and make some of the most iconic pieces of jewellery Although these pieces were not made from the worlds biggest diamonds and pearls.. they were mostly made from glass and metal but good enough to fool the viewer into thinking they werc the real thing.
Worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone with The Wind (1939) Metal & Glass
Earrings worn by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot (1959) Metal & Faux Pearl
Earrings worn by Grace Kelly in High Society (1956)
Owning a beautiful jewellery store and getting to travel the world searching for jewels and jewellery for Beechworth Gold never gets old.
…….I have an appointment with a supplier, so catch a cab down unfamiliar side streets until I reach my destination.
I take the tiny, old 1950s wrought iron lift up to the 4th floor and walk along the black and white tiled corridor to the door with no name.
I Buzz…and wait…and after being viewed am discreetly greeted and welcomed inside by a kind looking young man.
He ushers me into the office and I sit down and wait for my appointment I have travelled thousands of mile to make.
The lovely old man enters, sits, welcomes me and we begin our meeting.
As I watch him secretly open the stark grey safe, he slightly leans to the right to carefully hide the dial as he quickly twists and turns……and….TA DA!!!!
Ladies and Gentlemen we have real life Alladins Cave.
I can see a myriad of worn velvet pouches and boxes of various sizes and colours vying for a position to be chosen.
There must be over 60 different kinds of packages in there and he knows what is in each one with just a glance.
He burrows his fat fingers in, and in one fell swoop turns back to me with a selection of goodies.
He starts untying the worn pouches and rolls them open….. I let out an inaudible ventriloquist like “YOWZA”,……..and there in front of me are the most beautiful array of stones in a mix of sizes all the colours of the rainbow I have ever seen.
You could get seriously carried away here!!!!
But, …. I restrain myself and remind myself quickly… I am here for specifics and unfortunately have a smaller budget than would have me walk out of here with a pouch full of loot the size of marbles.
I tell him I am in need of smaller beautiful stones..he tilts his head to the side and looks up thinking what he has in his treasure trove of stones. Then he smiles and reaches for the back of the safe for a small box. Contained in this box are gems bought in Burma by his father in the 1930s…I am instantly drawn to 2 of the prettiest pink sapphires I have ever seen.
Gently I tell him I have decided I would like to take them and some beautiful purple tanzanites I was looking at, and with a look of a father farewelling his children, he carefully packages up the stones and I head off on my journey.
The stones choosen are just as beautiful as the biggies and are destined for home to be designed and created into some beautiful pieces for my customers to wear for a life time.