Celebrities Who Love Their JewelryThere’s no doubt that celebrity fame and celebrity jewelry are (almost) one and the same thing. It seems there’s a tipping point at which celebs go from wearing jewelry like a normal person to wearing jewelry like they’ll be able to eat it if they’re ever stuck in a lift. But who, in the glamorous world of the rich and famous do it all so much better than anybody else? And by “better” we sometimes might actually mean “bigger”.
We’ll get on to the modern day Bringers of Bling in a moment, but no list that talks about celebrities and their jewels can ever leave out the Sultana (it’s the right word, Google it) of Sophistication.
Where Liz differs from most modern celebs, though, is that she rarely actually bought jewelry for herself. Instead, she simply took up with a parade of famous and wealthy suitors who all felt compelled to give her expensive rings, necklaces and earrings at the earliest opportunity. Actors, producers, singers, politicians, they all queued up to present Taylor with massive amounts of exquisite antique and vintage jewelry, as well as bespoke pieces. There was also a heavy-drinking and drug-using construction worker towards the end, who stuck around long enough to qualify for the pay-off, but we’ll skip that one.
All in all, the Taylor Collection is one of the best ever amassed by a celebrity. It is tasteful, beautiful and oh so expensive. When she died, some of the collection even went on a world tour, such was the demand from the public to see it in person. When eventually sold, the collection raised $115 million, some of which went to HIV and AIDS charities in keeping with Taylor’s activism to support sufferers.
Singer, fashion icon and just a bit mad, Lady Gaga doesn’t so much have a collection of jewelry, as a collection of jewelry.
To be fair, La GG buys most of it herself, or it’s presented to her by designers but, when it comes to wearing it, less definitely isn’t more for the pop princess! Straddling the divide between performance artist and the rock mainstream, Gaga seems to have no limits on what she wears, and also doesn’t seem to care about what people think. Willing to push at the edges of convention when she steps out on stage, it’s game on whenever she makes an appearance.
When she performed her David Bowie tribute at the Grammys, Gaga included a bunch of lighting and other effects, many of which were she personally controlled by way of triggers and buttons hidden inside the jewelry she was wearing. Such is her well-deserved reputation for wearing sparkles of every shape and size, her name appears (usually without permission) on a massive range of cheap and very big jewelry targeted at the masses.
Yep, the world is go-go for Gaga.
Bollywood is the biggest non-English language movie industry in the US, and, if we’re going to talk about Bollywood, we have to talk about one of its biggest stars. Stunningly beautiful and increasingly in the media the world over, Shilpa Shetty takes the huge jewels and gems of her Bollywood movie career out into the real world.
Bollywood films, by design, are glamor, piled on top of glamor and have a little glamor thrown in for good measure. As part of this glamfest, the jewelry on display is big, bold and beautiful, so it’s only right that one of its own should continue the theme. When Shetty got married, the occasion entered Indian lore as one of the most expensive ever created.
The dress, studded with Swarovski crystals cost $75,000, and that was just the start of it. The stunning jewelry she wore cost in the region of $500,000 and, although we don’t know what was in or on the wedding cake, it is reported to have weighed 175 pounds! That’s about the size of an average man in the US.
Subtle, it wasn’t!
Proving that there really is no show without Punch, Kim Kardashian is next up in our list. We’re sometimes a little baffled at just how any of the Kardashian family became as famous as they are without actually ever doing a day’s work of any kind. Unless you don’t count daddy’s money and connections. But, anyway, for all that, Kardashian knows how to play the media, and she does so with considerable help from her sizeable collection of jewelry.
I suppose, if you have $5 million dollars’ worth of jewelry available for thieves to run off with, then it’s probably not even the beginning of the end of your collection. I also suppose, though, we need to be fair about it and tell you that, despite the enormous value of the gems Miss K steps out in, the general tone of what she wears is actually quite subtle and very beautiful, in contrast to her larger than life personality.
We mentioned Liz Taylor’s collection at the top of this article, and it may not surprise you to know that Kimmy bought a number of pieces when they went on sale. Not content, however, with simply owning and wearing someone else’s jewels, Kardashian went a step further and released her own line of emoji-based wearables to accompany her Emoji app in the Apple Store.
With a seeming emphasis on quantity and not quality, the Emoji range has everything from hats to patches, with a few chokers and earrings thrown in for the benefit of jewelry buffs amongst her legion of fans. If wearing a choker is your post-90s thing, then just stump up the 40 bucks and you’ll have your own in no time.
I suppose, when you have more money than you know what to do with, peddling not-so-cheap enamel jewelry is the next step to world dominance.
When it comes to diamond vintage engagement rings, it’s hard to outdo the reigning queen of betrothal bling. The ring given to her by Australian billionaire fiance, James Packer, weighed in at…wait for it…a whopping 35 carats. No, we haven’t missed a decimal point, the diamond was the jewelry equivalent of a Humvee alongside the usual choice of those little Italian cars you see in old movies. The engagement lasted only 9 months though, and there are rumors that Packer asked for the ring back. Easy come, easy go…
But it’s probably obvious that the jewelry choices of one of the world’s biggest pop divas wouldn’t stop at mere wedding trinkets. Carey has always been know for the size of her jewelry collection, both in terms of individual pieces and as a whole. She’s also not shy at showing it off, wearing spectacular necklaces, bracelets and earrings at every opportunity, in keeping with her on stage reputation for glamor.
Of course, it helps if you have the kind of skin tone that makes diamonds, rubies, emeralds and just about anything else sing like a child in a Disney movie. In what is becoming a theme for female celebs, Carey also has her own jewelry range. Again, in an appeal to the mass market, the range is actually quite reasonably priced, assuming you are happy with jewelry not designed by anybody famous.
When you earn the right to be known by a single name, you probably also earn the right to have designers throwing jewelry at you so their creations can be seen on red carpets all over the world and, hopefully, lead to an increase in sales for other pieces to cover the costs of those they give away. Very often, jewelers will also slip out fine vintage pieces in the hope that a trend will be started which will benefit them, and the big stars, like Bey, are more than willing to help out.
At the 2016 MTV awards, Beyonce went totally custom though, with an impressive $13 million Lorraine Schwartz collection draped over her and daughter Blue Ivy (can’t have everything…). To be fair, in the years since bling was king for one of the biggest names in pop, she has tended to tone things down a little, and is now likely to wear “pretty” rather than just “huge”.
But, just to show she hasn’t forgotten her roots, Beyoncé did wear 100 carats of diamonds and acres of gold for the Superbowl 50 halftime show. It’s nice she hasn’t forgotten where she came from.