The fame of some jewellery pieces can be attributed to more than just the fact they are created with diamonds of exceptional quality.
For instance, they may have an association with a celebrity, or a particular symbolic significance.
Below are some of the best-known diamond pieces from around the world.
The Sweet Josephine and Blue Moon of Josephine
A father’s love for his daughter cannot be measured in monetary terms. But judging by the price of these two rings, Josephine Lau, daughter of Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung, receives a lot of affection from her father.
The 16.08ct fancy vivid pink diamond Sweet Josephine and the 12.03ct blue diamond ring Blue Moon of Josephine are both named after his daughter.
Auction watchers held their breath when the ring, which became known as The Sweet Josephine, was sold for a record-breaking US$28.5 million price at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva in November 2015.
It was followed by the sale of the flawless blue diamond for another record-shattering price of US$48.4 million at a Sotheby’s Geneva auction the next day. A global media frenzy ensued when Lau senior was revealed to be the successful bidder for both of the jewels.
The Sweet Josephine, a type IIa and VVS2, was the largest cushion-cut pink diamond in this classification to have been available for bidding at that time.
The Blue Moon of Josephine was the largest cushion-shape fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at an auction.
Star of China
A 75.36ct briolette-cut diamond, the Star of China is suspended from a minimalist-style diamond necklace.
The D-colour, internally flawless, type IIa diamond in the relatively unusual briolette cut fetched more than US$11.15 million at the Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2013.
At US$148,000 per carat, the Star of China set a world record for a briolette diamond sold at auction.
The exquisite necklace also features a purplish pink diamond in marquise shape.
It was the first time in recent history that an important record-breaking diamond had been named for China.
The owner of the Star of China is Tiffany Chen Ming-ying, socialite and vice-chairman of the media powerhouse China Star Entertainment Group, in Hong Kong.
Angelababy’s wedding ring
Actress and model Angela Yeung, known as Angelababy, and her husband, actor Huang Xiaoming, are considered China’s showbiz power couple.
At their wedding ceremony in October 2015, Yeung wore a Joséphine Aigrette Impériale ring, a classic designed by the Parisian jeweller Chaumet.
Founded in 1780, Chaumet was once the jeweller to Empress Joséphine, the first wife of Napoleon I. Yeung’s ring features a 5ct pear-shape diamond, surrounded by half a carat of brilliant cut diamonds.
A US$1.5 million valuation was given to the ring at the time. It is thought the Joséphine Aigrette Impériale was inspired by the tiara of a princess.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
The on-again, off-again romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who were married and divorced from each other twice, is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Taylor was known for her love of opulent jewellery, the Taylor-Burton Diamond being the most famous of her collection.
The 68ct pear-shape diamond was purchased from Cartier for US$1.1 million in 1969. Taylor mounted the diamond as a pendant in the necklace she wore to the Oscars in 1970. A US$1 million insurance policy was secured against the diamond with Lloyd’s of London. The terms requested that Taylor should be accompanied by armed guards when wearing it in public.
The previous owner sold it in 1967 because she felt “overly conspicuous” wearing such a gigantic diamond in her native New York.
Tiffany Yellow Diamond
On display at Tiffany’s flagship store in New York is a necklace with the well-known Tiffany Yellow Diamond.
The canary yellow 128.54ct diamond in modified cushion cut is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever found.
The stone, which has been in the jeweller’s possession since 1877, has been previously mounted in two different designs. The first was a ribbon rosette necklace which Audrey Hepburn wore in publicity shots for the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The second design was a brooch created by the legendary Jean Schlumberger. His much-photographed Bird on the Rock design vividly depicted a jewel-encrusted bird of paradise perching on the giant jewel.
To commemorate its 175th anniversary, Tiffany reset and suspended the yellow diamond in a necklace with over 100 carats of white diamonds.
The Greville Tiara
Tiaras add a touch of regality. Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, often wears the Greville Tiara by Boucheron, which is considered her signature diadem.
This diamond tiara of distinctive honeycomb design is known to be a favourite of the late queen mother of Britain. The piece was originally crafted by the French jeweller Boucheron for Margaret Greville, a celebrated British socialite.
Because Greville did not have any heirs, she bequeathed her substantial jewellery collection to the queen mother, including the “Greville Tiara”, when she died in 1942.
The queen mother began wearing the tiara, in its original design, on public occasions in the late 1940s. She later decided to increase the height of the piece by adding some diamonds, including a large marquise shape jewel at the apex.
Cartier worked on this delicate reconfiguration. The tiara is now in the Queen’s Collection.
The Heritage in Bloom
In a breathtaking design of garland and butterflies, the Heritage in Bloom features 24 D-colour internally flawless diamonds, including the 104ct round brilliant-cut diamond in the pendant.
They are all cut from the single rough diamond known as the Cullinan Heritage, a rare 507.55ct Type IIa rough diamond.
Hong Kong-based jeweller Chow Tai Fook acquired this important rough diamond in 2010. The diamond necklace was unveiled by Chow Tai Fook in 2015 and its worth was estimated at US$200 million at the time.
Jewellery artist Wallace Chan crafted the necklace’s unique modular design, which can be worn in 27 different styles.
Along with white and pink diamonds totalling 383.4ct,
it features green jadeite and mutton fat white jade.
This necklace features The Incomparable Diamond, a 407.48ct internally flawless shield step-cut diamond in a natural fancy deep yellow colour.
It was unveiled by jeweller Mouawad in 2013 and valued at US$55 million at that time. The Incomparable Diamond was then believed to be the largest internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
The behemoth of a diamond is suspended from a vinelike necklace with white diamonds in a multitude of fancy shapes. The total weight of diamonds is around 637 carats.
The diamond was cut from a rough stone weighing over 890 carats discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1980s. Legend has it that a scavenger “stumbled on” the rough stone in a discarded pile of kimberlite.