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The 10 Most Expensive Jewels in the World

​​​​Do you fancy jewelry? Rest assured that millions of people throughout history share your fascination, having been captivated by the breathtaking luster and spectacular designs of jewels. So much so that, even the inherent dangers of mining has not discouraged humans from delving deep to reach the valuable gems hidden hundreds of meters underground, with diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire becoming symbols of luxury and opulence. Today, jewels remain icons of status, as well as tokens of affection. But there are some pieces of jewelry that can only adorn our dreams with their centuries of history, masterful designs and amazing sizes. Ready to learn more about the most expensive jewels of all times, and their jaw-dropping prices? Here we go:

1. Hope Diamond

$250 Million

Without a doubt the most famous member of the amazingly rare blue diamond family and bearing the name of one of its past owners, Henry Philip Hope, the Hope Diamond’s history goes back to the 17th century. This enormous stone, which was originally 112 carats, was cut and recut by master diamantaires over time to take its final form, which weighs 45.42 carats. The list of its past owners includes Louis XIV, Abdulhamid II and the renowned jewelry designer Pierre Cartier. It was last purchased by Harry Winston, a jeweler from New York, who donated it to the Smithsonian Institute. The diamond is now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Aside from its size and color, one key property of the Hope Diamond is its unusually intense and strongly colored luminescence.


2. Peacock Brooch

$100 Million

Graff Diamonds founder Laurence Graff is nicknamed “The King of Diamonds”, and for a good reason. Few other people could dare create a diamond brooch valued at $100 million, the most expensive brooch crafted in recent history.

This unprecedented jewel contains a total of 120.81 carats and 1,305 stones in various colors. The centerpiece of the brooch is a dark-blue, pear-shaped diamond, which alone weighs around 20 carats. We don’t know if you would be brave enough to wear a piece of jewelry worth more than a luxury private jet, but it is good to know that the center diamond can be worn separately for a more plain look.


3. Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

$80 Million

With a color and clarity rivaling the Hope Diamond, the Wittelsbach Diamond’s history dates back to the 1600s. The stone was owned by the Habsburg Crown until 1722 when it was taken to Munich on the marriage of Maria Amalia to Charles Albert of Bavaria from the House of Wittelsbach. The diamond remained in the private collection of the Wittelsbach family before eventually being sold in 1951. The diamond had various owners until 2008 when it was bought by the famous jewelry designer Laurence Graff, who made the controversial decision to have the stone recut. The diamond, originally weighing 35.56 carats, was reduced to 31.06 carats to enhance its color and clarity. This move was met with heavy criticism by diamond experts as it was seen as the destruction of the diamond’s historical integrity. Yet, the alteration significantly increased both the clarity and value of the diamond. Renamed the Wittelsbach-Graff, the diamond was sold for over $80 million to its current owner, a member of the Qatari royal family, in 2011.


4. Pink Star

$72 Million

The 59.60 carat Pink Star diamond is a new stone compared to the legendary gemstones in this list. It was mined by De Beers in 1999 from South Africa as a 132.5-carat rough diamond. What made it special was not its size, however, but its amazingly vivid pink hue. The stone was cut by eight diamantaires from Steinmetz Diamonds over the course of 20 months, resulting in a flawlessly clear diamond. Steinmetz sold the stone to an undisclosed buyer in 2007. The stone was renamed “Pink Star” after the purchase. In 2013, the diamond was put on auction at Sotheby’s. It was sold for $83 million to Isaac Wolf, but the auction was cancelled as Wolf defaulted on the purchase. In the second auction, it was bought by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, for approximately $72 million.


5. Oppenheimer Blue

$57.5 Million

The world’s most expensive jewel ever sold at an auction until it was surpassed by the Pink Star diamond, the Oppenheimer Blue is a 14.62-carat vivid blue diamond with an emerald cut. The amazingly brilliant blue diamond is set in a platinum ring, flanked on either side by a trapeze-shaped diamond. Commissioned by De Beers owner Philip Oppenheimer for his wife, this captivating diamond’s history is largely a mystery, other than the fact that it was mined in South Africa, likely sometime in the early 20th century.


6. L’Incomparable

$55 Million

Created by renowned Lebanese jeweler Mouawad, this diamond necklace is known as the well-earned name of L’Incomparable—the incomparable. The 18-carat gold necklace is embedded with 91 clear diamonds, as well as a flawless yellow diamond about the size of egg at the center, totaling 407.8 carats. A price tag of $55 million makes L’Incomparable the most expensive necklace in the world. The large diamond at the center of the necklace is rumored to have been discovered by a young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo among a pile of rubble in the 80s.


7. Blue Moon of Josephine

$48.4 Million

Discovered in 2014 in South Africa, the Blue Moon of Josephine is a 12.03 carat flawless blue diamond. It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2015 at a record-setting price of $48.4 million, making it one of the world’s most expensive jewels. The sale also set a record for the highest-ever price per carat for a jewel. The diamond was bought by Hong Kong real-estate billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-Hung for his seven year old daughter Josephine, and was named after her. It is one of the diamonds purchased by Joseph Lau Luen-Hung for his daughters.


8. Graff Pink

$46.2 Million

One of the largest and most famous pink diamonds ever found, the Graff Pink was 24.78-carat stone with an exceptionally intense pink color, and it was graded by experts to be potentially flawless at the time it was purchased by Laurence Graff. That is why when Laurence Graff made the risky decision to have the stone re-cut, many objected. The result, however, would prove Graff right, as the stone, trimmed down to 23.88 carats, was now graded as “internally flawless”, making the Graff Pink one of the most expensive jewels in the world.


9. Zoe Diamond

$32.6 Million

Not much is known about the history of the Zoe Diamond, adding to it an air of mystery. It is a 9.75 carat, breathtaking blue velvet diamond in an elongated teardrop cut, mounted on platinum. The diamond was part of a collection owned by renowned philanthropist Rachel Lambert Mellon, and was auctioned in 2014 after her death. The buyer was Hong Kong business magnate Joseph Lau Luen-Hung, who had also purchased the Blue Moon diamond. This time, the diamond was a gift for is older daughter Zoe, after whom the stone is now named.


10. Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace

$27.4 Million

Commissioned by renowned American business magnate Franklyn Laws Hutton as a wedding gift for his daughter Barbara Hutton in 1933, this jadeite necklace bears the names of the couple. The Cartier-designed piece is composed of 27 jadeite beads, completed by a clasp set with rubies, gold and diamonds. Jadeite is the highest-quality and rarest form of the gemstone jade. High quality jade usually cannot yield beads more than 10 millimeters in diameter. What makes the necklace so rare and valuable is the fact that each bead on it is larger than 15 millimeters in diameter, all carved from the same boulder. Auctioned after Barbara Hutton’s death, the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace was purchased by its designer Cartier for $27.44 million.