For those who are used to extreme luxury and have the wealth and means to enjoy the absolute most delicate things in life, there are pieces of jewelry that are so exquisite, so over-the-top, and so unbelievably valuable and rare that nothing else will do. These items are the most expensive pieces of jewelry known. You may be a fan of high-end jewelry like Rolex watches for men and women, but these pieces are in a class all of their own. They range from substantial single diamonds to jadeite beads to a humbling Chopard watch; these eight pieces represent the most lavish jewels and designs ever created.
1 The Hope Diamond
Valued at $250 million, this 45.5-carat diamond is a deep blue, possibly from boron traces. It is also one of the most famous diamonds worldwide; it has its fair share of stories about bad luck connected to it, and some say that, when removed from all light sources, the Hope Diamond glows red. The diamond’s story begins in southern India’s mines in 1666, when it was unearthed, cut, and renamed the Tavernier Blue after the person who bought it: Jean-Paul Tavernier. It was then cut and sold to the royal house of Henry XIV in 1668 and reappeared a century later when it was stolen, cut again, and renamed the Hope Diamond after the gem-collecting London-based Hope family. Eventually, it made its way into the hands of Harry Winston, who donated it to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where you can still see it today.
2 L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace
This French piece is the most expensive necklace on the planet. 203 carats of white diamonds adorn this gold necklace. An egg-sized yellow diamond, internally flawless, weighs it down as an incomparable pendant. Like many expensive jewelry pieces that include a highly recognizable stone, the diamond at the center of L’Incomparable has an unusual origin story. It is said that a young girl in a diamond mine in the African Congo found the rock in a pile of rubble. The gem itself is a whopping 407 carats, but the 102 surrounding diamonds are equally as gorgeous. It was last sold at an auction in Singapore for an impressive $55 million.
3 Chopard’s 201 Carat Watch
You may be a fan of high-end luxury timepieces, but you haven’t seen anything until you’ve glimpsed Chopard’s glorious 201-carat watch that looks like a flower bed of diamonds blooming on your wrist. You wouldn’t even know that this stunning bracelet is a timepiece if you weren’t looking for the watch face. Encrusted with 874 diamonds of all different hues, the Chopard watch is a delirious dream of sparkling color and shape. This wristwatch is an elegant timekeeper, but you aren’t buying it for its efficacy in keeping time. Introduced in 2000, the 201 Carat Watch is the epitome of luxury and is valued at $25 million. This elegant wristwatch has a neat trick, too; when you depress the spring-loaded mechanism, the watch releases three petal-like yellow jewels, which unfold like a blossom to the morning sun.
4 The Pink Star
If you’re a fan of pink diamonds, you have to see the Pink Star. The Pink Star is the celestial queen of all pink diamonds and still holds the record for the highest-priced ring sold at auction. The stone initially was unearthed in South Africa and mined by the legendary De Beers company in 1999. The breathtaking gem was once 132.5 carats, but it was cut down to its current size of 59.5 carats. In 2013, it went up for auction at Sotheby’s. High-paying bidders dove in, and it went for a whopping $83 million. The buyer then defaulted, so the sale went to the subsequent purchaser, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises of Hong Kong, for $72 million, the ring’s current value.
5 The Peacock Brooch
The peacock is a bird known for its flashy nature. With jewel-colored feathers and a gorgeous fan-like spread, a peacock is anything but subtle. The same is true for the brooch named after it. The Peacock Brooch is one of the flashiest pins ever created, and its value sits at $100 million. London-based jewelry company Graff used 1,300 gems to make this gorgeous brooch that resembles a peacock head-on when it’s in full display. There’s a dark-blue pear-shaped diamond at the center of the bird that weighs 20 carats, and the brooch altogether weighs 120.81 carats.
6 The Orange
A vivid yellow diamond, though the true hue is more like a vibrant orange, its stunning pear shape, fantastic clarity, and unusual size make this an unforgettable beauty and one of the world’s priciest per carat diamond. It was sold by Christie’s for an enormous sum, $35.5 million, way above the estimated $21 million. Each carat was worth $2.4 million, which makes The Orange the most expensive diamond per carat.
7 Oppenheimer Blue
This 14.62-carat blue diamond is named after Philip Oppenheimer, who gave his wife the gorgeous gem. You’ve probably heard about Oppenheimer’s later political and scientific careers, but you may not have known the hand he had in naming the largest blue diamond. The Oppenheimer Blue is an emerald-cut gem and shares its status with The Pink Star as the world’s largest fancy vivid-colored diamond—in contrast; the Pink Star is the largest fancy vivid-pink diamond—so designated by the Gemological Institute of America. It was last sold at Christie’s for an impressive $50.4 million.
8 The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace
You wouldn’t think that a jadeite necklace would be worth $27.7 million, but once you see the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite piece, you understand why in an instant. The beads are exquisitely colored jadeite and span from 15.4 mm to 19.4 mm in diameter. The clasp is also spectacular, made of both rubies and diamonds, elegantly capping off this great former wedding present.
There are expensive pieces in gemstones and jewelry, and then there are these eight stunning pieces. With mysterious origins, each component and jewel has a story all its own that travels with it from owner to owner. While these incredible pieces of jewelry may be out of reach for most people, you can still enjoy style and prestige by purchasing more affordable luxury items like a Rolex watch or a pair of diamond Cartier studs to add to your collection.