Famous People and Their Jewels: Princess Diana and Her Tiaras

Probably one of the best known famous women for acquiring exquisite jewelry collections is Princess Diana. As a whole the British Royal Family she was a member of accumulates extremely impressive collections of jewelry. Different members of the royal family collect specific pieces. Princess Diana is well known for combining an elegant look of dress with beautiful jewelry pieces.

Princess Diana had a collection of exquisitely beautiful tiaras. The most famous tiara was the “Spencer.” The Spencer Tiara was a wedding gift to Countess Cynthia Spencer from Lady Sarah Spencer in the year of 1919. And oh what a beauty it is. The tiara is made of large gold scrolling foliage adorned with tulip flowers and star shapes. Everything on it is decorated with diamonds set in silver. Just before Princess Diana married the Prince of Wales, her father, John Spencer gave her this beautiful gift of the “Spencer Tiara.” It is said that Princess Diana loved the Spencer Tiara very, very much.

The Spencer Tiara although worn by Princess Diana on her wedding day is not one considered as a “royal tiara,” as it belonged to the Spencer family. It was a combination of pieces from different periods in history and from different jewelers. The piece had gone through several changes and make-overs before Princess Diana wore it on her wedding day. The oldest parts of this tiara was on each end which came from a tiara once owned by Frances, Viscountess Montagu and left to Lady Sarah Spencer in 1875. The Spencer tiara has quite a history behind it.

The Spencer Tiara was a heirloom piece of jewelry and was said to have created a lot of pressure on her Diana’s head day of her wedding. Just think of all Princess Diana had on that day and all she went through and then to wear something on the head that she most likely ended up with a throbbing headache all for the sake of “traditions.” This tiara was worn by both Lady Diana Spencer’s older sisters, Jane and Sarah at their wedding even before it became more famous at Diana’s wedding.

Diana’s complete wedding ensemble was one of grand grandiose style. She wore a dress of voluminous taffeta with puffed sleeves and then on top her head was this elaborate Spencer Tiara. Princess Diana wore it many times after her wedding to dinners and balls. It was the tiara of her choice for many occasions.

The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara owned originally by Queen Mary was worn by Princess Diana. This tiara was created in 1914 especially for Queen Mary based on a design first owned by Queen Mary’s grandmother. Queen Elizabeth wore the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara frequently during the 1950s. This particular tiara is part of Queen Elizabeth’s personal jewel collection: “The Queen’s Jewels.”

Princess Diana continued to wear the Spencer Tiara even though she was given the Cambridge Lover’s Knot to use as the Spencer was lighter in weight. Princess Diana was also very proud of her own family and one cannot argue with the fact this may have had a lot to do with her decision to continue wearing the Spencer Tiara. She seemed to have a lot of trouble finding a separate identity from the other royal family members and I would think even this one gesture of wearing the Spencer Tiara as opposed to traditional royal tiaras was one of those times in which she could express her own separate identity.

Today the Spencer Tiara is on tour with the exhibit: “Diana, A celebration.” I believe this was the same tour that was in my local area in Louisville, Kentucky a few years ago where a lot of Princess Diana’s clothes and jewelry was exhibition.

As the Queen of England, Queen Mary had to occasionally wear the state crown which is a massive headpiece of diamonds, pearls, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Some of other tiara choices were the Burmese Ruby tiara and the Russian Kokoshnik tiara.

With all the jewels contained in these tiaras one is lead to believe they are a genuine marker of being among the highest in social status!
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara is made of diamonds and pearls straight from Queen Mary’s own personal collection and set into a silver holder. Queen Elizabeth II has been seen wearing the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara for special occasions. She very graciously gave it to Princess Diana as a wedding gift.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

Meet Nicola

bracelets nicola

Nicola is a beaded bracelet I added to Carmilita’s Bead Bracelets Collection. She is full of elegant details and a beautiful bead combination. I made this bracelet from a bracelet jewelry kit.

Materials Used:

2 – 13 inch strands of Gold-Colored Buddy Braids Wire
1 Gold Plated 12 x 6 mm Lobster Clasp
1 Gold Plated 5 mm Split Ring
4 Gold Plated 6 mm Jump Rings
2 Gold Plated 2 mm Crimp Tubes
2 Gold Plated 4 mm Crimp Covers
1 Gold Plated 2 inch Head Pin
29 Gold Plated 3 x 2 mm Rondelles
21 Champagne 4 mm Bicones
11 Garnet 4 mm Crystal Rounds
4 Ruby 11 x 7 mm Crystal Teardrops
2 Dragon Blood Jasper 10 mm Semiprecious Rounds
1 Dragon Blood Jasper 20 mm Semiprecious Puff Coins

Size: Adjustable 8 to 9 inches long.

Nicola’s Price: $25

Purchase Nicola here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Saying I Love You with a Diamond Engagement Ring is an Easy Thing to Do or Is it?

Love is in the air! Is there a very special way you can show your love for that very special woman in your life? Is there a very special way you who are in love can show the world that you are in love? Of course there is. I am about to tell you how. It is by the act of giving and receiving a diamond engagement ring. You guessed it before I even told you. Right?

Within the world of celebrities engagement rings are a delight for the jewelry lover, the bigger and more sparklier is all the better. The size of the diamond is not always what shines forth the biggest. It is more often than not a combination of jewelry components within the engagement ring design that creates the WOW look for the celebrity or royal lady it is given to. Just admit it. It is fun to see regardless of whether or not it leaves you green with envy.

Let me share a little diamond engagement ring history with you in this article.

Let us begin with the first diamond engagement ring ever given to a woman that I know of and is documented. Maximilan I of Austria is the famous gentleman who gave the first diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Jewelry has a way of telling us little fancy stories. This story is a bit fancier than the norm. Maximilan I of Austria had this engagement ring made to serve as a symbol of uniting their two households as one to their country.

Who wins the prize for giving the smallest diamond engagement ring? Now hear this one. The smallest diamond engagement ring went to Princess Mary when she was just two years old. Talk about family traditions! This is really an unusual one for a small Midwest Hoosier state girl to think about. Princess Mary was destined to marry the Dauphin of France in 1518. The engagement ring given to her has to be the smallest to fit on the finger of a two year old toddler. And while we are at it, let us talk a little bit about matching making within families as well. I guess when people are born of such perceived royal bloodlines they have to be mated to someone the same in order to keep the royal blood flowing through their family vines.
Diamond engagement rings have been created of many different sizes, shapes and designs throughout history. Some of the more elaborate designs incorporated a wide variety of other jewels and metals. It seems there are not set norms or rules about designing diamond engagement rings. The settings can be silver, platinum, white, yellow gold or any mixture of these settings.

Who influences the designs, the styles and fashion trends of diamond engagement rings the most? You guessed it right again. Famous people such as England’s royal families, families of nobility worldwide, and celebrities.

In the royalty realms of life Queen Elizabeth II received a gorgeous diamond engagement ring from Prince Phillip made from her mother’s “tiara.” Grace Kelly received a 12 carat emerald-cut diamond ring. Prince Rainier was the giver of that ring. The men get just as much fame and pleasure out of giving their special ladies and women beautiful diamond engagement rings as the women who eventually receive them, wear and flaunt them to the rest of us. How can we leave out Lady Diana. Her diamond ring was made of 18 carat blue oval sapphire encircled by fourteen diamonds. All I can say now is for sure: “WOW.”

And the movie actresses are all about everything that glitters and sparkles. You would know for sure they are a group who will be displaying to us some of the more gorgeous examples of diamond engagement rings. Elizabeth Taylor is still famous for her engagements and marriages and the rings she received. Michael Todd gave Elizabeth Taylor a fabulous looking emerald cut diamond weighing about 30 carats when he became her third husband. Even though this was a very beautiful piece of jewelry, Elizabeth Taylor is known for even more splendid pieces of jewelry containing diamonds. Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor a 69.42 carat pearl-shaped diamond and the 17th century heart-shaped TajMahal diamond.

Our famous Elvis Presley did not leave out the love of his life when it came to fabulous looking diamond engagement rings. I have seen many photos of Priscilla flaunting her fingers flashing a 3.5 carat diamond engagement ring encircled by 21 smaller diamonds and diamond chips. The men of these women love to see their women sparkling in the love rings they present to them! There is just something about diamond engagement rings that says so perfectly: “I love you and only you.” We all know this is not true in many cases, but at least we do know the men who give these types of rings usually do try and show a difference between women they love deeply and women they just casually love. Men: You can always say it better with a diamond engagement ring.

Joan Collins is seen in many photographs flashing beautiful jewelry pieces. She received a heart-shaped diamond ring from her husband, Percy Gibson.
And what about Madonna? Another big WOW. She received an antique Edwardian three-stone diamond ring with a decorative platinum band from Guy Ritchie. The ring was of a symbol representing their family: mother, father and son Rocco.

Billionaire Paris Latsis gave Paris Hilton 2 diamond engagement rings (I guess she was worth more than just one). They were a 5 million dollar 24 carat canary diamond ring and a 2.1 million dollar 15 carat white diamond ring. There is nothing that raises the self esteem in a woman like receiving a beautiful diamond engagement ring.

Need I say much more. If we want to see fabulous and gorgeous examples of diamond engagement rings all we have to do is flip the pages over to our celebrity and royal family worlds. We can see exactly what they look like, well at least in a photograph!

Anyone can say “I love you” in a very special way with a diamond engagement ring regardless of the size or anything else about it! Try it and see.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

Meet Merry

dangle earrings merry

Merry is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas collection. She dangles 2 inches from the hook.

Materials used:

2 silver plated French earring hooks
2 silver plated jump rings 9 mm
2 pieces of silver plated chain links (5 small chain links in each)
2 silver plated head pins
4 white Czech glass 6 mm round beads
2 red with gold markings lampwork beads 12 mm

Merry’s price is $15 (includes shipping)

She will shipped to you in secure wrapping enclosed within an organza bag.

Merry is suitable for gift giving or wearing to any kind of holiday celebration.

See more bead jewelry selections here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Purchase Merry here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Some of Elvis Presley’s Expensive Rings

I think one of the most freely giving famous people of jewelry gifts I ever heard about or read about was Elvis Presley. He would visit the sick people, not just people in his own family or friends, but people he did not know personally and often were people that were dying, children and adults who requested to see him. While in the visit he often gave them very expensive jewelry pieces.

One of his regular staff members was Lowel Hayes. Mr. Hayes remembers a time that Elvis was in concert and called him up to the stage asking for a case of his jewelry. Elvis began taking pieces of jewelry out of his personal stash and just randomly handing it out to the women in the audience.

The next time you look at concert photos of Elvis in his jumpsuits, check out his fingers. You will note that he usually has three or four rings on each hand. Elvis must have really loved rings, but he was also very generous with them and gave many away. Because of that, quite a few have ultimately ended up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. During the past three years alone, thirteen Elvis rings have been offered at ten different auctions.

Elvis had an amazing collection of jewelry, very expensive jewelry. He shared what he had though with all kinds of people, his friends, family, fans and strangers. Anyone who has ever read stories about Elvis will always come across stories about his amazing generosity. One night at a Las Vegas Hilton show while Elvis was Mary Pride’s office who was just an ordinary Hilton staff member, Mary happened to make a comment about the ring Elvis was wearing. I am certain it must have been amazing. If you will notice Elvis in his Vegas concerts on video now you will see he usually wore at least 3 rings on his fingers. I honestly do not see how in this world he functioned with so much weight hanging onto his body with the heavy jumpsuits and all that heavy jewelry. When Mary Pride made her comment about this one ring in particular Elvis just pulled it off his finger and gave it to her on the spot. I often think who probably felt the greatest thrill during that act of generosity? Elvis was probably just as thrilled to give it as Mary was to receive it. Elvis was one of a kind for sure. In a jewelry auction held by Graceland staff she provided the ring and a letter of authenticity, which was a photo of Elvis wearing the ring. The ring brought close to $8,000. No wonder Elvis was broke at the time of his death! But you know why not spend it while you have it and Elvis shared his wealth with everyone around him in any way he could. He sure did love jewelry.

Elvis owned a Diamond Owl Ring that sold at one of the first auctions held after his death. Its owner sold the ring at the auction for over $44,000. As most of Elvis’s Jewelry was custom made, the Diamond Owl Ring was not an exception to the rule being filled with diamonds and 14KT gold. The ring was sold with an 8 X 10 color photo of Elvis with Lisa on his knee while he wore the ring. Sounds like something Elvis would have absolutely adored knowing had happened to one of his favorite rings.

Another fabulous ring sold for over $28,000 in a summer auction of 2009. It was Elvis’s “Green Cat’s Eye Ring.” A stunning Blue Lapis ring was given to his personal physician, Dr. Nick that when sold at auction brought over $33,000. It was a gold, diamond and lapis stone ring.

I think Elvis must have a ring of every stone he ever saw, and most likely he bought every ring of every stone he saw. He had a crystal opal ring that was a massive 14KT gold vintage ring. About 1.25ct of diamonds surrounded the crystal opal. It must have been one of his favorite rings. He wore often and is seen wearing it in many different photos both on stage and off stage. This particular ring was sold at auction bringing over $20,000. Each time I see all the rings Elvis wore on and off stage, I say to myself, how in this world did he stand all that on his fingers. They had to have been extremely heavy to wear. One thing about it though he was always equipped to give a gift of a ring. He didn’t have to dig too far into his stashes of rings because he wore as many as he could at all times. And you know, this may have been part of the reason he did, just so he could pull them off at any time and give them away on the spur of the moment.

I am not for certain, but judging by all the rings he wore, rings in particular may have been one of his favorite type of jewelry pieces. I suppose we all got our favorites. My favorite type of jewelry at the moment is dangle earrings. I actually don’t think I could like even the more expensive diamonds, rubies or pearls more than what I create now. Of course, if I had the money Elvis had, I would be using much more expensive jewels in my handmade projects. Yet, I still love exactly what I am able to afford. I intend to make some beaded bracelets and necklaces (matching sets of beaded necklace, bracelets and earrings).

But….just a little bit today, 8-27-14 about some of the favorite jewelry pieces Elvis owned and examples of his generous giving spirit. Elvis was a one of a kind guy a lot of people will never forget. How could we? His possessions are all over the place. He was a collector for sure.