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Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Wallis Simpson's Cartier Panther

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Wallis Simpson's Cartier Panther

Wallis Simpson's famous panther bracelet is a gem among beaded jewelry! It was commissioned from the famous Parisian jeweler Cartier by the Duchess in 1952; she also helped co-design it. She wanted a life-like great cat that would stalk its way around her wrist. Cartier's head jeweler Jeanne Toussaint created an exquisite cat of pave diamonds and black onyx set in fully articulated platinum with blazing emerald eyes.
Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Black Prince's Ruby

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Black Prince's Ruby

Of all the famous gems and beaded jewelry in history, the Black Prince's Ruby is one of the most exciting and intriguing. In fact, this "ruby" isn't even a ruby - it's actually a red spinel! The red and blue forms of spinel have been misidentified as rubies and sapphires for at least a millennia. It's very similar in color, found in similar places, and is even rarer than its counterpoints. Like the Black Prince's ruby, many of the rubies and sapphires in the crown jewels of Europe are actually spinel!
sapphires

The History of the Kashmir Sapphire

The Kashmir sapphire is renowned for its opulent history and powerful symbolism throughout the world. India's notoriety as the hotspot for the most decadent gemstones prevails throughout the world of jewelry. Beryls, pearls, rubies, and rose-cut diamonds lapped in 18-karat gold swirls, embellish their jewelry markets.

Brazil, Thailand, Burma, Australia, Vietnam, Montana, Africa, and Ceylon are ripe with prized sapphire mines too.

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is one of the famous gems and beaded jewelry of history. As Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian once said: "This is the most famous diamond people have never seen." It has a long and somewhat mysterious history believed to have started, like so many of the great diamonds from the 17th century, in the famous Golconda mines of India.
Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Sancy Diamond

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Sancy Diamond

Here it is!  There it is!  Who has it now? 

Keeping up with the 52-carat Sancy Diamond was like playing a game of hide and seek.  Probably of all the Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Sancy Diamond has passed through more hands and disappeared more often than any other gem.

the amber room

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: The Curse of the Amber Room

The Amber Room was an entire room made of amber panels and beaded jewelry. During WWII, it was stolen from Russia by the Germans, who installed it in a Kaliningrad museum. When things began to look bad for the Germans, the director of the museum crated up the Amber Room, with all its accompanying ornaments and beaded jewelry, for safekeeping. The city was bombed soon after, and the Amber Room was never found.
Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Antony and Cleopatra’s Opal . . . almost!

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: Antony and Cleopatra’s Opal . . . almost!

When Caesar was murdered, Marc Antony fought a civil war with his killers. He won (of course!), then summoned the Queen of Egypt to answer for why she hadn’t supported him. Cleopatra knew she had to impress Antony. She didn’t want Egypt and Rome at war.

So Cleopatra, being Cleopatra, made a few arrangements.