Forbes Magazine Presents: World's Ultimate Jewels

  1. World's Ultimate Jewels
    Lauren Sherman, 10.03.07, 12:01 AM ET

    No gem is created equal.
    That's why Chopard's nine-carat blue diamond ring--valued at $16.26 million dollars--costs about 16 times as much as Van Cleef and Arpels' zip necklace, comprised of 50 carats of white diamonds and valued at $1.2 million.
    Both pieces play a starring role their respective jewelers' collections, but what accounts for their difference in price? The Chopard diamond is valued at about $1.8 million per carat, while the Van Cleef and Arpels necklace, per carat, rings in at just $24,000.

    Of course, $24,000 is nothing to balk at. But as this example illustrates, a bauble's size, by itself, does not determine value.
    John King, a gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America, says that the four Cs--carat, clarity, color and cut--serve as a guide when appraising jewelry. However, it's a unique combination of the four--say, a natural blue diamond or an enormous emerald--that really ups the price.

    "It's pretty rare when a gem has a distinct combination of the four Cs, say, a big, cloudless stone with a strong, rich color," says King. "There might be fewer diamonds in the world than rubies, but a perfectly clear, expertly cut white diamond may cost less than a strongly-colored ruby, because that's more rare."
    Take Garrard's Red Ruby, valued at $14 million. It's no diamond, but this 40.63-carat, heart-shaped Burma ruby claims top spot in the British jeweler's collection.

    Setting The Scene
    Location also helps determine price. Intercolor USA jeweler Benjamin Hackman--whose New York-based business serves clients worldwide--says that, in different countries, different qualities prove more important when consumers buy gems.
    "Americans care most about clarity and cut," says Hackman. "Abroad, that's not always the case. The French, for instance, show more interest in color. Many would rather invest in a rare, pink diamond than a clear-as-day white one."
    Some of Hackman's European clients might be particularly fond of DeBeer's Marie Antoinette necklace.

    In fact, we're confident that the French queen of excess would have approved of this platinum-set necklace with an 8.05-carat white pear diamond, two yellow oval diamonds (7.06-carat and 5.24-carat, respectively) and a 1.84-carat deep pink accent diamond. All in all, the piece includes 181.1 carats, for $3.7 million--a moderate number on our pricey list.

    Even a fool will tell you that for many of the world's top jewelers, one-of-a-kind translates into expensive. But jeweler Tom Heyman of New York's Oscar Heyman says that many of his clients aren't aiming for the priciest piece--they're looking for an original.

    That's why his $700,000 one-of-a-kind bird bracelet earns more accolades from admirers than his $1 million sapphire ring, despite a $300,000 price difference.
    Heyman says the sapphire ring is classic, but the bird bracelet is special; the former took two weeks to make, while the latter took two months. However, its price has been determined by the stone, not the labor involved.

    Can't decide which gem is your favorite? Then turn indecision into an opportunity: Buy more than one.

  2. Chopard

    Blue Diamond Ring
    $16.26 million
    Blue diamonds are among the rarest of naturally colored gems. That's why this oval-shaped diamond ring, with triangular-shaped diamond shoulders and a pave-set diamond band in 18-carat white gold, will set you back about $1.7 million per carat. A pricey and unique alternative to the typical engagement ring.
    For more information, visit


    Heart of the Kingdom Ruby
    $14 million
    This 40.63-carat, heart-shaped Burma ruby, mounted on a 155-carat diamond necklace, claims top spot in the British jeweler's collection. Got a débutante in your family? The diamond necklace can be transformed into a tiara. The stone is accompanied by two independent Swiss laboratory reports that verify its rarity.
    For more information, visit

    Neil Lane

    Diamond Necklace
    $4 million
    Los Angeles-based Neil Lane loans jewels to many top stars on Oscar night. Judging by its beauty, this 140-carat diamond necklace, one of the most expensive pieces in the Lane collection, may be next. Set in platinum, it includes six strings of diamonds whose cuts include pear, cushion and teardrop.
    For more information, visit


    Marie Antoinette Necklace
    $3.7 million
    The French queen synonymous with excess would doubtless have approved of this platinum-set necklace graced by an 8.05-carat white pear diamond, two yellow oval diamonds (7.06-carat and 5.24-carat, respectively) and a 1.84-carat deep pink accent diamond. All in all, the piece includes 181.1 carats.
    For more information, visit

    Courtesy of H. Stern

    H. Stern Venus Necklace
    $3.17 million

    In 18-carat noble gold, this weighty Y necklace boasts 110 carats of diamonds, including a 14-point star on the clasp. The diamond cuts range from cushion to square to pear, so there's no lack of variety.

    For more information, visit
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  3. Chopard

    Emerald Ring
    $2.14 million
    Luxury watch and jewelry manufacturer Chopard's collection includes many high-priced pieces. But this bold cocktail ring--with half-moon diamond shoulders holding up a 33.02-carat solitaire emerald on a pave-set diamond and platinum band--outshines its rivals.
    For more information, visit


    Novo Yellow Diamond Ring

    $1.35 million
    Of all the pieces one might find inside that famous blue box, this 25.27-carat novo yellow diamond ring set in platinum and yellow gold is priciest. Its beauty and its cost make soon-to-be-engaged girls swoon, and their beaus shudder. Can't make it to the New York City location? Tiffany's efficient online catalog makes ordering from home easy.
    For more information, visit

    Van Cleef and Arpels

    Zip Necklace
    $1.2 million
    Not only does this 18-carat white gold necklace include over 50 carats of diamonds, it zips up and transforms itself into a bracelet. How long did it take to craft such an intricate, ingenious piece? Over 600 hours.
    For more information, visit

    Oscar Heyman

    Sapphire Ring
    $1 million
    New York jeweler Oscar Heyman may be best known for innovative designs, such as a $400,000 diamond-encrusted martini glass charm. This ring contains a 43-carat sapphire of exceptional color and clarity.
    For more information, visit


    Elisia Sapphire and Diamond Necklace
    From the new Elisia collection, this one-of-a-kind diamond oval necklace, chain-linked together with brilliant blue sapphires, comes to a magnificent point at the center--a diamond and sapphire teardrop. Over 24 carats comprise this piece.
    For more information, visit
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  4. Thanks for sharing:drool:
  5. :wtf:


  6. i WANT that emerald ring :heart:
  7. That zip necklace is really clever! Plus, since it is two-in-one, it is only a bracelet worth 600,000 and a necklace worth 600,000.

    Bargain! ;)
  8. Thank you for sharing.
  9. Yellow diamond or sapphire.:drool:
  10. Yummy
  11. :drool:
    Now that's what I call BLING, LOL. :p

    Thanks for sharing, you always have the best articles to post!

  12. Me too!
  13. Wooow! I love the Blue Diamond Ring and the Emerald Ring both by Chopard. But well, everything's gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing.
  14. thanks for sharing.
  15. WOW! is all i can say........