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Banneya Loves

The Fashion Icons of Fine Jewellery

It’s dreary out but guess what puts a smile on our face? Fine Jewellery and the glamazons who wear their jewels the best….we have been dreaming of those women who defined 20th century glamour. From singers to actresses, from to celebrities to artists – we celebrate the women who loved and lived for all things fine jewellery.

Elizabeth Taylor

We may all have a passion, but not many of us go on to write about them. In her autobiography “My Love Affair with Jewellery”, Elizabeth Taylor explains how she has been besotted with jewellery from as early as she can remember. She acquired a lot of jewellery throughout her lifetime herself and was also gifted many fine jewellery pieces by all her husbands who all knew her love for all things jewellery. With a private jewellery collection worth over £112 million, Elizabeth Taylor holds the record for the highest value of a single-owner auction. 

I’ve never thought of my jewellery as trophies. I’m here to take care of them and to love them.


Grace Kelly

American actress Grace Kelly was one of the most popular faces in film during the fifties, but once she became the Princess of Monaco she no longer graced (no pun intended!) the silver screen. Her love affair with jewellery however, was the one thing that remained! Some of her favourite pieces came from the Cartier and Van Clef & Arpels, the most famous piece of jewellery associated with Grace Kelly is her second (yes, second) engagement ring from Prince Rainier III – a 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamonds with two smaller bezel-set baguette side stones. After this, Grace Kelly maintained a flourishing relationship with Cartier which further expanded her love for fine jewellery and created a collection we could only ever dream of.


Maria Callas

Last but not least, our final jewellery lover is the incredible Maria Callas. Who can listen to her Violetta in La Traviata without feeling goosebumps? The beautiful and temperamental Soprano was famed for her intense portrayals on stage and also for her extensive fine jewellery collection. Gifts from Aristotle Onassis and first husband and manager, Giovanni Battista Meneghini made up the huge collection she left when she died intestate at 53… After a fraught battle over the jewels, the collection came under Sotheby’s hammer in 2004 and was sold in  Geneva, fetching $1.86m three-times its low-end estimate.


Who are your fine jewellery favourite icons? Let us know by using the hashtag #BanneyaLondon.

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