Leaving no stone unturned

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Thursday, 9 October 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • In the golden age of cinema, many movie stars wore their own jewels in their movies.
  • Actress Marlene Dietrich once accidentally baked her 37.4 carat emerald ring inside a cake, when it was discovered during dessert.
  • The most expensive piece of jewellery ever designed for a movie was a US$1 million necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in the musical Moulin Rouge that was made of platinum with 1,308 diamonds with a combined total of 134 carats.
  • The tradition of borrowing jewellery to wear to the Academy Awards ceremony was started in 1944, by Jennifer Jones, who wore Harry Winston's jewellery for the occasion. To this day, the jeweler is still one of the biggest names on Oscar night.
  • Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor owns the famous "La Peregrina", a stupendous, 203.84 grain, pear-shaped pearl given to her by Richard Burton and discovered in the early 16th century buy a slave on the shores of Panama. The slave won his freedom with his find, which was then given to Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII, by her husband, Spain's King Phillip II. It became part of the Spanish treasury and eventually made its way to France, where it was sold to save its newest owner, the son of the French emperor Napoleon III, from financial disaster. It finally ended up at Sotheby's, where Burton bought it as a Valentine's gift for Taylor in 1969. It was made into a ruby and diamond necklace incorporating the pearl by Cartier. Taylor once lost the famous La Peregrina pearl in her white-carpeted home. A frantic search turned up the enormous white gem... in her dog's mouth.
  • The British monarchy's Imperial State Crown stands 31.49 cm tall and weighs almost one kilogram. In addition to the Cullinan II, it is set with over 3,000 precious stones.
  • Henry VII, Henry the VIII's father, had a collection of 324 jewelled rings.
  • The Hope Diamond dates back to 1668, when it was brought from India to King Louis XIV.
  • In 1283, England passed a law stating that only those of noble birth could wear jewels.
  • By 1363, British King Edward III forbade even knights to wear precious stones.
  • Khosrau II, king of Persia in the seventh century, had a crown of pure gold covered with pearls the size of sparrow's eggs. It also had inlaid grenadine rubies and emeralds. It hung from the ceiling, over the king's head, where sat his throne. It touched his head without weighting him down.
  • Garnets were on Noah's ark. A large carbuncle was thought to have illuminated the ship by both day and night.
  • Eastern physicians thought the emerald could cure epilepsy, remove both mental and body pain, stop vomiting, purge the blood, act as an antidote to poison and bites from wasps, bees and scorpions; helped diabetes, was a remedy for jaundice, and treat leprosy when ground finely applied as a poultice.
  • In 500 AD, Chinese doctors used finely powdered jade in fruit juice for the relief of heartburn, asthma and diabetes.
  • During cholera plagues in ancient Egypt, slaves that mined malachite were usually unaffected, since malachite is a basic copper carbonate. Copper helps rheumatism, asthma and colic.
  • In times gone by, a red or yellow diamond was reserved for wear by the king only.
  • Six-cornered diamonds are thought to bring good luck.
  • Five-cornered diamonds were thought to bring death.
  • Romans had a passion for rings, with some wearing six on each finger.
  • In the days of yore in many European countries, amber was worn as a protection against witches and warlocks as well as against bad luck.

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