Oh how we love to look, and gawk and drool. Of course I am talking about the beautiful stars and celebs that we see walking the red carpet at the various award shows and movie previews brought to life for us by the ever present and often much resented paparazzi. Even for those with little interest in the lifestyles of the rich and famous, it is hard to look away from the perfect smiles, dazzling gowns, the exquisite over-the-top hairstyles and most especially the glittering brilliance of the priceless gems worn by the stars.
Priceless may not be the right word here, as these gems do have a price and a very hefty one indeed, as seen by the list below. Most of the celebrities we see adorned in these treasures do not own what they are wearing, but may have been sought out by the jeweler to wear their creations, and sometimes are even compensated for doing so. What better way to get your name out there than to have Angelina Jolie's wrist wrapped with your diamond bracelet, or your diamond choker resting on Helen Mirren's neck? Occassionally a celebrity will purchase a piece they have worn but this is usually not the case for the gems worn on at award shows. That is because with the amount of jewelry a star wears in a year, a million dollar bracelet may only see the light of day once or twice and that is one very expensive outing.
Of course these jewels are heavily insured by the jewelers. Some of the larger companies may carry "jewelers block" insurance which protects their entire inventory. Even so, most companies provide coverage that stops at the point of transfer which means that once it is in the celebrity's hands, they are fully responsible for it. They will typically require the celeb to show "proof of sufficient valuable articles coverage," which means that if something happens to the piece they have the means to replace it. Also, the insurance underwriter will want specifics regarding how the transfer will take place and where they will keep the jewelry when they take it off at night, and how they plan to return it.
Surprisingly most designers say that their jewelry is not designed for the starlet but for their own personal clients. If a celebrity wants to borrow a piece, however, so much the better. Let's face it, the answer to "What are you wearing?" could quite literally be worth its weight in gold for a jewelry designer. We want to see the goods and of course we can't help wondering how much these little trinkets cost. Below is a list of some of the most expensive jewels worn to award shows in the last five years. Prepare to be astounded!
10 Amy Adams 2011 Academy Awards: $1,350,000
9 Jennifer Lawrence 2014 Golden Globes: $2,500,000
8 Giuliana Rancic 2014 Golden Globes: $3,000,000
This new mom really wowed the crowd with with a huge cocktail ring and a pair of diamond studs both from Forevermark Diamonds. Forevermark is part of the De Beers group of companies and claims that less than one percent of the world's diamonds is eligible to become a Forevermark diamond.
7 Angelina Jolie 2009 Academy Awards: $3,500,000
Mouths dropped open when Angelina Jolie showed up to the 2009 Oscars with Lorraine Schwartz 115 carat Colombian emerald drop earrings hanging from her gorgeous lobes. These earrings and a matching 65 carat cocktail ring were her only jewelry accessories, but these two bobbles alone still packed a powerful punch. Still, fans were a bit surprised and maybe a little let down that the elegant movie star wore no diamonds, and feel that she took a big fashion risk, especially considering she would be sharing the red carpet with Jennifer Aniston, the perky and gorgeous ex-wife of her handsome hunk of a husband, Brad Pitt. The general consensus however, is that she certainly pulled it off.
6 Reese Witherspoon 2014 Golden Globes: $3,700,000
This year Reese Witherspoon showed up covered in the jewels of the infamous Harry Winston. Though not nominated for an award this year, she was there to present the Golden Globe for 12 Years a Slave. Included in her dazzling ensemble were a ten carat emerald cut diamond ring, three stacked diamond bracelets and four carat diamond stud earrings. The company Harry Winston, has been around for more than 80 years and is well known as "the jeweler to the stars". The name is even used in the infamous song sung by Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Harry Winston loans out some of its finest pieces to countless celebrities for every Academy Awards presentation.
5 Jennifer Lopez 2013 Grammy Awards: $5,000,000
4 Jessica Alba 2013 Golden Globes: $5,800,000
As a newcomer onto the celeb scene, Jessica Alba walked the red carpet at the 2013 Golden Globes in the true style of glitz and glamour. The young star was draped in a Mrs. Winston by Harry Winston diamond necklace, diamond stud earrings and a pear shaped cluster ring, all supplied from the infamous Harry Winston.
3 Sofia Vergara 2013 Emmys: $7,000,000
As if Sofia Vergara needed any more of a wow factor than the eye popping Vera Wang gown she wore on the red carpet! Still, if you got it, flaunt it and that she did, adorned from head to toe in dazzling creations from jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. Vergara wore opulent earrings made of rubies, sapphires and from her native country, Colombian emeralds. On her hand was an astounding 21 carat Asscher cut (a square cut named after its inventor Joseph Asscher,) diamond ring and a 40 carat Colombian emerald and rose cut diamond ring. Lorraine Schwartz is a popular and beloved jeweler, who took over her family's jewelry business in 1989. Since then has become a favorite among celebrities, earning her the name, "The Queen of Bling." She is known to be considered a good friend by Kim Kardashian and helped Kanye design their 15 carat engagement ring.
2 Anne Hathaway 2011 Academy Awards: $10,000,000
Not only did Anne Hathaway have the privilege of wearing some of the most beautiful jewels in the world for her trip down the Oscars red carpet in 2011, but it has been reported (though really never totally confirmed,) that she was actually paid $750,000 for the pleasure of doing so. Hathaway took our breath away with the $10 million Tiffany Lucida Star diamond necklace, diamond earrings and ring provided to her from Tiffany and Co. for the special evening. Of course the Tiffany name is synonymous with luxury jewelry having been a staple in the jewelry world for over 175 years.
1 Carrie Underwood 2013 Grammys: $31,000,000
This heart stopper is without a doubt one of the single most expensive pieces worn to an awards show in the last few years. This necklace is made up of 381 carats of oval, pearl, marquis and brilliant white diamonds, according to a press release by the designer Johnathon Arndt. Carrie Underwood actually told Ryan Seacrest, "It's heavy on my soul. I'm afraid someone is going to tackle me and steal it...It's worth more than me!" Johnathon Arndt is a well-known jeweler with a home base in Beverly Hills. Among some of his other well-known clients are Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, who wore his jewels on her wedding day. He was also selected to present Loretta Lynn with a congratulatory gift of a limited Jonathon Arndt 18 carat pink gold and diamond Swiss watch at her 50th Grand Ole Opry Anniversary.