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Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask Holden, our blog where we answer your FAQs, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.
Since Uncut Gems was filmed on our block in the NYC Diamond District(!) , we thought we’d do a quick retrospective on some of our favorite films featuring jewelry.
Nominees for Best Supporting Jewelry
1. How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
As they say: *Frost Yourself*. This is Matthew McConaughey’s pitch as an advertising executive trying to win a high-profile diamond account. Long story short, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey fall in love despite trying not to. Classic rom com! Hudson and McConaughey are fantastic, but they’re outshined (pun very much intended) by the iconic 84 carat diamond necklace that Hudson wears in a scene late in the movie. Worth $5 million dollars, the Isadora necklace is the most expensive piece of jewelry ever made for a film (the title was formerly held by a necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge). Also, the movie is responsible for the following line: "a woman in lust wants chocolates...a woman in love wants diamonds." Bit problematic but iconic nonetheless.
2. Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a movie about a big, bad, powerful ring that everyone wants really badly? I think? Tbh, I have only seen The Hobbit on a first date in high school, and the only thing I remember is that boy put his arm around me and I leaned back so hard that his arm fell asleep. Anyway...yeah! Gollum seems really obsessed with this ring, so it must be important. Also, the ring looks a loooooot like our Domed Profile. Plus we can do custom engravings, so...One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one can simply go on our website! Maybe my precious can become your precious. Ok, I’ll stop.
3. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
This one is maybe a stretch, because it’s the jewelry store that plays such an iconic role in this Audrey Hepburn film, not the jewels themselves. However, the number of Halloween costumes inspired by Holly Golightly’s brunch outfit indicates that her pearl and diamond necklace is as iconic as any other gem featured in a movie. However, it’s really the film’s promotional photos that have earned it our jewelry nomination, where Hepburn wore the famed Tiffany Diamond.
When the yellow diamond was discovered, its rough weight was a whopping 287.42 carats. Once cut, the diamond weighed in at 128.54 carats with 82 facets (24 more than the traditional round brilliant cut). The Tiffany Diamond has only been worn by three women in its lifetime: once by Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball, once by Hepburn, and once by Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars (when she was nominated for A Star Is Born). Hepburn said of the diamond, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
4. Titanic (1997)
I know there are lots of conspiracy theories about whether Rose and Jack both could have fit on that door at the end of the movie, but people probably weren’t taking into account the 56 carat diamond Rose had in her jacket pocket. If she had thrown that thing out of her pocket (and hadn’t waited until like...50 years later), maybe she would have had room for Jack, and they would have lived happily ever after! In her defense, she didn’t know it was in there - props to old man Cal for sabotaging Rose and Jack all the way to the bitterly cold end.
Back to the diamond: called the “Heart of the Ocean,” the necklace used for filming was made of a blue Tanzanite stone surrounded by cubic zirconias set in white gold. After the film hit success (like, one of the highest grossing movies of all time success), a luxury version of the necklace was commissioned. Made by Asprey & Garrard using a Ceylon sapphire nestled within 103 diamonds, it raised $1.4 million at a charity auction. Before it was officially taken into a private collection, it was worn by Celine Dion at the 1998 Oscars.
5. The Pink Panther (1963-2009)
The pink diamond featured in this film is imperfect: its flaw resembles a leaping panther (hence the name Pink Panther). Anyway, it’s an 11 movie series, and the only one I’ve seen stars Steve Martin and Beyoncé and scored a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes (its follow-up, sans Beyoncé, received an 11%). Do with that what you will.
6. Oceans’ 8 (2018)
The premise of this film revolves around a necklace heist! It centers around a Met Gala theft performed by a badass team of criminals led by Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. Attention: Rihanna is in this movie. Need I say more? All of the film’s Met Gala jewelry was designed by Cartier, and the most important piece was The Jeanne Toussaint necklace, named for its former creative director and worn by Anne Hathaway. The necklace was originally designed by Jacques Cartier in 1931 and featured a 136.25 carat diamond which Cartier called "a really superb realization of a connoisseur's dream."
The diamond has since been sold and the necklace itself lost, but through photographs and drawings, an eight week construction period (4,200 hours employing 10-15 craftspeople) took place at the Cartier workshop in Paris. Instead of diamonds (expensive!), they used zirconium oxide. They also decreased the size of the necklace 15-20% to fit Hathaway’s neck, as the 1931 necklace was originally designed for a male wearer. Turns out a necklace designed for a man can look pretty good on a woman, and a film franchise built around a male cast can work as well for a female cast. BOOM.
7. Uncut Gems (2019)
In this movie, Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner is all sorts of excited about a black opal mined in Ethiopia. Black opals are extremely rare and valuable, and without saying too much, Howard is heavily invested in an uncut black opal (hence the name Uncut Gems). Sandler famously joked of his campaign to win an Oscar for his role as Howard Ratner: "If I don't get it, I'm going to f***ing come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay.” Sandler was ultimately passed over for an Oscar nomination, so I guess we should stay tuned for what he does next!
8. Pretty Woman (1990)
One of the most iconic scenes of this romcom classic is when Gere, king of the Sexy Smirk, gives Roberts, queen of the Dazzling Grin, a necklace to wear to the opera (yes, it’s nbd that he whisks her via private jet to San Francisco to see the opera). The necklace, comprised of 23 pear cut rubies surrounded by diamond hearts, was designed by Fred Joaillier. When Gere reveals the necklace and Roberts reaches out to touch the $1.35 million stunner, he snaps the box shut on Roberts’ fingers, causing Roberts to shriek and laugh. It turns out that Gere snapping the box was improvised, so Roberts’ glorious, movie star laugh is her genuine reaction! My heart!
9. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Ok, this one is tricky because technically, it’s Marilyn’s dress that caused the stir, not the jewels. But the woman is literally singing about how diamonds are her best friend, so it is automatically included on this list. Marilyn Monroe’s iconic song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” inspired Madonna’s “Material Girls” as well as the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song “Math of Love Triangles” (a must watch). The song is listed by the American Film Institute as the 12th most influential film song of all time.
10. The Ring (2002)
My best friend from sixth grade got so scared after watching this movie that she had to sleep in her parents' bed for a year, so I am not even going to look up the movie's plot or what this "ring" is. But it's literally called The Ring so it gets an automatic spot on this list.
And the Winner Is...
Uncut Gems! Because it was filmed on our block and it makes us feel like movie stars. Yes, this was a very biased voting process! No, we are not sorry!