All text, and images © 2014, Debra Healy
unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Diamonds Are a Boy's Best Friend

I saw this guy on the Paris metro wearing what looked like a large diamond watch. I'm sorry for the poor quality photo, believe me the watch was dazzling. Whether it was real or not I don't know. I do know there is an entire industry of flashy fake jewels available on the net from places like

This sighting started me thinking about men , jewelry, diamonds, and watches.

These watches range in price from 165,000 to 495,000 Euros.

We moved to Paris in 1998 so
I missed the whole 'Bling Thing' -the coining of the phrase, the music, the artists, and the impulse.

I read about an aborted auction called "Hip Hop's Crown Jewels" now indefinitely postponed.

Pharrell Williams

William's necklace pre-sale estimate $200,000.00 to $250,000.00

Lil Jon and his record-breaking Crunk ain't dead necklace Photograph: Stuart Ramson/AP
from the

Lil Jon's Diamond necklace pre-sale estimate of $200,000.00-$250,000.00

From the original press release for the postponed auction

"At the top of the flossing food-chain for musical artists, this upcoming auction titled Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels will feature jewelery from some of hip-hop’s most prolific acts as the auction aims to raise funds for Russell Simmons’ Rush Community Affiairs. Led by the expertise of Minya Oh, author of Bling Bling: Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels and Alia Varsano, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Jewelry at Phillips de Pury & Company, the collection features numerous memorable and important pieces.

Book cover 2005

The extensive of artists with pieces involved include Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Alicia Keys, 50 Cent, Cam’ron, Diddy, Eminem, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Pharrell, Nas, Slick Rick and Tupac; The roster is a veritable list of who’s who of the Hip-Hop world. Within the collection are sub-themes such as “The Golden Era of Hip-Hop”, East and West Coast Rivalries: Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, and Bling Bling and Global Domination."

From the

Recession forces rap's kings of bling to tone it down

'People think these big pieces are blindin' but they be like D-quality diamonds, and when you try and sell them you learn they ain't worth a thing," said Slim Williams, who founded Cash Money Records with his brother, Bryan "Birdman" Williams, in 1991. "You can't be doing it like we did it no more."

Famous men in diamonds from the recent the past.

This guy was a glittery showman "icein it up" for most of his career.

Elton John In Paris 1985 wearing a Diamond and platinum brooch from 1900.

Elton John's Brooch
Photo Sotheby's New York 1992

The real kings of Bling were the princes of India from the provinces of Patiala, Alwar, and Baroda. Connoisseurship of the finest gems was a tradition handed down through successive generations. Princely jewelry training started when they were very young.

The four young sons of the Maharajah of Patiala

The Maharajah Of Patiala 1911 wearing some of his diamonds and natural pearls

Necklace mounted by Cartier in 1928 for the Maharajah of Patiala
with the De Beers yellow diamond 224.65 carats in the center.

Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display both the
Star of the South and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it. Photo circa 1880.

128.48-carat stone star of the south

In India Gems were believed to have a curative and astrological significance. They were held in high esteem by the Maharajahs as a reflection of their princely magnificence.
The Indian princes Had the good sense to have their gems remounted by the finest French jewelery houses firms like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mauboussin, and Boucheron.

Had the Hip Hop Artists at the height of their individual fame, gone to say, Cartier, to make up their 'Bling Bling', they would have something which would have retained value even in today's market.
Recently according to WWD some of the business savvy Hip-Hop artists have been Harnessing Hip-Hop's muscle. With 50 Cent's fragrance deal, and Kayne West's association with LVMH

Kayne West and Marc Jacobs

I also love what these guys are doing to the language, turning nouns into verbs Like "Rolexed up"

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