5 Things You May Not Know About Jewellery

A Red Carpet Necklace

The stunning $1 million 'Satine' necklace

The most expensive necklace ever made for a Hollywood film was worn by Nicole Kidman in the box office hit Moulin Rouge. The necklace is a $1 million masterpiece which was designed and crafted by legendary Australian jeweller Stefano Canturi.

The necklace features a whopping 1,308 top quality diamonds, giving a total of 134 carats. After an intricate and lengthy design process, Stefano named the necklace Satine, after the character played by Nicole Kidman in the film.

Ancient Adornment

Shells - used for jewellery - dating back around 100,000 years

In 1931 and 1932 a group of archaeologists working at Skhul Cave in Israel unearthed what is said to be the earliest known piece of human adornment. Several shells were discovered with distinct man-made holes in each side as if to be used as a pendant. Archaeologists and geochemists dated both shells to be around 100,000 years old, making them the world's oldest pieces of jewellery.

Diamond In The Dirt

The world's largest diamond, weighing a colossal 3,106.75 carats

No interesting jewellery article would be complete without giving a mention to the world's largest diamond. Discovered in a South African diamond mine by Thomas Evan Powell in 1905, the diamond weighed a monstrous 3,106.75 carats - surely enough to make any girl love you forever!

The diamond was cut into nine individual diamonds of which the largest, known as Great Star of Africa, was set into a sceptre (an ornamental rod held by a ruling monarch) that has been part of the Crown Jewels since its production for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661.

Worth Its Weight In... Rhodium

Rhodium - the lesser known most expensive precious metal

Contrary to popular belief, platinum is not the world's most expensive metal, nor is gold or any of its variants such as white or rose gold. The most expensive precious metal is actually rhodium.

Rhodium is classified as a precious metal, thus it conforms to a series of rules which outline the disposition of precious metals. They must be naturally occurring, lustrous, ductile, and non-reactive as skin contact is inevitable when wearing jewellery.

Rhodium is valuable largely because of its concentrated and limited supply. As a metal it is also hard to extract and refine which boosts its price even further. The metal is mined in South Africa, USA and Russia. It is mostly used in the jewellery industry for plating gold and silver items, but rarely is it used as a primary material for jewellery - it's just too expensive at the moment.

However, solid rhodium jewellery is attainable but be prepared to pay top dollar for this precious metal. Some jewellers will manufacture rhodium jewellery upon request, typically using 80% rhodium and 20% alloying metal in the process.

Have A Spare £29 Million?

The Graff Pink, weighing in at a healthy 24.78 carats

In November 2010 a rare pink diamond was sold to billionaire jeweller Laurence Graff at Sotheby's Auction House in London. The pink diamond ring on offer broke all records when it finally sold for £29 million. The pink diamond sits proudly on the ring flanked by two other diamonds. The Graff Pink, as it is now known, weights a healthy 24.78 carats and is internally flawless.

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