Movie stars won’t be the only things shining Sunday during the 86th Annual Academy Awards show. Over the years, the Oscar red carpet has created quite a cult following of fashion lovers and celebrity gawkers alike. Millions of viewers tune in to see the gowns, the accessories, and, arguably the main event – the jewels.
In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, the world’s finest jewelry can be found in Hollywood, ready to adorn the necks, wrists and ears of the most talked about starlets. The precious gems usually come complete with armored vehicles and their very own security guards. So why go through the trouble of loaning out millions of dollar in bling? The same reason advertisers shell out millions for the Super Bowl – to be the talk of the town.
It was in 1943 when jeweler Harry Winston first had the idea to loan his priceless jewels for stars walking the Oscar red carpet. When Best Actress winner Jennifer Jones (for The Song of Bernadette) appeared wearing Winston’s diamonds, a tradition was born. Since then, actresses have been stunning viewers on the red carpet with unforgettable gems.
It raises a question: What happens if one of these loaned pieces is broken or lost? Well, all jewelers carry ‘block insurance’ to protect the entirety of their collections. However, once a piece of jewelry is in celebrity hands, the jeweler is no long responsible for it.
The celebrity borrowing the piece will either have to extend his or her current jewelry coverage or buy short-term coverage for the event. Typically, the jeweler’s insurer will require the star to provide proof of insurance. That’s right, even celebrities must prove they are financially responsible!
Here are five of the most expensive, jaw dropping jewels to ever grace the Oscar red carpet:
- How would you like to have a piece of jewelry made just for you? That’s exactly what Tiffany & Co. did for Kate Winslet at the 2010 Oscars. Her flash bulb inducing necklace was worth $2.5 million and definitely made a fashion statement.
- Angelina Jolie always knows how to make an entrance and the 2009 Oscars were no exception. Jolie stopped the show in a pair of Lorraine Schwartz 115-carat emerald drop earrings. The green beauties were reportedly worth $2.5 million.
- We can’t talk about the most expensive Oscar gems without mentioning Nicole Kidman. At the 2008 Academy Awards, Kidman’s neckwear came complete with 7,765 diamonds. The piece by L’Wren Scott was reportedly worth a cool $7 million.
- In 2011, Anne Hathaway made best-dressed lists everywhere with her gorgeous red Valentino gown, but the $10 million Tiffany necklace she wore didn’t hurt, either. The 94-carat Lucida Star Tiffany & Co diamond necklace was definitely a crowd pleaser.
- The most expensive piece of jewelry worn at the Oscars was this sapphire and diamond Titanic necklace worn by Gloria Stuart in 1998. The 15-carat diamond necklace, designed by Harry Winston, was reportedly worth $20 million.
If you have precious gems of your own, make sure they are properly covered by insurance. While jewelry typically is included as part of a standard home insurance policy’s contents coverage, high-value items usually have strict coverage limits that might not fully protect your gems.
Review your policy and talk with your home insurance provider so that you can keep your jewels ready for their close-ups for years to come.