Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is most commonly remembered for her time as the First Lady from 1961-1963, as well as her extensive historical preservation efforts both during and after her time in the White House. However, a little known fact among most people is that she is also an icon in the jewelry world!
At the time of her passing in 1996, Jackie Kennedy had amassed a significant amount of fine jewelry, which sold for incredible prices at her estate sale. The popularity that she garnered during her life caused many of the pieces in her auction to sell for tens of thousands more than they were originally appraised (like a set of simulated pearl necklaces and metal ear clips that that were purchased at the estate sale for $85,000 after a $400 appraisal).
Jackie Kennedy Onassis had it all, from a 17.68 carat ruby ring to a 47 carat Kunzite stone given to her as a gift from President John F. Kennedy. While we are fascinated with both her story and incredible jewelry collection, we have to admit:
Jonathan’s is REALLY excited about Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ engagement rings (of course).
The JFK Ring
Jacqueline Kennedy’s first engagement ring was purchased in 1953, back when she went by the name of Jacqueline Lee Bouviere. The ring screamed vintage art deco, and featured several different types of stones and cuts.
Originally created by the French jewelry company, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jackie’s engagement ring boasted both a 2.88 carat weight diamond as well as a 2.84 carat weight emerald. True to Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature French design style, the ring also included several tapered baguettes that accented the main stones with a “flowery” look.
In 1963 the engagement ring was redone, and an additional 2.12 carats of marquise and round cut diamonds were added. The final result was a ring fit for a President’s wife, weighing in at almost 8 carats of diamonds and emeralds.
The Lesotho III
While the above engagement ring from President John F. Kennedy is absolutely stunning, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ “Lesotho III” diamond engagement ring is truly a show-stopper. Years after President Kennedy’s assassination, Jackie eventually remarried in 1968 to Aristotle Onassis – a Greek shipping industry mogul.
At the time of their engagement, Aristotle presented Jackie with a 40.42 carat weight diamond ring that was a part of the famous South African Lesotho brown diamond. The L color, marquise cut, VS2 clarity diamond was one of 18 stones that were cut from the original 601 carat weight (yes, you read that correctly) rough stone. Unfortunately, Jackie only wore the massive ring two times before it was stored in a New York City bank vault until her passing. At the time of her estate sale, the Lenovo III engagement ring sold for a whopping 2.59 million dollars.
We want your future wife to wear her engagement ring more than twice. Seriously.
If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, give Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers a call and experience the custom design difference. If you are looking for something vintage a la Jackie Kennedy’s first engagement ring, we carry several antique engagement rings in our showroom and Ebay store!
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