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$211,500 Jackie Kennedy's Legendary 3 Strand Faux Pearl Necklace
$211,500 Faux Pearl Necklace!
In Stephen Spignasi's book entitled J.F.K. Jr. , the author details that after Jackie's death, the famous three strand necklace was auctioned off at Sotherby’s.
The lot number was 454 and the simulated pear necklace 19-inch triples strand, 139 9-9.5 millimeter simulated pearls – one of the most sought after pieces at the auction value $500-$700. The necklace is famous for JKF Jr (aka John-John) tugging on the necklace while Jackie held him in her arms.
Sotherby's sold this faux pearl necklace (estimate at auction was $500-$700) for $211,500!
The buyer was the Franklin Mint. The Franklin Mint retains this necklace on display even today.
The idea of an auction was Jackie's. During her lifetime, most likely after her diagnosis with cancer (she left us on May 20, 1994 at age 64 and died from a form of cancer of the lymphatic system) she decided she wanted an auction for the express purpose of keeping her "big houses”.
The auction at Sotherbys in 1996 included 1,195 lots and brought in $34.46 million or on the average $28,838 per lot.
Source: 1997 Spignesi, S. J.F.K., Jr. New York: Citadel Carrol Publishing Group.
Jackie Kennedy in her Famous Three Strand Pearl Necklace
$211,500 for a faux pearl necklace - the one and only - the 17" triple–strand simulated pearl necklace - Jackie Kennedy's signature piece . And from historical photos shown at the right, you can see, this necklace was certainly one of Jackie's favorites. Journey with me as we explore the photos of Jackie wearing this updated classic and among other celebrities, learn about the auction price in six-digits - yes, that is correct - six-digits for a faux strand of pearls and learn about the unparalled beauty of Czechoslovakia Glass Pearls.
"The History of the Original
This necklace, the original was faux pearls. More than a century ago, after a hand-painting process was perfected in what would become Czechoslovakia, the wealthy began wearing faux pearls because it was particularly difficult to find pearls properly matched in color or size. When Jackie was a debutante, Kokichi Mikimoto had not yet perfected his cultured pearl process, so the wealthy continued to use the glass-based pearls from Czechoslovakia.
Jackie had many sets of pearls besides this one, and each had a special purpose or size. The set she wore and enjoyed the most is the design you see here. The three lengths are not uniformly set, as there is a larger space between the inner strand and the other two. The reason for this space was so she could wear the pearls in the manner of Coco Chanel.
Coco Chanel, a top designer that Jackie adored, devised a set of pearls in the same configuration so the lower string could be pulled up and over the upper string to produce a very special and sophisticated look. This only works well with the aforementioned gap.
Coco Chanel also believed that a necklace’s clasp should be an integral part of its design, worn where it could be seen. On the Triple–Strand Simulated Pearl Necklace, the three strands above the clasp run together and the lower three strike off in different turns for a truly unique look.
Information supplied by Camrose & Kross."
Wonder of the Luster of Pearls
One of the wonders of pearls is the luster of the pearls and the luminescence the ivory/cream/white brilliance of the finishing.
Pearl are wonderful at picking up the surrounding colors - colors from clothing or sometimes picks up skin color.
Iconic Piece of Jewelry - Epitome of Sophistication
Ironic piece of jewelry - a true signature piece. The replica is manufactured in both the original 17" which Jackie wore and also a 20" necklace (manufactured upon customer's requests).
These pearls are the epitome of sophistication. Always a staple in Jacqueline Kennedy's wardrobe. The reproduction necklace gleams with three nesting strands of white simulated glass pearls. From the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection. The specification of the pearls from Camrose and Kross:
- Simulated pearls measure approximately 6.0mm and 8.0mm
- Silvertone rectangular hidden box clasp
- Inner strand measures approximately 17"L x 1"W
- Box, romance card, and includes Manufacturer's Certificate of Authenticity
Made in USA with the pearls imported from the Republic of Czechoslovakia, weight and faux materials are identical. This is only piece in the Jackie's Jewelry line of jewelry that is exact. Jackie's pearls were faux - highly crafted and simulated glass pearls.
Channeling is the term for the spacing in between in the multiple strands of pearls. Coco Channel developed this so that the multi-strand pearls would lay comfortably on the neck. Without the spacing in between you end up with a lump of pearls.
Care of Faux and Real Pearls
Real and faux pearls both demand care; the surface of the pearl is very delicate - both faux and real pearls can be damaged by hairspray and perfume. It is recommended that you take the time to clean your jewelry on a regular basis.
Jackie Kennedy and Her Sister Both with 3 Strand Pearl Necklaces
The Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection
The Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection is exact jewelry in every detail including the weight of the piece - reproduced in faux materials.
The 3-strand pearl necklace is identical in the hand knotting and the Czecholovankia glass pearls.
Replicated by Camrose and Kross, the website is Jackie's Jewelry.com
Czechoslovakia Glass Pearls
Czechoslovakia glass pearls have existed for over a thousand years. The Czech crystal makers it is said first received attention for their work in the Middle Ages for their high creativity and craftsmanship of crystals. The glass making techniques later extended to replicating pearls better than Mother Nature. Faux Czechoslovakia pearls were preferred by the well-to-do because of their luster and consistent sizing and coloration. According to Kennedy historian, Philip Katz, all of Jackie Kennedy's pearls were faux. Today the Czech glass making is manufactured under the labels of Bohemia Crystal and Bohemia Glass in the Republic of Czechoslovakia.The Czech glass pearls remain the finest in the world and even today the faux creations are preferred over natural pearls.
Barbara Bush and 3 Strand Pearls
Demi Moore and 3 Strand Pearl Necklaces
Catherine Zeta Jones in a Triple Pearl Necklace
America's Grandmother in Faux Pearls
In an interview, I once read, Barbara Bush openly stated she stole the idea of pearls from Jackie O. Barbara went on to become the "America's Grandmother in Faux Pearls".
Bart Ort of Kenneth Jay Lane (KJL) stated on QVC that this necklace is "our most famous necklace" - they have sold over 20,000 necklaces! This very famous 3 strand necklace was first designed by Kenneth Jay Lane. Kenneth Jay Lane has been designing jewelry for the white house since the Kennedy administration. His designs have been worn by both Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Bush. In fact, it was Kenneth Jay Lane's pearl necklace that Barbara Bush wore at her husband's inaugeration. The exact pearl necklace worn by Mrs. Bush is now displayed at the Smithsonian.
This necklace is listed as a "a tempting trio" - designed with three graduating strands of handknotted white simulated pearls, this necklace is a captivating complement to your neckline. "From the Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry Collection.
- Simulated pearls measure approximately 10.0mm
- Gold-tone KJL signature clasp
- Measures approximately 17"L
- Box, romance card, jeweler's pouch, care cloth, Manufacturer's Certificate of Authenticity
- Lifetime Limited Manufacture Warranty
"Women of all ages love costume jewelry because it's fun, it's fashionable, and it makes a woman feel younger." — Kenneth Jay Lane
Kenneth Jay Lane is widely recognized as one of the most innovative fashion jewelry designers. His clientele list reads like a Who's Who in Hollywood and glitters with first ladies, royalty, and movie stars. Born in Detroit, Lane attended the University of Michigan, majoring in architecture. It's still one of his loves, but he confessed he "couldn't do the math". He then transferred to the renowned Rhode Island School of Design where he got his bachelor of arts.
After graduation, Lane moved to New York, first working on the art staff of Vogue and then as an assistant designer at Delman Shoes. He studied in Paris with the great Roger Vivier and then moved back to New York to head up the Christian Dior shoe division. Lane's breakthrough idea of putting rhinestones on shoes — deemed silly at the time — resulted in creating earrings to match for an Arnold Scassi collection. After being featured in The New York Times, Lane began selling earrings in stores on Fifth Avenue within a month. As Elle magazine puts it, "Kenneth Jay Lane is the hottest costume jewelry designer around." His chic designs are always "just right" for any occasion.
You may know Barry Ort as the charming guest host of Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry Chic. But what you may not know is that Barry started out in theater and worked for a luxury retailer in Manhattan to pay the bills. He came across many customers who were avid collectors of KJL jewelry — and eventually Barry met the designer himself.
Barry later transitioned into jewelry manufacturing. His relationship with Kenneth flourished when he started working in the KJL showroom. Kenneth is not only a mentor to Barry — he's a longtime friend.
Information provided by Barry Ort."
John and Cindy McCain
Catherine the Great 5 Strand Turns to 3 Strand with Anna Thompson Dodge
Queen of Thailand - Today and In Her Younger YearsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Queen of Thailand Often Wears Multi-Strand Pearl Necklaces
Interestingly, a commenter mentioned the Queen of Thailand Queen Sirikit who has worn multi-strand pearls both in her youth and also later years in her life. The photos are worth looking at - classic never goes out of style - the Queen has proven this from one business suit to another to a decorative hat to even a black and white photo of her donning multi-strand pearls in her youth.
Queen Elizabeth of England
First Lady Michelle Obama Jackie O Pearls
American Actress Katherine Heigl
Iconic Multi-Strand Faux Pearl Necklace Lives On
The iconic pearl necklace lives on with Cindy McCain sporting the layered 3 strand necklace. From Jackie O. to "America's Grandmother" Barbara Bush to Michelle Obama, two Queens and Katherine Heigl.
Three United States first ladies' strong affinity to classic pearl fashion lives on.
Who Do You Feel Wears the Pearl Necklace Best?
Simulated Three Strand Pearl Necklace
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© 2010 Kelly Kline Burnett