Not only have there been many famous songs about jewelry over the years, from Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend to Migos’ Too Much Jewelry.
Many artists have also extensively worn jewelry pieces, both on and off stage, and are well known for their passion for all that glitters.
Let’s take a look at six famous artists and their infamous love for jewelry.
1. Elvis Presley
Elvis, particularly in his later years, was well-known for his preference for jewels. He wore diamonds, sapphires, gold, and numerous antique rings, both during performances and off stage.
One famous piece that The King owned was a beautiful gold chain necklace and ring, which contained an 11.5-carat solitaire and 56 diamonds.
He also owned a yellow gold ring with calcite cabochon that was styled with the head of a jaguar that had green tourmaline eyes, which is currently valued at an estimated $15,000.
Furthermore, Elvis Presley had two identical custom rings made, one for a friend and one for himself, that contained diamonds, black sapphire, and 10K gold.
Moving into more modern times, Rihanna is well-known for incorporating jewelry into her everyday eclectic style. She particularly has a passion for vintage and antique pieces.
Over the years, the multi-award-winning artist has been spotted sporting a cameo ring that is typical of the Georgian and Victorian eras and an antique Saint Esprit pendant, which is a pendant that is shaped like a dove, representing the Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit.
She has also been seen wearing custom black diamond rings, bold gold jewelry, and statement sapphires.
Rihanna even sang a song called Diamonds. Written with Sia and the producers Stargate and Benny Blanco, the track features on her seventh studio album, Unapologetic. However, the diamonds referred to in the song are actually symbolic of two lovers.
Madonna is another famous artist who is well-known for her love of jewelry.
Looking at the ways in which she has utilized jewelry on stage alone denotes how much Madonna loves luxurious and precious things.
For instance, in 2012, during her MDNA tour, Madonna wore a staggering 315,000 Swarovski crystals and in 1991, at the Academy Awards ceremony, she worked with jewelers to create an outfit inspired by Marilyn Monroe. It contained diamonds worth an incredible $ 20 million!
Jewelry arguably played its most prominent role in music during the 1980s, when rap and hip-hop artists started becoming mainstream for the first time.
Artists like Run D.M.C., 2pac, and the Notorious B.I.G. became well-known for expressing themselves with bold gold chains, large colorful rings, and other opulent displays of jewelry.
Indeed, it seemed as though the bigger the artist was, the bigger their jewelry became!
In the 1990s and beyond, rappers and hip-hop artists continued to showcase their success by wearing luxurious jewelry.
Today, there is perhaps no better example than Jay-Z. Off stage and on stage, the multi-award-winning artist has openly displayed his love for jewelry.
Take the video he made with Beyoncé for their collaborative song Apesh*t as an example.
In addition to lines in the track like “Look at my jewelry I’m lethal” and referencing luxurious Swiss brands like Richard Mille and Patek Philipp, the video is scattered with opulent jewelry pieces.
They include a necklace that includes 213 gems and totals over 71 carats, a diamond demi suite of earrings, and a Gucci x Dapper Dan necklace. Jay-Z is also seen in the video sporting his infamous Cartier Panther ring.
5. Jimi Hendrix
The legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix was well known for his unique sense of fashion and the jewelry he wore. Hendrix was especially fond of wearing turquoise jewelry.
If you are not aware, turquoise is an opaque mineral. Its color matches its name.
Turquoise has been a prized gemstone for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians mined it around five thousand years ago, and it has a rich history, dating back millennia, in both Iran and the Southwest United States.
Indeed, due to the Southwest United States having a significant source of turquoise, it was a gem often used and worn by certain Native American tribes.
The latter piece of information appears to be why Jimi Hendrix was such a fan of the blue-green mineral. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Hendrix’s grandmother was of Cherokee descent and his family heritage contributed to his love of turquoise and other bold and colorful jewelry.
Queen Bey is widely recognized for her powerful singing voice and one-of-a-kind performances. But she is also considered to be somewhat of a jewelry aficionado.
She is often spotted in public donning luxurious designer jewelry pieces, such as gold and silver wrist coils and bold necklaces and earrings. And jewelry often takes center stage in the visuals that accompany her music.
For example, for her visual album Lemonade, Beyoncé wore a stunning gold and diamond ankh pendant, designed by Lynn Bann, the renowned Singaporean jewelry designer.
Furthermore, Beyoncé is good friends with some notable names in the jewelry industry, such as Lorraine Schwartz, the highly regarded American designer of bespoke jewelry pieces.
In fact, Schwartz has gifted numerous custom jewelry pieces to Beyoncé over the years, including an exquisite 400-carat plunge necklace, worth a staggering $12 million. Beyoncé wore the stunning piece at the 2017 Grammys.
Finding Your Style
If you are in the process of discovering your own taste and style for the jewelry you wear or want to try something new, consider taking a leaf out of the above famous artists’ books.
You could opt for bold yellow gold pieces that Elvis Presley had a preference for, or you could choose vintage and antique pieces, just like Rihanna.
And while you most likely will not be able to afford to wear $20 million worth of diamonds like Madonna, you could explore more affordable diamond jewelry pieces. You might even like to consider buying lab-grown diamond jewelry.
You also have the option to try an eclectic mix of precious stones, to follow in the footsteps of Jay-Z, wear turquoise to keep the spirit of Jimi Hendrix alive, or buy bespoke items of jewelry from renowned designers to mimic the taste of Beyoncé.
Ultimately, finding your jewelry style is about finding out what is right for you.
So, while you can take inspiration from the above artists and their tastes in different types of jewelry, at the end of the day, you should choose pieces that complement the rest of your look and resonate with you on an emotional level.