Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,’ sang Marilyn Monroe, a woman who wore some jaw-droppingly expensive sparklers.
The blonde bombshell is, however, comprehensively outshone by Victoria Beckham. While Marilyn received relatively modest baubles from her three husbands, Posh Spice has been showered with generous gifts over the course of her 24-year marriage to David Beckham.
The former footballer and besotted husband — said to be worth £400 million — has bought his wife no fewer than 15 engagement rings, each more dazzling than the last.
Some couples upgrade their TVs, kitchens or sofas. For the Beckhams, it seems the quickest route to marital harmony is via the jewellery store, where ‘money’s no object’.
Victoria’s critics might question whether she — or anyone — needs 15 rings. The tradition, after all, is to receive one ring per engagement. For some it might be a status symbol, but most women cherish their engagement ring for what it symbolises, rather than for what it costs.
Some couples upgrade their TVs, kitchens or sofas. For the Beckhams, it seems the quickest route to marital harmony is via the jewellery store, where ‘money’s no object’
While Marilyn received relatively modest baubles from her three husbands, Posh Spice has been showered with generous gifts over the course of her 24-year marriage to David Beckham
The former footballer and besotted husband — said to be worth £400 million — has bought his wife no fewer than 15 engagement rings, each more dazzling than the last
However, Victoria Beckham, a successful fashion designer with a thriving beauty and fragrance empire, is able to change her diamonds as readily as the rest of us change our shoes.
And if it’s true that a diamond earns its sparkle from the pressure it endures, who could be more deserving than the fomer Spice Girl?
The 12.4 million viewers of the Netflix documentary, Beckham, have had a glimpse of the couple’s glitzy lifestyle and also seen that Victoria has endured a good deal of pressure down the years, including insults from fans, being uprooted from family, and rumours of David’s alleged affair.
So being married hasn’t always been easy, but Victoria has earned the right to sparkle.
We asked leading jeweller Darren Sherwood, founder of Mr Sherwood London, to give the low-down on the Beckham bling at today’s prices. The result? A collection worth some £30,891,000…
No 1 for posh spice
1998: Marquise cut diamond, £180,000
When David proposed in 1998, it was with a three carat marquise-cut white diamond set on a yellow gold band, a traditional choice that belied the couple’s tender years. The ring’s tapered, oval stone was a hit with Victoria, who wore it performing with the Spice Girls. ‘It’s a beautiful stone and the tapered shank accentuates its shape. Stunning,’ says jeweller Darren Sherwood. ‘The bigger the stone, the harder it is to get it flawless, but this will be close.’
David proposed in 1998 with a three carat marquise-cut white diamond set on a yellow gold band, a traditional choice that belied the couple’s tender years
When two became one
1999: Eternity band, £20,000
Soon after they married in July 1999, Victoria was wearing a simple diamond eternity band, usually given to mark a milestone such as a birth. Perhaps it was a gift to celebrate the arrival of son Brooklyn, born earlier that year. The simple design suited her new, unfussy style.
Soon after they married in July 1999, Victoria was wearing a simple diamond eternity band, usually given to mark a milestone such as a birth
Glitzy? Of corset is
2003: Emerald-cut diamond, £1.2 million
By this time, Victoria was sporting an emerald-cut diamond with side baguettes, an ostentatious style that reflected her early 2000s love affair with bling. She loved glitzy Dolce & Gabbana corset dresses, and the 57 facets of a typical emerald-cut, sparkling alongside the 14 facets of each baguette, made an ideal accompaniment.
By this time, Victoria was sporting an emerald-cut diamond with side baguettes, an ostentatious style that reflected her early 2000s love affair with bling
2004: Pink champagne halo diamond, £1.6 million
David gave his wife this pink champagne diamond ring to mark her 30th birthday, worth an estimated £1.6 million. He was playing for Real Madrid at the time — not the happiest period for their marriage, with claims of an affair. ‘This is probably about three or four carats,’ says Sherwood. ‘When you get into pink diamonds, you’re talking silly money. The Argyle mine [in Western Australia], which supplied 90 per cent of them, has dried up. You can almost just pick a number and double it, because it’s so rare and collectible.’
Beckham gave his wife a pink champagne diamond ring for her 30th birthday
2006: Yellow diamond, £2.1 million
The second half of the 2000s saw Victoria enter a new style phase, with hair extensions, oversized sunglasses and a Birkin bag. As if the Birkin’s status wasn’t enough, she added this yellow, emerald-cut diamond. Those not au fait with fine jewellery may be thinking, ‘Yellow? Eew!’ In fact, yellow diamonds can be more expensive than white. The colour is derived from the presence of nitrogen during the formation of the stone — the more intense the yellow, the more expensive the diamond. Perfect for pulling rank as Queen WAG at the 2006 World Cup.
In 2006, Victoria added this yellow emerald-cut diamond
2007: Pear cut diamond, £2.5 million
BY the end of 2007, Victoria had dispensed with her long brown tresses in favour of a more businesslike, choppy bob. And nothing says business more than the 17-carat pear-cut stone David bought her that year. A pear-shaped diamond stands for empowerment: having struggled in Madrid, perhaps Victoria needed an extra dose of it.
The 17-carat pear-shaped diamond ring stands for empowerment
Green with envy
2007: Cushion-cut emerald, £2.5m
Even diamonds can get boring after a while. What’s a boy to do? Answer: buy your wife an emerald. This cushion-cut emerald ring was spotted at an Oscars party in 2007, its bold, claw setting giving it a stark, modern feel that echoes Victoria’s newly pared-back style. This is her sculptural dress era, and that really is one sculpted rock.
Victoria was first spotted wearing this cushion-cut emerald ring at an Oscars party in 2007
2008: Emerald-cut diamond, £3.7m
In 2008, Victoria launched her eponymous fashion label, and cropped her hair, which suited her bone structure. But few noticed that her fourth finger was clad in a 15-carat emerald-cut Chopard diamond. ‘This is stunning. Forget the gemstones — the work is just beautiful. If Chopard uses a stone, it will be exceptional,’ says Sherwood.
While launching her eponymous fashion label Victoria sported a 15-carat emerald-cut Chopard diamond
Rubies are red
2009: Oval ruby set in diamonds, £5.6m
Still new to the fashion scene, Victoria first wore this at the Met Gala with a Marc Jacobs gown. Its distinctive spiral-shaped white diamond halo band shows her willingness to experiment with catwalk-inspired looks. ‘It’s very rare at that size,’ says Sherwood. ‘It’s pigeon’s blood red, probably from Mozambique or perhaps a historical Myanmar ruby. It’s vanishingly unusual to find one like it.’
This distinctive and ‘vanishingly unusual’ spiral-shaped white diamond halo band is probably from Mozambique or a Myanmar ruby
Her latest band
2010: Oval sapphire in a platinum band, £4.9m
Like many women at the time, Victoria favoured neutral hues. This huge oval sapphire provided a pop of colour. And what a pop.
‘Royal blue and cornflower are the most desirable colours in a sapphire, and this is as royal blue as it gets,’ says Sherwood. ‘It’s probably Sri Lankan. The mad thing is the size — it almost looks fake. But of course, it’s not.’
So large that it looks fake, this oval sapphire provided a pop of colour at a time of neutral hues
2010: Pink oval-cut diamond, £1.65m
Victoria’s pink oval-cut diamond set in a yellow gold halo band — another addition to her 2010 ringdrobe — was something of a downsize. Small and (relatively) discreet, the former pop star wore the exquisite rock at a New York launch party for her latest denim line — perhaps so that it didn’t distract from the jeans.
Small and (relatively) discreet, the former pop star wore this pink oval-cut diamond in a yellow gold band at a New York launch party for her latest denim line — perhaps so that it didn’t distract from the jeans
2015: Round-cut diamond, £2m
Never previously a fan of a round-cut diamond, this one, surrounded by two side stones, was debuted at a fundraising gala in Hong Kong. A round diamond represents eternal love, while its facets tend to sparkle very intensely. Classic and chic, it mirrors her own metamorphosis from WAG to designer.
A round-cut diamond symbolises eternal love, with facets that tend to sparkle intensely
Over the moon
2015: Moonstone, £41,000
This relatively simple moonstone ring, seen in 2015, hails from the U.S. watchmaker Jacob & Co, a footballer favourite. Its pave diamond setting lends it an antique feel that chimes well with Victoria’s style, which became more understated as her career as a fashion designer took off.
In 2015, Victoria wore a moonstone ring from US watchmaker Jacob & Co
2016: Square-cut diamond, £1m
This square-cut diamond and platinum ring, seen at Cannes in 2016, is in keeping with Victoria’s identity as a fully fledged fashion designer. Square-cut diamonds are favourites of the fashion set, prized for being less about bling and more about statement. Or rather, understatement.
It’s a simple ring, but all the more chic for it.
This square-cut diamond and platinum ring, seen at Cannes in 2016, is in keeping with Victoria’s identity as a fully fledged fashion designer
2018: Square-cut yellow diamond, £1.9m
Her most recent addition echoed the ring David proposed with, but is far more classic. The pavé band is discreet, as befits her elegant style these days.
‘Now this is a canary yellow diamond, a really contemporary design,’ says Sherwood.
Victoria’s most recent addition to her ringdrobe was a classic pavé band, similar to the one David proposed with
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