“Next to sound judgment, diamonds and pearls are the rarest things in the world”Jean de la Bruyere, French satiric moralist, 1645-1696
Diamonds, pearls, sapphires....ladies, and men alike enjoy the beauty and sparkle of precious stones. We just saw an example of Louis' frugality with diamonds and money. Marie Antoinette was not so different! As I mentioned in a previous post, she really liked pearls, in fact she preferred them much more over diamonds! She did however make a few diamond purchases. One purchase was a pair of diamond earrings she bought which cost 460,000 livres. She made the purchase in 1776 and paid them off in installments over the course of six years.
After she finished the payments for the earrings she purchased a diamond bracelet (just six months later!) The bracelet was priced at 300,000 livres. To save some money she took some of her older diamonds which were in 'old fashioned' settings and had them reset in the new bracelet. Apparently those were her only two diamond purchases as Queen of France. However she did have diamonds that she inherited and received as gifts.
*Earrings above from film Marie Antoinette, 2006. Bracelet to the right is an 18th century piece with diamonds owner unknown.