For many centuries precious jewels were only collected by kings and queens, emperors, popes and maharajahs. But in the last 100 years or so, movie goddesses, opera singers, industrialists, real-estate investors and rock stars have joined those with the means to deck themselves in glittering bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Posthumous auctions have revealed the grand jewelry collections of recent times. The famous sale of 1987 uncovered the full extent of the dazzling designs which belonged to the Duchess of Windsor. By the same token, as this book so handsomely shows, the collections of such society women as Daisy Fellowes, Mona Bismarck and Barbara Hutton can now be appreciated and described in detail. Among the royals and artistocrats featured are HRH the Princess Royal (Princess Mary) of Great Britain and Umber to II of Italy, and the noble German family of Thurn and Taxis; from the world of film and entertainment stars like Merle Oberon, Joan Crawford and Ava Gardner. The two authors, both international jewelry experts, not only offer a rare opportunity to view an extraordinary treasure trove of top-class jewels, but also reveal the stories behind the jewels and their collectors. With 250 plates, including some 120 in full colour, this is a book to be cherished by everyone with an interest in society, collecting and the very best of jewelry art.