Exceptional jewelry designs never go out of style, and some get more valuable with age. This is particularly true with those iconic creations that started new trends in the high-end jewelry industry or were owned by nobility and royalty and passed down as family heirlooms from one generation to the next. Some jewelry pieces are not only stylish, and timeless, but also investment-worthy.
The Verdura’s Maltese Cross Cuff came to light in the 1930s, when Duke Fulco di Verdura pioneered a new concept in precious jewelry with his bold and colorful, Byzantine-inspired Maltese cross brooches. The aristocratic designer gave them to the famous fashion editor Diana Vreeland. However, his true success came when he took a pair of slightly mismatched Maltese cross brooches with multicolored gems and placed them on two large, white enamel cuffs. He then gave these cuffs to his friend and muse Coco Chanel, who incorporated them into her signature style.
The Maltese Cross Cuffs remain Verdura’s most significant creation and part of Coco Chanel’s signature style. They come in many design variations and are frequently worn by celebrities and today’s style icons, including Sofia Coppola, Naomi Watts, and Sarah Jessica Parker. There are subtler everyday styles as well as glamorous diamond-encrusted models—that are recreated in limited numbers today.
The Maltese cross has come to represent differing degrees of boldness, and for the brand’s 75th anniversary 2 years ago, they went back to the original Byzantine inspiration—the 6th-century mosaic of Empress Theodora—for the motif. Available in several combinations of gold and precious materials – the Chrome tourmaline, amethyst, diamond and gold version sells for $49,500 while the darker Black jade, black and white diamonds, pearl and gold will set you back $56,500. The Maltese Cross Midas Bracelet retails for $52,000 and the Iconic Maltese Cross motif in amethyst, peridot, pearl, diamond and 18k hammered yellow gold, hinged costs $58,500.