Yesterday I went to the Cartier and America exhibit at the Legion Of  Honor and it showed me that diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend.  The exhibit covers the 100 years of Cartier in the US and features over 200 of Cartier’s most spectacular pieces.  Best part, the jewelry was previously owned by America’s royalty such Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace Kelly, The Duchess of Windsor, Marjorie Post, Gloria Swanson and many more. The exhibit was not only beautiful but was a short history of style, Cartier and the elite of the US throughout the last 100 years, needless to say it was an eye-opening experience.

The Cartier Bib necklace was created in 1947 for the Duchess of Windsor. This was one of the most beautiful necklaces at the exhibit made up of 18-carat and 20-carat gold, a heart-shaped faceted amethyst, twenty-seven emerald-cut amethysts, an oval faceted amethyst, turquoise cabochons and baguette-cut diamonds (all stones were supplied the duke and duchess themselves). The above picture does not do this necklace justice. It is STUNNING!

I love Duchess of Windsor’s style! She also owned the above  Panther Clip Brooch. This is one of the first three-dimensional panthers conceived by designer Jeanne Toussaint of Cartier. The panther is pave-set with diamonds and tiny sapphire cabochons and one 152.35-carat Kashmir sapphire cabochon!! Wowzers. This brooch is a jaw dropper. It is an extremely intricate brooch, the eyes two pear-shaped yellow diamonds.

Elizabeth Taylor was given the above necklace by her husband, Mike Todd, while vacation in Southern France. Not to worry, this necklace has a matching earring and bracelet (featured below). While at the exhibit you can see the home video of Mike Todd giving Elizabeth Taylor the is unbelievable how amazing the set looks on the her while she is wearing no make up and wearing a swim suit.

Taylor in 1958, with her Cartier ruby and diamond necklace offered in 1957 by Mike Todd.

Mexican actress, Maria Felix, had an extensive collection of jewelry from Cartier, most of which she had commissioned. The Crocodile necklace featured above was commissioned in 1975 and is set with 1,023 yellow diamonds and has emeralds for the eyes and the other has 1,060 emeralds and ruby eyes. That is incredible.

It is said that Felix went to Cartier’s rue de la Paix store with a baby crocodile as a model for the necklace.

Another special order for Felix is the snake necklace with 2,472 diamonds. The inside segments of the necklace are enameled to give the illusion of snake skin. It is also made up of individual sections that are hinged internally so it will slither like a snake.

This is the official portrait of Princess Grace of Monaco wearing her 12 carat engagement ring as well as a matching necklace, clip and Tiara all created for her by Cartier. You can see her engagement ring at the exhibit.

This necklace was created on special order for Daisy Fellowes (daughter of Duc Decazes and Isabelle Singer). This is one of the most famous Tutti Frutti pieces made by Cartier.

Fellows wearing the necklces.

1932 London necklace is set in platinum and sports round, rose-cut diamonds and a cushion-shaped polished 143.23 carat emerald.

Cartier’s 1930 bracelets with diamond, rock crystals and platinum.

Tiger Clip brooch created in 1957.

The exhibit has extended its stay at SF’s Legion of Honor through May. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays.