The Legendary Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace

The story of the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace begins with Barbara Hutton, a woman known for her immense wealth. Barbara was the heiress to the Woolworth retail fortune, one of the largest retail empires of its time. With unimaginable wealth at her disposal, Barbara lived a life of immense extravagance.

The Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace

This famous Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace is made of large, beautiful green jade beads. There are 27 of these beads, and they come in different sizes, with the biggest one being 19.20 mm and the smallest 15.40 mm. What makes this necklace even more unique is its clever clasp designed by Cartier.

Barbara Hutton, often referred to as the “Poor Little Rich Girl” due to her tumultuous personal life, was known for her lavish lifestyle. She was married seven times, but her love story with Prince Alexis Mdivani stands out. Prince Alexis was a Georgian aristocrat, and the two fell deeply in love.

Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace, made of 27 beautifully jadeite beads, was a wedding present from Barbara Hutton’s father in 1933 when she married Prince Alexis Mdivani. The origin of these remarkable jadeite beads is still a mystery, but some believe they might have been carved in the 18th century.

This precious jadeite necklace carries the names of the wedded couple. The necklace, designed by Cartier, is fastened with a clasp adorned with rubies, gold, and diamonds. Did you know that jadeite is the rarest and finest form of jade gemstones. Usually, top-quality jade can’t produce beads larger than 10 millimeters in diameter. What makes this necklace exceptionally rare and valuable is that each bead is more extensive than 15 millimeters in diameter, and they all originate from the same boulder. 

Not much is known about the Hutton-Mdivani Jadeite Necklace whereabouts after Barbara Hutton died in 1979. 

The Cartier Collection acquired the necklace at a 2014 auction in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s. This exciting auction saw six bidders competing for the necklace in an 18-minute battle. This necklace, hailed as the most magnificent jadeite bead necklace globally, was the star of the auction. It surpassed everyone’s expectations by selling for over twice its estimated price of $27.44 million.

Sotheby’s called this the “most historically significant jadeite bead necklace.”

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