$211,500 Faux Pearl Necklace!
In Stephen Spignasi's book entitled J.F.K. Jr. , the author details that after Jackie's death, the famous three strand necklace was auctioned off at Sotherby’s.
The lot number was 454 and the simulated pear necklace 19-inch triples strand, 139 9-9.5 millimeter simulated pearls – one of the most sought after pieces at the auction value $500-$700. The necklace is famous for JKF Jr (aka John-John) tugging on the necklace while Jackie held him in her arms.
Sotherby's sold this faux pearl necklace (estimate at auction was $500-$700) for $211,500!
The buyer was the Franklin Mint. The Franklin Mint retains this necklace on display even today.
The idea of an auction was Jackie's. During her lifetime, most likely after her diagnosis with cancer (she left us on May 20, 1994 at age 64 and died from a form of cancer of the lymphatic system) she decided she wanted an auction for the express purpose of keeping her "big houses”.
The auction at Sotherbys in 1996 included 1,195 lots and brought in $34.46 million or on the average $28,838 per lot.
Source: 1997 Spignesi, S. J.F.K., Jr. New York: Citadel Carrol Publishing Group.
Jackie Kennedy in her Famous Three Strand Pearl Necklace
$211,500 for a faux pearl necklace - the one and only - the 17" triple–strand simulated pearl necklace - Jackie Kennedy's signature piece . And from historical photos shown at the right, you can see, this necklace was certainly one of Jackie's favorites. Journey with me as we explore the photos of Jackie wearing this updated classic and among other celebrities, learn about the auction price in six-digits - yes, that is correct - six-digits for a faux strand of pearls and learn about the unparalled beauty of Czechoslovakia Glass Pearls.
"The History of the Original
This necklace, the original was faux pearls. More than a century ago, after a hand-painting process was perfected in what would become Czechoslovakia, the wealthy began wearing faux pearls because it was particularly difficult to find pearls properly matched in color or size. When Jackie was a debutante, Kokichi Mikimoto had not yet perfected his cultured pearl process, so the wealthy continued to use the glass-based pearls from Czechoslovakia.
Jackie had many sets of pearls besides this one, and each had a special purpose or size. The set she wore and enjoyed the most is the design you see here. The three lengths are not uniformly set, as there is a larger space between the inner strand and the other two. The reason for this space was so she could wear the pearls in the manner of Coco Chanel.
Coco Chanel, a top designer that Jackie adored, devised a set of pearls in the same configuration so the lower string could be pulled up and over the upper string to produce a very special and sophisticated look. This only works well with the aforementioned gap.
Coco Chanel also believed that a necklace’s clasp should be an integral part of its design, worn where it could be seen. On the Triple–Strand Simulated Pearl Necklace, the three strands above the clasp run together and the lower three strike off in different turns for a truly unique look.
Information supplied by Camrose & Kross."
Wonder of the Luster of Pearls
One of the wonders of pearls is the luster of the pearls and the luminescence the ivory/cream/white brilliance of the finishing.
Pearl are wonderful at picking up the surrounding colors - colors from clothing or sometimes picks up skin color.
Iconic Piece of Jewelry - Epitome of Sophistication
Ironic piece of jewelry - a true signature piece. The replica is manufactured in both the original 17" which Jackie wore and also a 20" necklace (manufactured upon customer's requests).
These pearls are the epitome of sophistication. Always a staple in Jacqueline Kennedy's wardrobe. The reproduction necklace gleams with three nesting strands of white simulated glass pearls. From the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection. The specification of the pearls from Camrose and Kross:
- Simulated pearls measure approximately 6.0mm and 8.0mm
- Silvertone rectangular hidden box clasp
- Inner strand measures approximately 17"L x 1"W
- Box, romance card, and includes Manufacturer's Certificate of Authenticity
Made in USA with the pearls imported from the Republic of Czechoslovakia, weight and faux materials are identical. This is only piece in the Jackie's Jewelry line of jewelry that is exact. Jackie's pearls were faux - highly crafted and simulated glass pearls.
Channeling is the term for the spacing in between in the multiple strands of pearls. Coco Channel developed this so that the multi-strand pearls would lay comfortably on the neck. Without the spacing in between you end up with a lump of pearls.
Care of Faux and Real Pearls
Real and faux pearls both demand care; the surface of the pearl is very delicate - both faux and real pearls can be damaged by hairspray and perfume. It is recommended that you take the time to clean your jewelry on a regular basis.
Jackie Kennedy and Her Sister Both with 3 Strand Pearl Necklaces
The Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection
The Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection is exact jewelry in every detail including the weight of the piece - reproduced in faux materials.
The 3-strand pearl necklace is identical in the hand knotting and the Czecholovankia glass pearls.
Replicated by Camrose and Kross, the website is Jackie's Jewelry.com
Czechoslovakia Glass Pearls
Czechoslovakia glass pearls have existed for over a thousand years. The Czech crystal makers it is said first received attention for their work in the Middle Ages for their high creativity and craftsmanship of crystals. The glass making techniques later extended to replicating pearls better than Mother Nature. Faux Czechoslovakia pearls were preferred by the well-to-do because of their luster and consistent sizing and coloration. According to Kennedy historian, Philip Katz, all of Jackie Kennedy's pearls were faux. Today the Czech glass making is manufactured under the labels of Bohemia Crystal and Bohemia Glass in the Republic of Czechoslovakia.The Czech glass pearls remain the finest in the world and even today the faux creations are preferred over natural pearls.
Barbara Bush and 3 Strand Pearls
Demi Moore and 3 Strand Pearl Necklaces
Catherine Zeta Jones in a Triple Pearl Necklace
America's Grandmother in Faux Pearls
In an interview, I once read, Barbara Bush openly stated she stole the idea of pearls from Jackie O. Barbara went on to become the "America's Grandmother in Faux Pearls".
Bart Ort of Kenneth Jay Lane (KJL) stated on QVC that this necklace is "our most famous necklace" - they have sold over 20,000 necklaces! This very famous 3 strand necklace was first designed by Kenneth Jay Lane. Kenneth Jay Lane has been designing jewelry for the white house since the Kennedy administration. His designs have been worn by both Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Bush. In fact, it was Kenneth Jay Lane's pearl necklace that Barbara Bush wore at her husband's inaugeration. The exact pearl necklace worn by Mrs. Bush is now displayed at the Smithsonian.
This necklace is listed as a "a tempting trio" - designed with three graduating strands of handknotted white simulated pearls, this necklace is a captivating complement to your neckline. "From the Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry Collection.
- Simulated pearls measure approximately 10.0mm
- Gold-tone KJL signature clasp
- Measures approximately 17"L
- Box, romance card, jeweler's pouch, care cloth, Manufacturer's Certificate of Authenticity
- Lifetime Limited Manufacture Warranty
"Women of all ages love costume jewelry because it's fun, it's fashionable, and it makes a woman feel younger." — Kenneth Jay Lane
Kenneth Jay Lane is widely recognized as one of the most innovative fashion jewelry designers. His clientele list reads like a Who's Who in Hollywood and glitters with first ladies, royalty, and movie stars. Born in Detroit, Lane attended the University of Michigan, majoring in architecture. It's still one of his loves, but he confessed he "couldn't do the math". He then transferred to the renowned Rhode Island School of Design where he got his bachelor of arts.
After graduation, Lane moved to New York, first working on the art staff of Vogue and then as an assistant designer at Delman Shoes. He studied in Paris with the great Roger Vivier and then moved back to New York to head up the Christian Dior shoe division. Lane's breakthrough idea of putting rhinestones on shoes — deemed silly at the time — resulted in creating earrings to match for an Arnold Scassi collection. After being featured in The New York Times, Lane began selling earrings in stores on Fifth Avenue within a month. As Elle magazine puts it, "Kenneth Jay Lane is the hottest costume jewelry designer around." His chic designs are always "just right" for any occasion.
You may know Barry Ort as the charming guest host of Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry Chic. But what you may not know is that Barry started out in theater and worked for a luxury retailer in Manhattan to pay the bills. He came across many customers who were avid collectors of KJL jewelry — and eventually Barry met the designer himself.
Barry later transitioned into jewelry manufacturing. His relationship with Kenneth flourished when he started working in the KJL showroom. Kenneth is not only a mentor to Barry — he's a longtime friend.
Information provided by Barry Ort."
John and Cindy McCain
Catherine the Great 5 Strand Turns to 3 Strand with Anna Thompson Dodge
Queen of Thailand - Today and In Her Younger Years
Queen of Thailand Often Wears Multi-Strand Pearl Necklaces
Interestingly, a commenter mentioned the Queen of Thailand Queen Sirikit who has worn multi-strand pearls both in her youth and also later years in her life. The photos are worth looking at - classic never goes out of style - the Queen has proven this from one business suit to another to a decorative hat to even a black and white photo of her donning multi-strand pearls in her youth.
Queen Elizabeth of England
First Lady Michelle Obama Jackie O Pearls
American Actress Katherine Heigl
Iconic Multi-Strand Faux Pearl Necklace Lives On
The iconic pearl necklace lives on with Cindy McCain sporting the layered 3 strand necklace. From Jackie O. to "America's Grandmother" Barbara Bush to Michelle Obama, two Queens and Katherine Heigl.
Three United States first ladies' strong affinity to classic pearl fashion lives on.
Simulated Three Strand Pearl Necklace
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Notes of Appreciation
Photos courtesy of
© 2010 Kelly Kline Burnett
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on January 18, 2017:
'Publicity still' from the newly released motion picture titled Jackie depicts actress Natalie Portman adorned with the three strand pearl necklace. Trip down memory lane for me!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on September 26, 2016:
The 88th edition of Chap magazine features on it's front cover a fashionably trend setting portraiture of this lady in question and an accompaning article titled Oh Jackie. The Chap is a mag specificly for the batchelor male with a psuedo anarchial sense of humour and for a woman to feature on it's front cover is a rarity. The article refers to Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis as a stylish icon. Good for her!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on September 13, 2016:
Jackie encapsulated the Camelot era.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on March 31, 2016:
I completely agree. Her style is timeless which makes her legendary.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on March 17, 2016:
I consider 'Jackie' to have legendary status as well!
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on February 15, 2016:
Yes, there is a big market even today for pearls. It is amazing how pearl necklaces are timeless. I continue to be amazed with the number of people who wear the triple strand necklace.
Strangely I feel as if we are all a part of a club - a club of triple strand pearl necklace owners and admirers.
I greatly appreciate you stopping by. On our family's radar is visiting England. Thank you so sharing the shoppe!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 08, 2015:
Strangely enough! I was only passing a shoppe (olde English spelling) in Fleet Street today with a sign reading 'pearl necklaces re strung'. Must be a market for that, antique, heirlooms and all!
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on November 21, 2014:
I look forward to reading your novelette 'Those Armitage Girls'. Ironically, Jackie's necklace was faux pearl and not deemed expensive. It sold for much more only due to the provenance rather than the value of the piece. I find it fascinating how the provenance, the history of the piece who owned it can actually change the value of the item.The question becomes how long will provenance pay? Will the next generation pay the same premium for a necklace associated with a women in the history books? Is it true we long live on as long as memories of us remain with our loved ones? Alas these are questions I cannot answer. I look forward to reading about Mary Lady Armitage. I pray that I never dine alone but always with family as family is the greatest wealth of all.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on November 21, 2014:
Love your product! Thank you so much for sharing! I will be sure to add in an Amazon capsule for this great organizer. Yes, all famous celebrities have been sporting the same necklace. I find it amazing - across all ages, all decades and all personalities. How can one necklace be such a classic? I would have thought a gold herringbone or other gold link but no, the classic three strand pearl necklace.
Ironically, the one person I was not able to locate a photo of wearing this necklace is the daughter of Jackie Kennedy - Caroline Kennedy. If someone has found a photo or know how I can obtain one - please let me know. I feel strongly this piece of jewelry is legendary and I would love to see a photo of Caroline wearing the necklace.
And of course, I still feel Jackie wore the necklace best - yet the others who are donning the necklace I must say do also look particularly stunning!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on October 28, 2014:
Imitation pearls have been around since the times of antiquity but the cultured variety only came into being early last century. Actually there was a time when the fresh water variety had no value at all. The pearl necklace mentioned here would one day i summise be regarded as priceless. In my novelette 'Those Armitage Girls', the wealthy widow Mary Lady Armitage dresses for dinner at precisely 8.00 pm each night and dines alone in the big mansion. She wears a 3 strand mikimoto pearl necklace with matching ear stubs. The crafty butler Bodley who is nearing retirement is scheming to steal the pearls which are usually locked in a wall safe however he knows the combination of the safe. Read the book to discover more!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 29, 2014:
Jaquie had style and was never tacky. Even in portraits of Jaquie with her newborn child She maintained the poise and glamour of a fashion model. Regarding Her jewellery bearing in mind all the Queens in history had a collection of jewells Isabella of Spain & Catherine the Great come to mind. Just looking at imagery of said collection a lot of professional expertise went into the making of those baubles to adorne a magnificent First Lady.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 28, 2014:
This is one of my favorite articles and has been very well received. It is simply fun.Thank you for sharing. The journey has been delightful I must say! PS I wore my three strand pearl necklace to graduation over the weekend. Our son graduated from college!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 23, 2014:
This collection is bound to have attracted a lot of karma along the journey.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 22, 2014:
I saw that - that is fascinating. I find it amazing the items that are auctioned and the items that are not auctioned. The most famous bracelet in the world I am awaiting for that one to be auctioned off. The Castellani bracelet is one of my personal favorites - I love the story and while I didn't care for the bracelet on tv - I recently purchased it and while red is not my color that bracelet is the most remarkable bracelets in the world.
I own several Jackie or as you say so eloquently Jaquie replicate bracelets. I could if the check book allowed (alas I cannot even afford the fakes!) dozens of her pieces re-crafted by Camrose and Kross but the Castellani bracelet is stunning.
It is the one piece of jewelry I ALWAYS receive compliments on. It is simply stunning and remember I don't care for red. The weight is amazing, the design is simple but eloquent and all that before you know the story of the most famous bracelet in the world.
If you like the 3 strand pearl necklace, you really must check out Castellani's bracelet of I will never give up on you - you will never give up on me - it is a love story intertwined in a stunning piece of art that can be worn on your wrist.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 22, 2014:
You are so right - she and her family remain even today to be the closest thing to royalty here in the United States. The world is an interesting place and if we look at history and look at what might have been - what might have happened if JFK or JFK Jr had lived? These remarkable people were taken from us too soon.
We need to learn our history and study the "greats" to know what is good and just and seek that path for ourselves and for our children.
Thank you so much for sharing and stopping by.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 22, 2014:
Front page of this morning's tabloid newspaper 'Irish Indepant' has an article concerning Kennedy letters up for auction. The focal point of that front page shows a posed portrait of Jaquie from when She was First Lady which literally took my breath away.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 21, 2014:
I forgot to mention earlier that i was actually alive when Jaquie (my spelling) was the First Lady some commentator wrote that She is the closest America has had to a Queen.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 20, 2014:
Fascinating how jewelry can set the stage - even from the military perspective. I find this fascinating. I thought only females noticed!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 17, 2014:
Thank you very much indeed for an unexpected response as we don't get too much publicity on the King and Queen of Thailand. In my more youthful years i was on S.E.AT.O.military exercise in Sonkla province of Thailand and on completion of that we were reviewed by the Royal couple who were in 'olive drab' dressed smartly in army fatigues with a minimal of insignia and definitely no jewellery. Her Majesty was demure and dignified during that ceremony.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 16, 2014:
You make a great point about Queen Sirikit so I did some research and added more photos of her wearing pearls - three photos in total. Amazing, I was able to locate a photo of her in her youth (albeit in black and white) wearing a multi-strand necklace - I think that photo is actually of a four strand necklace which we don't see very often.
Pearls do add dignity - great observation.
Yes, you make an important point, Western garb really calls out for pearls more so than other fashion.
Thank you so much for contributing. I greatly appreciate it.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 01, 2014:
Looking at official portraits of Queens from the Royal house of Windsor it seems that pearls were a popular day wear in particular the multi strand pearl necklaces of the late Queen Mary lent dignity to Her Majesty. Our present Queen utilises diamond necklaces more so. I couldn't help thinking how Queen Sirikit looks ecstatic of course She is wearing western garb here so that the pearl would seem appropriate.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 10, 2012:
Pearls of every sort are simply wonderful. The amazing thing is the variety. From double to three to single to graduated. Oh, how I love pearls!
Freshwater Pearls on May 10, 2012:
Wonderful collection of pearl, that can't be miss.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on April 20, 2012:
What a wonderful source of pearls you offer! Great website! Custom order with 6 month warranty - you mean business.
I will have to write a hub on great sources for pearls. So glad you stopped by - thank you!
Pearls are beautiful and your selection is superb.
freshwaterpearls on April 19, 2012:
whatever we can use . the pearls are looking more beautiful than any thing else.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on October 22, 2011:
Carolee does have a great collection. Their designs are reminiscent of Jackie but I don't believe they are licensed and/or promoted by the Kennedy family.
Carolee offers a fabulous line.
@Stephen SMcmillion - A strand or two or three - love the triple strand pearls are a classic! You are right! My favorite is my triple strand. You will be surprised how relevant the triple strand is even today!
katherine Rose on October 19, 2011:
Carolee, the american fashion jewelry company, has an amazing Jackie collectioin of pearls
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on August 16, 2011:
Pearls are timeless and the triple strand has lasted throughout decades. I was watching the political campaign and was surprised to see the triple strand necklace.
Thank you so much!
StephenSMcmillan on August 14, 2011:
Very informative hub!Strand pearls is a classical fashion for ladies.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on November 09, 2010:
Very well stated - "tragic and triumphant" - very appropriate for both Jackie and her family today.
Terry Chestnutt from Cleveland, Ohio on November 09, 2010:
She was tragic and triumphant, both, it seems.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on November 06, 2010:
Jackie was a widow at age 34 and died at 64.
Cancer hits at any age and even the healthiest such as my late husband.
Jackie was athletic - jogged, swam and never ate sweets - a healthy lifestyle idol in addition to her fashion and marketing acumen.
I was a widow at age 33, I was thinking of taking up jogging - giving up sweets - oh, not possible....
Love the memories of her - love the history and the romance of the jewelry.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I too, wish she were still with us.
Terry Chestnutt from Cleveland, Ohio on November 05, 2010:
I miss Jackie. Thanks for the great pictures.
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on May 10, 2010:
You have a great website. So glad you stopped by. Love pearls - and yes, pearls are perfect for fashion.
feliz1a on May 10, 2010:
pearls are back, and in all colours this time. Freshwater pearls are very in and perfect to make fashion jewelry in combination with different materials
KellyEngaldo on January 25, 2010:
It is funny that you mention that you don't like wearing things around your neck - for evening Jackie rarely wore necklaces - she wore bracelets and large earrings but no necklaces. But for daytime - the three strand were Jackie's favorite. Thank you stopping by. I love your poetry!
Karen Russell on January 10, 2010:
WONDERFUL HUB, GRANDMOTHER LEFT ME PEARLS & I DON'T EVER WHERE THEM, IT'S NOT THAT I DON'T LIKE THEM IT'S JUST THAT, I NOT COMFORTABLE WEARING THINGS AROUND MY NECK, THANKS...