Things started a little slow in the glamour department in 2021 with awards shows streaming in the nominees on Zoom. But by springtime, when the in-person Grammys and Oscars finally happened, red carpets and diamonds were blissfully back on the celebrity circuit in the way we know and love.
After the diamonds shone in the Los Angeles sun, they began to beam at events around the world. Magazine cover shoots went high gloss with diamonds galore. The Cannes and Venice Film Festivals were back. There was also a lot of great diamond jewelry sported by musicians releasing new music—and just generally being out and about again. And who can forget about Tiffany & Co.’s epic “About Love” campaign…
By the fall, the seriously delayed Met Gala served up diamond looks a-plenty; as did major movie premieres including Daniel Craig’s final Bond film, No Time to Die with Ana de Armas and House of Gucci, which had multiple openings around the world.
All of it added up to one of the most glamorous years in a very long time. A year in which diamond spotting wasn’t just limited to red carpets. See our favorite diamond looks and get the stories behind them below.
At the Oscars, Zendaya set the tone for a glamorous year, pairing a bright yellow cutout Valentino gown with $4 million in Bulgari diamond jewels centered around a yellow diamond.
Clearly a fan of the sunshine stone, Zendaya revealed in her British Vogue cover story that she bought herself the substantial yellow diamond ring. The star who is an ambassador for the Italian jeweler delightfully added, “I do get a little employee discount.” At almost all of her many red carpet appearances this year, Zendaya can be seen wearing the jewel.
2. Beyoncé and Jay Z
The Tiffany “About Love” advertising campaign with Beyoncé and Jay-Z wasn’t just any ordinary every day ad blitz. Not only did it feature the ultra famous couple, but Queen Bey sported none other than the 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond, a gem so important it is akin to an American Crown Jewel.
The gigantic yellow diamond, purchased by the house’s founder Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1877 as a piece of rough, is one of the largest and most beautiful yellow diamonds in the world. It has only been worn by three other women: Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars, Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany’s press photos and Mary Whitehouse, a socialite who wore it to a 1957 fundraiser.
Beyoncé modeled the gem for the “About Love” campaign in several different images as well as during a video when she sang “Moon River,” the song Audrey Hepburn made famous in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
3. Lady Gaga
Any of the looks Lady Gaga wore at the international premieres for House of Gucci could have landed on this list, because they all included dazzling diamond jewelry. However, her Los Angeles premiere getup stands just a bit above the rest.
For the event, Gaga sported Messika long pendant earrings and the French firm’s Spears choker, set with approximately 70 carats of pear and marquise shape diamonds. The sexy thing about the design is the way the points of the pears are angled upwards. Gaga’s supreme styling team made sure the jewel was shown to its best by switching up her hair to a short wig.
A sophisticated retro-glam look has long been Adele’s performance style. With the launch of her new album 30, she has continued in that elegant mode on stage and in editorials.
When the beloved singer’s November British Vogue cover broke of her in a yellow gown and strategically placed Schlumberger for Tiffany gold and diamond brooch, it broke the internet.
Adele’s performances promoting 30 have also gone viral. For one broadcast on ITV in the UK, she paired an off the shoulder Louis Vuitton gown with black and white diamond jewels by Lorraine Schwartz.
No one gives diamonds quite the same swagger as Rihanna, a point she proved the point (yet again) at the Met Gala. As the last celebrity to arrive, Rihanna literally and figuratively shut down the carpet with her wildly unexpected ensemble.
She paired a Balenciaga evening coat with a Stephen Jones beanie edged in a layer of lace so delicate it looked like a diamond jewel. Rihanna added real shine to the black ensemble with layers of important Bulgari diamond necklaces.
On her index finger Riri wore Thelma West’s Rebel Black ring centering on a 5 carat pear-shaped diamond directly from the Brilliant & Black Sotheby’s exhibition, which was being held across town from the Met gala.
6. Kate Hudson
A lot of news always breaks at the Met Gala—and it isn’t always about fashion. Several stars have made the event the first place they publicly wear their engagement rings; this year, Kate Hudson joined the list, which already includes Zoë Kravitz and Kate Upton.
Hudson sported her new diamond engagement ring believed to be made by Fred Leighton, with a Michael Kors blush pink bralette top, long skirt and silk organza feather coat.
Above and beyond the ring, Hudson’s pièce de resistance was a Lorraine Schwartz double strand v-shape diamond necklace. Her pear shape diamond earrings were also seriously sensational.
7. Taylor Swift
The fabulous diamond jewelry credits this year extended all the way to album covers. Taylor Swift commissioned her friend, jewelry designer Cathy Waterman, to make her a diamond ring with the word “Red” to wear on her re-recorded album Red (Taylor’s Version).
Taylor had worn a Cathy Waterman diamond “Love” ring when she worked on the original Red album in 2012. It was a gift from the designer and her daughter, Clare Kisslinger. The new ring was a way of linking the two albums yet showing they were a little different. The diamond rings also demonstrate how jewelry has the power to bring back memories.
8. Ana de Armas
One of the best parts of 2021 was finally seeing all the movies that were held back during the pandemic. In No Time to Die, the final Bond film with Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas wears more diamond jewelry than any other actress in the series. Not just in any other Daniel Craig Bond, but in any Bond ever.
Playing a Cuban agent on a mission at a formal party, she wears a low-cut black satin dress and a Chopard diamond necklace, earrings and fringe bracelet. The gems added up to well over 100 carats. And the cool thing was De Armas is not just a Bond girl sitting pretty sipping a martini in the jewels. She rolls around in the pieces and wields a couple of guns. It’s pretty impressive and quite a moment for the year.