Historic Rubies From the French Crown Jewels

A matching suite of ruby and diamond jewelry that Napoleon ordered in 1810 has a history as colorful and brilliant as the gemstones it contained. First worn by Empress Marie-Louise, some of the jewels ended up decorating a New York socialite at a controversial ball in 1897. Now rubies from the suite have been resurfacing at recent auctions Among the most intriguing jewels in the world are pieces formerly in the collection of the French Crown Jewels. Nearly all the jewels were sold during an auction the French government conducted in 1887, and only a few of them survive in original condition. Several of the larger items were broken up before the auction so the stones could be sold individually. Others have been dismantled in the years since, and a number of the diamonds have been recut. Several of the jewels that survived are matching pieces set with rubies and diamonds, originally
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