The Adventurine Posts At Auction: Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry

Mary Tyler Moore on set or her 1970s sitcom flanked by images her Royal Oak Audemars Piguet and Elsa Peretti for Tiffany gold mesh jewels being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo CBS via Getty Images and Sotheby’s

Jewelry History

At Auction: Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry

The collection matches the actor's 1970s small screen style to a T

by Marion Fasel

November 9, 2023—I loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show, which originally aired from 1970 to 1977 and constantly played in reruns throughout my youth. In the sitcom Mary was television producer Mary Richards who went head-to-head with her at times tough boss and expertly managed the slightly zany anchors. She lived in the most amazing apartment a single girl could want and had the best group of friends. She dated on occasion, but men were not the focus. It wasn’t so much Sex and The City as it was an independent working woman living life on her terms. 

Mary’s wardrobe in the production was 1970s perfection. The one thing Mary didn’t wear on the show, however, was signature jewelry from the big names of the era. Well, now we know in real life Mary Tyler Moore had a personal collection from the key jewelers that would’ve been perfect for her character.

Sotheby’s New York is selling 21 pieces from Mary Tyler Moore’s collection in December. Many of the jewels the Emmy Award winning actress bought for herself or was involved with the design, just as you might imagine.

Mary Tyler Moore with Valerie Harper on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Photo CBS/Photofest

Mary Tyler Moore, who died in 2018, had several pieces from Elsa Peretti’s collection for Tiffany which launched in 1974. She owned the perfect chunky gold Royal Oak Audemars Piguet, a design that first hit the market in 1972. Mary had a great Bulgari Monete necklace in a style that became famous in the 1970s. The engagement ring Mary designed had a 1970s soul. While I always imagined Mary wearing a Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace, in fact she had pieces from the French jeweler’s 1970s Etruscan collection. The series Jackie Kennedy made famous when she wore hers in 1977.

Find out about highlights from the collection which is being sold to benefit the Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative established in 2018 by her husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, to honor Moore’s contributions to diabetes research progress and help make her dream of a world without vision loss from diabetes a reality.

Mary Tyler Moore wearing her Bulgari Monete necklace, a gift from her husband Dr. Robert Levine who she is standing beside at a party in 1984. Photo courtesy

Mary Tyler Moore and her husband Dr. Robert Levine traveled to Israel and Egypt before they were married in 1983.

To commemorate their shared interest in ancient cultures, the couple went to Bulgari in New York to choose an ancient coin together to be set in a Monete necklace. Dr. Levine gave the jewel to Mary as a wedding present.

Mary Tyler Moore’s Gold, Ancient Coin, Ruby and Diamond ‘Monete’ Necklace by Bulgari being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo courtesy

The coin in Mary Tyler Moore’s Monete necklace is Lysimachus in profile; the reverse is inscribed with the subject, date and location where the coin was minted: ‘Lisimachus 323-281 B.C. Thrace.’

The bezel-set coin is at the center of a 15-inch curb length choker. Round and square-cut diamonds and cabochon rubies accent the jewel.

Mary Tyler Moore’s 5.14-carat emerald cut diamond engagement ring being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo courtesy

Dr. Levine shared with Sotheby’s that Mary Tyler Moore designed her own bold gold and diamond engagement ring.

A 5.14-carat emerald cut diamond is at the center of the wide gold band. The gem is stylishly positioned in a horizontal east-west setting.

Mary Tyler Moore’s Etruscan Gold Cuff-Bracelet and Pair of Earclips by Van Cleef & Arpels being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo courtesy

Mary Tyler Moore received her bracelet and earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels Etruscan collection as a 39th birthday present from her second husband Grant Tinker who was a co-founder of MTM Enterprises and a Chairman and CEO of NBC.

The interior of the bracelet is inscribed: “Can you believe – 12-29-75” and “Love G.A.T.”

Mary Tyler Moore’s gold and diamond ‘Royal Oak’ wristwatch by Audemars Piguet being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo courtesy

“The first gift Mary gave to me was a Royal Oak watch and the reason was that she had one – this was it – and she wanted me to be wearing a watch that matched the watch that she wore everyday,” explained Dr. Levin in the Sotheby’s press material.

“The difference was that she had this one specially fitted with diamonds. She had this done with her jeweler so that she could make her Audemars Piguet different from anyone else’s.”

Mary Tyler Moore’s Elsa Peretti for Tiffany gold mesh jewels and Open Heart pendant being sold at Sotheby’s in New York. Photo courtesy

“The mesh reflects Mary’s special sense of style,” Dr. Levin explained to Sotheby’s. “You can see Mary in this – it’s highly refined and detailed, creates a splash of motion and intention and it’s quite dramatic and beautiful. That’s who Mary was – very graceful, very attentive to detail, but always in motion.”

The Mesh designs, that launched at Tiffany in 1975 were a labor of love for Elsa Peretti. The designer, who got the idea to do the Mesh collection after seeing mesh jewelry in India, worked with the Director of the Jewelry Department at FIT, Samuel Beizer, on the manufacturing elements.

“A tremendous amount of work and research went into this little scarf,” Elsa explained about the mesh in the 1990 catalog for her retrospective exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Fifteen of My Fifty With Tiffany.

Mary Tyler Moore’s pair of Elsa Peretti for Tiffany silver Bone cuffs being sold at Sotheby’s. Photo courtesy

Elsa Peretti’s Bone Cuffs have been a symbol of empowerment since the moment they were launched in the mid-1970s.

It feels so right that Mary Tyler Moore would have a pair of the jewels in her collection.

Related Stories:

A Jewelry Song for Mary Tyler Moore

Elsa Peretti’s Iconic Bone Cuffs Reimagined

When Jackie Wore Her Gold Cuffs