That big diamond necklace featured in the first and second Ocean’s 8 trailers, the target of the heist in the film, the piece worn by Anne Hathaway and coveted by Sandra Bullock’s crew of thieves Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson has a spectacular story behind it that has just been revealed.
The jewel is not something that was whipped up by the costume department or a prop master, which was honestly pretty obvious from first glance at the stunner. It was made on the rue de la Paix in Paris at Cartier by craftsmen in the High Jewelry department who are among the best and brightest talents in the field.
The necklace was inspired by a 1931 design conceived for the Maharajah of Nawanagar by Jacques Cartier who ran the boutique in London. Described as the finest cascade of colored diamonds in the world, it included the 136.25-carat blue-white Queen of Holland Diamond, a 12-carat olive-green diamond and several substantially sized pink diamonds among other huge white diamonds. Jacques Cartier said the necklace for the Maharajah, a major client of the jeweler, was “a superb realization of a connoisseur’s dream.” One of the Maharajah’s other exceptional Cartier jewels was a diamond Turban Ornament set with the 61.50-carat Tiger Eye Diamond. While the original necklace no longer exists, the Turban Ornament is currently in the amazing Al Thani collection.
The jewel featured in Ocean’s 8 is named after Cartier’s legendary Creative Director, Jeanne Toussaint. A visionary and pioneering woman, Toussaint was decisive in establishing Cartier’s style beginning in the 1930s. She adored Indian jewelry and found inspiration in the splendor of the great Maharajas. Toussaint also had an independent, frankly badass, attitude like the women on the crew in the movie.
When the workmen were creating the Jeanne Toussaint Necklace in Paris to fit Anne Hathaway, the large size originally made for a man had to be reduced by 15 to 20%. Dismountable bezels were devised to successfully adapt the piece to match the star’s petite proportions. When the actress tried on the jewel for the first time in New York, the French craftsmen’s expertise came shining through. It fit perfectly.
While all the care of the creation of a piece of High Jewelry was put into the production of the Jeanne Toussaint Necklace, the gems are not diamonds. They are zirconium oxides, a natural material, mounted on white gold. There are two huge reasons why the imitation gems were used. One is time. The necklace had to be made in eight weeks. It would take an inestimable amount of time to assemble diamonds of the size and scale used in the necklace. The other reason is money. In the film the necklace is valued at over $100-million and in reality the price would be at least that. The jewel made in real gems could practically run the price of the entire film production.
Lots of Cartier jewels with real gems do, however, appear in the caper. Several are seen in the Cartier Mansion that was used as a set. For two days, the New York City landmark boutique was closed to the public for filming.
Cartier was also the exclusive on-site jeweler during filming at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For five consecutive nights, jewelry was loaned to stars and actresses making cameo appearances in the movie. The pieces range from Cartier Collection to current new or High Jewelry, as well as watches and accessories. Catch a glimpse of the splendor in trailer below. The film will be in theatres June 8.
Ocean’s 8 trailer featuring the Jeanne Toussaint necklace, Cartier jewels and the stars of the film Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Sarah Paulson
Jewels from the Mughals and the Maharajas
When Uma Wore a Big Cartier Bird to the MET Gala
Why the Taylor-Burton Diamond Is Also Known As the Cartier Diamond