December 12, 2022—I may be a little late to Florence Pugh fandom, but she has got me now. The 26-year-old English actress was fantastic as a haunted housewife in Don’t Worry Darling. She was also great and totally different playing a nurse in Netflix’s period piece The Wonder.
I mention these roles in this jewelry review because it’s long been my theory that great actresses don’t just take risks in their roles on-screen, they also do so on the red carpet.
Florence did just that last week at the British Independent Film Awards in a blush pink Rodarte lingerie-style gown with a matching tulle cape. The icing on this confection was not one, but two giant Tiffany Legacy stones. Her diamond and platinum necklace centered on an 18-carat Morganite. And her diamond and platinum earrings featured pear-shape Kunzites.
So, what’s a Tiffany Legacy stone?
Tiffany’s history is interwoven with the story of colored gemstones over the last 100-plus years because founder Charles Lewis Tiffany had a passion for them and ingrained the thinking into the business.
One of the ways Mr. Tiffany did that was by hiring a talented gemologist named George Frederick Kunz. A dazzling figure, Kunz sourced gems all over the world, oversaw the cutting of the Tiffany Diamond, participated in the gem community and wrote any number of books and articles. He went on to become known as the Father of American Gemology.
One of the reasons for the sobriquet was his enthusiasm for gems and ability to ignite the same passion in others. Perhaps no one was more of an acolyte of Kunz’s ideas than J.P. Morgan. The financier was a gem enthusiast, collector and major client of Kunz’s finds.
As an educator interested in spreading the word, Kunz somehow convinced Mr. Morgan to donate his impressive gem collection to the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Morgan’s donation established the Gems & Minerals Hall in a world class way.
To acknowledge Morgan’s generosity, Kunz suggested a rose beryl discovered in Madagascar in 1910 be named Morganite at a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences. The committee clearly agreed because the sweet stone has carried the bankers name ever since.
The name of the gem Kunzite was a hat tip to George Frederick Kunz.
After the light pink mineral was discovered in Southern California it was sent to Kunz in New York in hopes that he could identify it. Kunz recognized the specimen as a new shade of spodumene. In 1903, the gem was named Kunzite.
While Morganite and Kunzite have been a special staple in Tiffany collections for well-over 100 years, I can’t say I know of any other red-carpet moment when they were worn together.
Florence Pugh not only made the gems newsworthy, she also showed how incredibly chic they remain.