Glamour, wealth and glitz are themes that constantly fascinated Warhol. It is therefore not surprising he would dedicate an entire series to rare gemstones. Warhol became a jewelry collector after his incredible artistic success. It was said that he often wore elaborate jewelry from Cartier or Harry Winston at his famous parties. The series features rubies, an emerald and a diamond. Recently a German curator put one of the print under ultraviolet light. He was delight to discover that the light showed a fluorescent glow. This was a symbolic discovery given that Warhol often hid the glow of his jewelry underneath his clothing.
The ruby is a blood-red colored gem, its value usually determined by its color. The brighter the color, the more valuable it is on the market. Rubies are also the traditional birthstone for the month of July. Liz Taylor, a celebrity Warhol has featured previously, was also known to appreciate rubies. In fact, her ruby collection broke auction records at Christie’s by selling for 4.2 million dollars.
Emeralds are brightly colored green gemstones which differ in hue and shape. The emerald featured here is classically cut. The pink and orange background emphasizes its green hue.
The diamond seems to glisten and burst with color. Clearly, Warhol decided to capture the image of a diamond in the light. Diamonds have always fascinated Warhol, he invented the technique of embellishing prints with diamond dust.