The 45 Most Gorgeous, Famous Gems of All Time

Photo: clockwise from top left: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images, Courtesy of Christie's, LAurent Gillieron/EPA/Corbis, Gregory Pace/Sygma/Corbis, Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution, Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images,

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival is inching closer to conclusion, and though the bevy of actresses, ex–Victoria’s Secret models, and even a mystery guest wearing a gown made out of biscuit trays courted attention, there were other sparkly things that had us magpie-eyed. Jewels and gems gleamed on the red carpet, dripping on virtually every female celebrity in attendance, and onscreen in films like The Great Gatsby and The Bling Ring. A Chopard jewel heist even went down.

To pay proper homage to the gorgeous bling, we’ve culled together a selection of the 45 most fabulous — or, at the very least, memorable — gems from history and pop culture. These include emeralds, rubies, and sapphires that Napoleon Bonaparte once attached to his epaulette, rocks from royal crown jewel collections, and the most salacious celebrity engagement rings from the Gigli-Bennifer days. Click through the slideshow to ogle some sparkly jewels that have attracted thieves, started wars, and maybe expedited a marriage’s plunge into divorce (we’re looking at you, Kim Kardashian).

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