For many centuries the collecting of precious jewels was the preserve of kings and queens, emperors and maharajahs. But in the aftermath of the First World War, with the fall of several European monarchies, royal gems passed into the hands of a different kind of elite that included celebrities from the silver screen and a coterie which revelled in a new-rich social whirl. This book profiles eleven of these rich and glamorous women, all of whom built up astonishing jewelry collections in the early and mid-20th century. The authors, both international jewelry experts, bring to life the worlds in which these women moved, as well as describing the gems in detail and providing a portrait of the work of the leading jewelers of the day. The book is illustrated with close-up shots of the jewels as well as wonderful drawings of the original designs, and includes portraits of the women by Beaton, Horst and other leading photographers of the time.