Ong Chin Huat takes a closer look at the “Jeanne Toussaint” Diamond Necklace which steals the show in the Box Office Hit Movie Ocean’s 8.
It features a powerhouse ensemble cast of leading actresses such as Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter but the real star of the US box office hit Ocean’s 8 isn’t a Hollywood celebrity but a replica of a Cartier diamond necklace known as the Jeanne Toussaint necklace.
The original necklace was designed by Jacques Cartier for the Maharaja of Nawanagar in 1931. Although it no longer exists, Cartier had sketches as well as photographs of the original necklace in its archives and these drawings was what Cartier used to reproduce this stunning creation for the movie.
When the original necklace was first made, it was described as “the finest cascade of coloured diamonds in the world,” as it included the Queen of Holland, a blue-white diamond weighing 136.25 carats. For Jacques Cartier, it was “a superb realization of a connoisseur’s dream.”
The necklace pays homage to Jeanne Toussaint who was the Creative Director of Cartier in the 1930s and Toussaint was instrumental in creating Cartier’s unique style and identity. She was the first woman to play such a large role in shaping Cartier’s bold and pioneering spirit.
As the Toussaint diamond necklace was reproduced for the movie, the proportions of the necklace were adjusted to fit the décolleté of actress Anne Hathaway and it was reduced in size by approximately 15-20 per cent of its original size as it was made for a Maharaja who was a man.
Dismountable bezels were devised to successfully adapt the jewel to match Hathaway’s proportions. When the actress wore it for the first time in New York, the necklace fit her perfectly. In the movie, zirconium oxides, a natural material was used instead of real diamonds and the necklace was mounted in white gold.
But even the necklace was a replica, it was solidly made as it had to withstand the wear and tear of constant manipulations and rough handling during filming. Meticulous attention was paid to the finishing of the settings and polishing, as close-ups would not allow for any imprecision. The Jeanne Toussaint Necklace passed the high standards of Cartier High Jewellery requirements in terms of craftsmanship and excellence.
For this movie commission, Cartier mobilized the resources of its High Jewellery workshops situated rue de la Paix in Paris and utilised their expert jewellers were required to accomplish this feat in less than eight weeks, a demanding task on top of their everyday assignments.
And apart from the “Jeanne Toussaint” necklace, Cartier was also the exclusive on-site jeweller during filming at the Metropolitan Museum. For five consecutive nights, beautiful Cartier jewellery was loaned to those making cameo appearances in the movie with pieces ranging from Cartier Collection to current New or High Jewellery, as well as watches and accessories.
Prominently featured in the film is also the Cartier Mansion in New York which became the location for several major scenes in the movie. For two days, the Mansion was closed to enable filming and its Salons were transformed into cinema sets. The exterior of the Mansion on 52nd Street is also featured in the film.
Ong Chin Huat
Luxurious Magazine Reporter
Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.
You Actually Won’t Believe How Much Anne Hathaway’s Cartier Necklace Is Worth In ‘Ocean’s 8’
Preview the priceless jewellery featured in Ocean’s 8, out June 7
The Jeanne Toussaint necklace at the centre of this movie season’s most talked about heist – the Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett led Ocean’s 8 – is worth a staggering US $150 million dollars (AUD $196 million). And while the characters and the heist might be fictional, the necklace is not. Originally created by Jacques Cartier in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, its name is a tribute to Cartier’s creative director, Toussaint, and the piece was replicated by the Cartier (film’s exclusive jewellery partner ) via archival drawings and photographs. Since the necklace was originally designed for a man, Cartier had to downsize the creation to fit Anne Hathaway’s proportions (the actress plays Daphne Kluger, a world-famous actress attending the Met Gala in the film). Cartier’s best jewellers were required to accomplish this in less than eight weeks at the jewellery giant’s High Jewellery workshops located rue de la Paix in Paris. The necklace was then flown from the French capital to New York for filming.
Ocean’s 8 – which opens in cinemas tomorrow (June 7) – tells the story of Debbie Ocean (Bullock) who, after just being released from prison, enlists the help of her best friend Lou Miller (Blanchett) to pull off another job. Together they recruit a team of women to help them; jeweller Amita (Mindy Kaling), street con Constance (Awkwafina), expert fence Tammy (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna) and fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter). The plan is literally steal the legendary Toussaint diamonds from Daphne’s neck.
Ocean’s 8 is in Australian cinemas June 7.
At the heart of the Ocean’s 8Met Gala heist lies one magnificent piece of jewellery: the Jeanne Toussaint necklace created by Cartier and worn by Anne Hathaway.
Read more: Oceans' 8 Had A Lot Of Help From The Fashion World
The bespoke piece is the result of eight weeks’ intensive work in the Cartier high jewellery workshops in Paris, but the necklace actually dates back to the 1930s. The original was designed in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar by Jacques Cartier, and was described as “the finest cascade of coloured diamonds in the world,” and “a superb realisation of a connoisseur’s dream.” It is called the Jeanne Toussaint necklace in tribute to Cartier’s former creative director, who was key in shaping the maison’s identity during the decade.
Though the Maharaja's commission no longer exists, photographs of the design and its owner have been preserved in Cartier’s archives, and were resurfaced to remake the silver screen centrepiece. The necklace was reduced in size by 15 to 20 percent and adjusted to Hathaway’s measurements as the initial dimensions were for a man. The coloured diamonds were replaced with natural zirconium oxides mounted on white gold, and meticulous attention was paid to the finishing of the settings and polishing, because close-ups would not allow for any imprecisions.
As the exclusive jewellery partner of the film, Cartier was on-site during filming of the robbery scene at the Metropolitan Museum. For five consecutive nights, jewellery was loaned to those making cameo appearances (Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner and Zayn Malik all feature) with pieces ranging from the Cartier Collection to current high jewellery and watches. For two days New York’s Cartier Mansion was converted from salon to cinema set as the 52nd Street store also acts as the set of two major scenes. Feast your eyes come the UK release date on July 18.
The Diamond Necklace Stolen in Ocean’s 8 Was Originally Designed for a Very Rich Man
Anne Hathaway in Ocean’s 8. Photo: Courtesy Cartier
In addition to the eight female stars of Ocean’s 8, a particular Cartier necklace plays a central role in Debbie Ocean’s (Sandra Bullock) heist.
The plan is to steal the extremely valuable “Jeanne Toussaint” necklace right off the neck of actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), who is coerced into wearing it to the Met Gala. To retrieve it, fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) and her “assistant” Amina (Mindy Kaling) pay a special visit to the Cartier Mansion on 52nd Street, which was closed for two days for filming.
Named after Cartier’s former creative director, the Jeanne Toussaint necklace actually existed in real life. It no longer exists in its full form, however, and it had to be re-created by Cartier’s High Jewelry team especially for the film. The brand, which gets to call itself the exclusive jewelry partner of Ocean’s 8, also loaned pieces for various cameos, including watches and accessories.
Because the necklace is so crucial to the film’s plot, we’ve culled ten fun facts about it — including the fact that it was originally designed for a man.
1) The necklace is a tribute to Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s creative director in the 1930s, who played a decisive role in establishing the Maison’s stylistic identity.
2) The original necklace was designed in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar by Jacques Cartier. Described as “the finest cascade of colored diamonds in the world,” it was, according to Jacques Cartier, “a superb realization of a connoisseur’s dream.”
3) The total carat count for the original necklace, designed in 1931, was approximately 500 carats.
4) The original necklace no longer exists; however, Cartier preserved in its archives a design drawing and photographs of the piece and its owner.
5) To create the necklace for the film, Cartier mobilized the resources of its High Jewelry workshops situated at 13 Rue de la Paix in Paris, France.
6) The best jewelers were required to accomplish this feat in no more than eight weeks, a demanding task on top of their everyday assignments.
7) It took more than 4,200 total hours to create the necklace for the film, and between 10 to 15artisans were involved in the creation.
8) The necklace for the film was adjusted to Anne Hathaway’s measurements and reduced by 15 to 20 percent of the original size, as it was initially designed for a man.
9) As the size of the necklace was reduced, if the necklace used in the film were to exist today, it would be around 450 carats.
10) The necklace had to be solid enough to withstand frequent manipulations during filming. Meticulous attention was paid to the finishing of the settings and polishing, as close-up shots would not allow for any imprecision.
To read more about the film’s costumes, click here.
RelatedHow the Ocean’s 8 Costume Designer Staged an Entire Fake Met Gala
Necklace jeanne toussaint
In a scene in heist comedy flick Ocean’s 8, Anne Hathaway’s Daphne Kluger is getting ready for the Met Gala when she’s presented with a stunning Cartier Jeanne Toussaint diamond necklace. The exquisite jewel, which we later find out is worth US$150 million (S$200 million), is draped across her decolletage as she marvels at its beauty.
That same necklace plays a major role as a plot device throughout the movie, as it becomes the primary target of a diamond heist at the biggest night of nights for fashion, the Met Gala. With over 40 diamonds in varying cuts and sizes, the necklace is undoubtedly a showstopping piece.
What’s most interesting, however, is that the fictional Ocean’s 8 necklace is a replica of an actual archival design from Cartier’s repertoire. Specifically, its original Jeanne Toussaint necklace that was first created in 1931.
It was designed by jeweller Jacques-Théodule Cartier for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, the ruler of a princely state of British India. Jacques named the one-of-a-kind necklaceafter Jeanne Toussaint, the brand’s former creative director, who was said to be intrigued by the opulence and grandeur of Indian kings.
The original Toussaint carried a 136.25-carat blue-white ‘Queen of Holland’ diamond as its focal point and was accompanied by a 12-carat olive-green diamond and several other large white and pink diamonds. Jacques described the necklace as “the finest cascade of coloured diamonds in the world”. It weighed about three kilograms and still remains as one of the largest necklaces Cartier has created. Sadly, it no longer exists today.
Cartier carefully crafted the replica over eight weeks at a workshop in Rue de la Paix, Paris. Unlike the original, the Toussaint necklace Anne Hathaway sports is colourless. Thecoloured diamondswere replaced with zirconium oxides mounted on white gold to bring a bright sparkle from every angle. It was also reduced in size by almost 20 percent to fit Anne Hathaway’s proportions, as the original was designed for a man. Once completed, the necklace was flown over to New York.
Cartier was the exclusive jewellery partner for Ocean’s 8. Apart from creating the Toussaint necklace, the brand shut down its Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion in New York City for two days to film major scenes of the movie. Jewellery pieces from its new and existing collections were also loaned to cameo stars. At the movie’s world premiere in New York on 5 June, cast members Hathaway, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter also stepped out on the red carpet in Cartier rings, earrings and bracelets.
With its star-studded cast, and special cameos by personalities like American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Kim Kardashian West, it’s no wonder this movie has been highly anticipated. Ocean’s 8 will show in theatres in Singapore on June 14. If you do catch it next week, be sure to keep an eye out for Cartier’s gorgeous necklace.
(Featured and main photos: Barry Wetcher, 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc)
The Backstory on That Necklace in ‘Ocean’s 8’
Movies & TV
And the jewelry worn by the chic octet of thieves at the MET Gala
by Marion Fasel
That big diamond necklace featured in the first and secondOcean’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 Maharajah of Nawanagar wearing the necklace by Cartier-London in the drawing at right that inspired the necklace in ‘Ocean’s 8’. Photo Cartier Archives London © Cartier
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.
Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s legendary Creative Director. © Courtesy collection privée
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.
A detail of the Jeanne Toussaint Necklace by Cartier while it is being assembled in Paris. Note the number 8 on the special stand. Photo Eric Bidou © Cartier
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.
A detail of the JeanneToussaint necklace made by Cartier for ‘Ocean’s 8.’ Photo Eric Bidou © Cartier
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.
The Cartier Mansion in New York was used as a set in ‘Ocean’s 8’ Photo © Cartier
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
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Is The Cartier Toussaint Necklace From 'Ocean's 8' Real?
Is The Toussaint Necklace Real?
Yes. The necklace did, in fact, exist at one point. It was created in 1931, having been designed by Jacques Cartier for the Maharaja of Nawanagar. Featuring the 136.25-carat 'Queen of Holland' diamond, the original was described as a 'cascade of coloured diamonds' (although they appeared to be white colourless diamonds in the film, they were actually blue-white diamonds in real life).
Sadly, the necklace no longer exists in its original form. It was dismantled and its diamonds used to create other pieces.
Was It Really That Big?
Believe it or not, it was actually bigger.
According to Harper's BAZAAR Arabia, the costume department for the film reduced the necklace about 15 to 20 per cent in size so it would fit Anne Hathaway.
As the original necklace was made for a man, it needed to be shrunk a little so it didn't engulf her.
What Was The One In The Film Made Of?
To appear in the film, Cartier made a fake replica necklace out of zirconium oxides and white gold. The piece was created in Cartier's Paris workshop and took approximately eight weeks to make. The Cartier team reported used historical photographs, archival drawings and the original necklace plans to get the likeness right.
The replica was then flown from Paris to New York to shoot the film.
How Much Did It Cost?
Although we don't know how much it was worth in 1931, it's very possible it would have been worth the $150 million price tag if it existed now.
Why Is It Named The 'Toussaint'?
It was named after Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier's creative director in the 20th century.