They are jewels that mark out their owner as a definite woman of substance.
A total of 40 dazzling pieces, all given to Leeds-born novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford by her film and TV producer husband Robert during their 49-year marriage.
Now, however, the brooches, bracelets and rings are set to go under the hammer at auction house Bonhams.
Barbara, 80, a one-time typist on the Yorkshire Evening Post, wants other people to get pleasure out of items she only occasionally wears.
But be warned – this kind of well-heeled bling doesn’t come cheap. One of the lots, a cushion-shape diamond ring, has an estimated value of between £330,000 and £460,000. The collection as a whole, meanwhile, is expected to fetch as much as £2m.
Barbara, whose books include A Woman of Substance and Hold The Dream, said: “I thought how silly it was to have jewels in a safe that I only wear occasionally. I want someone else to own and wear these pieces I have cherished and enjoyed. I want the jewellery to live again.”
The sale will take place in London in December. Before that, the lots will be on display in America and Hong Kong.
December’s auction will not, of course, leave Barbara entirely bereft of sparkling finery – Bonhams says the items being sold are “selected jewels from her collection”.
And the novelist is also confident her husband will have a treat in store for her to mark a forthcoming milestone in their marriage.
Barbara said: “I know he won’t be able to resist picking out a jewel to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary on December 24 this year!”
Items chosen for the sale include:
An antique sapphire and diamond brooch (estimate £66,000-£98,000);
A cushion-shape sapphire ring, weighing 18.37 carats with a certificate stating the stone is of Burmese origin (£98,000-£131,000);
A pair of cultured pearl and diamond earclips (£53,000-£79,000);
A pair of old cut fancy yellow diamond single-stone earrings (£53,000-£66,000);
A coral and diamond ‘Rose de Noel’ brooch and earclip (£13,000-£20,000).
Many of the pieces will be accompanied by notes giving their history and personal details such as when Barbara received them and why.