FORMER FIRST LADIES AND THEIR FAMOUS JEWELRY

With a Presidential election scheduled for 2016, the political chatter has been ramped up in recent weeks. Men and women on both sides of the aisle have announced their candidacies and are sharing their visions for the future of the country (and, of course, lobbing their fair share of attacks at one another).

There will be plenty of time for banter, debates, agendas and looking ahead, but for now, let’s take a look back — not at the men who served as President of the United States, but at the women behind the men.

Women who made history with their jewelry
The role of First Lady has always been a tremendous honor and an incredibly important role. However, that will not be discussed here. We are just merely taking a look at five former First Ladies and, more specifically, at some of the impressive jewelry pieces they have worn.

1. Louisa Adams: The wife of John Quincy Adams didn’t necessarily have a large jewelry collection, but she did own one of the most iconic pieces ever worn by a First Lady — a seven-strand pearl necklace with a diamond sunburst in front.

2. Mary Todd Lincoln: To this day, Abraham Lincoln’s wife is known for her jewelry collection, which included a necklace made of floral diamond clusters, gold and diamond bracelets, pendant diamond earrings, and several diamond rings.

3. Ida McKinley: William McKinley’s wife had a large collection of jewelry and loose stones that she began accumulating as a young child, when her father and grandfather regularly gave them to her as presents. She kept the loose stones, including several diamonds, in a pouch and let children play with them.

4. Nellie Taft: Although her husband, William Howard Taft, is fondly remembered for being the first President to throw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game (in 1910), his wife’s claim to fame were her thick diamond neck collars and matching bracelets, and a diamond tiara that she wore for special occasions and portraits.

5. Martha Washington: Not only was George Washington the nation’s first President, be he was also, apparently, quite a gift-giver. On their wedding day, Washington presented his wife with a watch featuring “hour” and “minute” hands set with rose-cut diamonds.