The value of jewelry, according to the rich and famous

by Karen A.P. Caliwara
Feb 20, 2018
Heart Evangelista and KC Concepcion collect jewelry not just to sparkle, but also to look forward to a future that glitters.

Rolex watches, Cartier bracelets, and Bvlgari rings—despite their six-to-seven-digit prices—are staples in the jewelry collection of most celebrities.

Instagram makes them seem they're merely pricey accessories. Some netizens termed them "pang-display."

Heart and her Cartier LΘVΘ bracelets, which cost PHP9,666,010

Gretchen Barretto's B.zero1 marble rings, which cost around PHP55,000 pesos per piece.

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Carmina Villarroel's Rolex watch

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But to their owners, they are investments.

Heart's parents, Rey and Cecile Ongpauco, introduced her to "anything sparkly" when she was a kid.

In a previous interview, she said, "My mom’s a collector and my dad is also into jewelry.

"When I was young, my dad would buy my mom loose stones, and she would design them and do the settings and every thing."

Her very first investment was a three-carat heart-shaped diamond.

"It’s good to start early when buying jewelry pieces. Aside from being investments, they are classic, they are timeless, and they are something that you pass on—it’s a memory, it’s an heirloom," she told

She is "obsessed" with Cartier love bangles, and also likes stud earrings and statement rings.

Heart's Panthre de Cartier ring, which she bought in 2016 and cost over PHP1 million

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When making a purchase, Heart thinks long-term, and asks these questions: "Will I be able to give this to my daughter in the future? Will this last me more than a lifetime? Will it be able to last until that time my son’s going to get married?"

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Most of the jewelry—including the heart-shaped two-carat diamond earring she wore on her wedding day—in her collection actually came from her mom.

Just like Heart, KC Concepcion has a lot of family heirlooms in her jewelry collection.

Some of which were given by her late grandmother, Elaine Cuneta.

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In an Instagram post, she wrote, "I cherish my grandma's jewelry that she left with me...She's imparted this love of joaillerieeeee that I've always shied away from before!

"Now I love making them part of my everyday looks.

"It's in honoring Mita that I'd like to keep these pieces in good condition. Gotta take care of her precious babies! I know she'll be mad if I don't!"

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In a recent interview, she told (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "These are family stones that I would never give to someone who’s not family."

The daughter of Sharon Cuneta is fond of rings, and likes them big and bold.

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In September 2017, her mom tagged KC when she posted on Instagram photos of the four vaults containing her jewelry and other valuables.

Baffled, KC asked, "Mom, why are you tagging me?"

The Megastar answered, "I just want. So if I die you know what else I have."

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Gretchen Barretto's first expensive watch was a Rolex.

In a previous interview with, she recounted, "Yun gives-gives [hulugan] ko binili...

"Yung pinaka-una, yun talaga, that was my dream.

"Every time may nakikitaan akong ganun, my eyes would be forever doon na naka-focus, and I said, 'I wanna get that one day.'

"I was only able to fully pay that in a year."

Two of the Rolex watches she owns are:

Datejust, which has a diamond paved dial, a President bracelet in 18k white gold, an aperture for date, and what looks like 11 sapphire markers.

According to Top Teny, the watch costs $59,100 or PHP2,773,001.

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Yacht-Master II, which has a 90-degree rotatable blue ceramic ring command bezel, in 18K yellow-gold case, and Oyster bracelet.

Aside from watches, Gretchen also has an impressive pearl collection, which she started almost 23 years ago when her daughter Dominique Cojuangco was just ten months old.

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The actress has a big gold-strand necklace which, upon inquiry with Jewelmer, costs around eight million pesos.

When asked about her considerations before making a purchase, she told in a previous interview, "When it catches my attention, and I know I cannot sleep tonight without that piece, I call that investment.

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"That’s how I look at it, I justify it, not only with jewelry but with anything in life."

Meanhile, Annabelle Rama feels naked without her jewelry.

In a chat with this writer several years ago, she mentioned, "Ano kasi 'Day, iba ang dating, e, pag nakaalahas ha.

"Parang di ka nila mai-ismol. Kaya parang hubad ako kung wala akong suot."

To purchase her first "tunay na alahas," she really worked hard.

In a previous interview with, she said, "Dumaan ako sa butas ng karayom.

"Kasi dream ko talaga nung araw pa na magkaroon ako ng tunay na alahas.

"Kasi nung dalaga pa ako, puro fake ang isinusuot ko.

"So pangarap ko talaga na magkaroon ako ng tunay."

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Although she loves her jewelry, Annabelle doesn't get too attached to them. She buys and sells.

"Kung nagkakapera ako, kumikita ako ng kaunti, lagi kong binibili ng jewelry para investment.

"Yes, investment ko dahil for the future ‘pag wala ka nang trabaho, wala ka nang pera, puwede mong ibenta, puwede mong isanla.

"Kaya for me, for investment at nag-e-enjoy pa ako."

Her first-ever purchase was "singsing na walang diamond, gold lang siya."

She elaborated, "Kasi hindi ako maka-afford bumili ng alahas kaya sabi ko, 'One day kung ako kumita, magkaroon ng extra money, ang una kong bibilhin, alahas.'

"Kasi isa ‘yan sa dream ko.

"Pero ibinenta ko rin yun. Mura lang yun, ‘Day, e. Ang benta ko doon, mga ten thousand pesos.

"Yes, mahal na yun nung araw. Nabenta ko ‘tapos bumili akong panibago ulit. Ganun naman ako, e. Unti-unti kong iniipon para makabili ng alahas.

"Ngayon, may bato na."

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What was the most expensive piece of jewelry she sold? Did the amount reach PHP100 million?

"Hindi naman kasi pag kailangan mo ng pera, ibenta mo naman.

"Nag-produce ako ng pelikula, kulang ako ng puhunan. Yung Visayan film, Medalyon Nga Bulawan. Si Gina Pareño ang artista ko. Matagal na yun, nung pagkabuntis ko kay Ruffa [her eldest].

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"Nag-produce ako ng movie, so naubusan ako ng puhunan ko.

"So yung lupa ko, hindi mabenta-benta, hindi maisangla. Kasi may mga lupa raw ako sa Cebu na pamana sa akin ng tatay ko. Hindi ko mabenta-benta. Hindi ko maisangla, so ang pinaka-the best way, yung alahas."

When asked to give an idea on the jewelry's appreciating value, she said, "Alam mo nung araw, pinakamahal na yung kapag meron kang mga PHP80,000 na diamond.

"Parang milyon na rin ang halaga ngayon. Yun ang ibinenta 'ko."

Did she get more than the original price?

"Hindi, ang iba ibinenta ko. Yung iba isinanla ko kasi nalugi ang mga pelikula ko. Kaya yung mga lahat, pati puhunan ko, nawala."

Kris Aquino, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Marian Rivera, and Regine Velasquez are said to have a collection of watches and jewelry as well.

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Heart Evangelista and KC Concepcion collect jewelry not just to sparkle, but also to look forward to a future that glitters.
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