Editors

See a Few of Betty White’s Best Jewelry Looks

EditorsJan 14, 2022

See a Few of Betty White’s Best Jewelry Looks

Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff celebrates the Golden Girl’s jewelry style ahead of what would’ve been her 100th birthday.

20220114_Betty White header image.jpg
Among the best Betty White jewelry looks: this animal homage she wore for the media preview for the Los Angeles Zoo’s annual Beastly Ball fundraiser in 2015. (Photo credit: Jamie Pham/ Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association)
I am a huge fan of “The Golden Girls,” but I have a confession to make. Rose, played by the late Betty White, was not my favorite. In fact, she wasn’t even my second favorite. Those honors go to Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and Dorothy, played by the inimitable Bea Arthur. 
 
Still, I was sad when a call from my best friend on New Year’s Eve afternoon alerted me to the fact that White was gone, a TV legend and the last of the Girls to go. 
 
When people think of White, so many things come to mind—her status as a pioneer for women in the world of television, her stand for civil rights in the 1950s when she refused to boot Black tap dancer Arthur Duncan off her show (which was canceled shortly thereafter), and the importance of Rose and “The Golden Girls” to the LGBTQ community (please see the “72 Hours” episode from season 5). 
 
White was also a lifelong animal lover and advocate and, while she was not a collector on the level of someone like Elizabeth Taylor, I think her jewelry deserves some attention, as does the #BettyWhiteChallenge. 
 
A viral movement, the challenge encourages people to donate $5 to their favorite animal charity this coming Monday, Jan. 17, which would have been White’s 100th birthday. My money is going to Little Wanderers, a nonprofit that helps New York City’s neediest cats.
 
Happy heavenly birthday, Betty! Now on to the jewels …
 
Pet Sets
Jewelry, as we all know, is an expression of the personal. It’s worn to remember and honor love ones, and to communicate passions and beliefs. 
 
For White—who cited animals as one of her two (or more) passions while accepting the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010—it was a way to communicate her love of all things wild, and it was done in the most elegant way.
 
A pair of panda bear earrings set, perhaps, with black and white diamonds appear to be a favorite and I love the big gold elephant earrings she’s wearing in this tribute video the Los Angeles Zoo made. 
 
White also had an enviable collection of statement necklaces, including more than a couple big cats (a personal favorite of mine) and a dazzling diamond elephant she sported at the 2015 People’s Choice Awards, where she took home the award for Favorite TV Icon at the age of 93.

Embed from Getty Images
 
One of my favorite Betty White jewelry looks isn’t from an awards show, though; it’s fittingly from an event at the Los Angeles Zoo.  
 
At a 2015 media preview for the zoo’s annual Beastly Ball fundraiser, she paired a bold big cat necklace with a sweet little Tiffany & Co. diamond heart given to her by friend and fellow actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and her panda bear earrings.
 
White’s relationship with the Los Angeles Zoo started when it opened in 1966 and continued for the next five decades.
 
To understand how much animals meant to her—and how much she meant to them—check out the homepage of the Los Angeles Zoo’s website. 
 
A memorial to White is front and center and it links to an entire page honoring White and her decades of dedication to the zoo, its missions of conversation and education, and its animals. 
 
The zoo has created a tribute fund in White’s honor, in case anyone is looking for an animal charity for the #BettyWhiteChallenge.
 
Golden Girl 
Like Marion Fasel, I love the fashion on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” 
 
The show, which ran from 1970 to 1977, was one of the highlights of Betty’s career, with her role as horny homemaker Sue Ann Nivens garnering her two Emmys. 
 
The characters’ style on Mary Tyler Moore is simple, sleek and classic, just what I like—the mini-dresses, the pantsuits and, my favorite, the plain turtlenecks worn with a few gold chains. 

  
It was #neckmess lite, if you will, and Sue Ann Nivens was here for it.
 
I love the layered look in this publicity photo of White from 1974, the medallion paired with what looks like two longer gold chains.
 
Thank you for being on-trend.
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
The Proposal 
In her 1995 book “Here We Go Again,” White tells the tale of what I can only assume were two of the most meaningful pieces of jewelry she ever received and they both came from the love of her life, Allen Ludden.
 
The way White tells it, Ludden, a widower with three children whom she met while a guest on his game show, “Password,” wanted to marry her. Twice divorced by then, White was understandably a reticent bride.
 
One night over dinner in New York, Ludden gave White a “beautiful gold wedding ring with a small circle of diamonds,” and told her, “You might as well keep it, because one of these days you’ll put it on for keeps.” 
 
White refused the ring, but Ludden wasn’t giving up. He “put that damned ring on a chain around his neck, where I would be constantly aware of it … This went on for three months,” she wrote. 
 
That Easter, Ludden gave White another piece of jewelry, a pair of “small flower earrings—petals of gold, with tiny diamonds, rubies and sapphires” that were clipped to the ears of a stuffed bunny, with a note imploring her to say yes. (White was also a stuffed animal lover.)
 
She did. White and Ludden were married on June 14, 1963 and remained married until his death in 1981. She never remarried. 
 
I’ve had a hard time finding any good pictures of either the ring or the earrings. Perhaps I am just missing them, or maybe she found these items difficult to wear following Ludden’s death. 
 
Either way, the last of the beloved Golden Girls gave me plenty to look at—and smile about—over the last couple weeks. 

 Rest well, Betty.  

The Latest

Van Cleef & Arpels tie necklace
AuctionsMay 23, 2024
Sotheby’s to Offer Rare VCA Necklace, ‘Lavender Dream’ Diamond

A tie necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels and a pinkish purple diamond are highlights of the upcoming New York jewelry auction.

Tiffany Venetian glass bead ear clips
TrendsMay 23, 2024
State of Jewelry Design: 3 Themes That Will Shape the Next 5 Years

Color, storytelling, and the use of nonconventional materials are the signatures of today’s most innovative and influential designers.

Inoveo Platinum
MajorsMay 23, 2024
PGI to Debut New Platinum Alloy in Las Vegas

Inoveo Platinum will be distributed exclusively by Stuller in the U.S.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Alan Hart Headshot
MajorsMay 23, 2024
Gem-A CEO Alan Hart Resigns

He is stepping down in August after eight years as CEO.

Weekly QuizMay 23, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these seven questions.
Take the Quiz
Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingMay 22, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

The Eden Rose, a 10.20-carat fancy intense pink diamond
AuctionsMay 22, 2024
Christie’s Website Back Online, Announces Plans to Auction 10-Carat Pink Diamond

The fancy intense pink “The Eden Rose” is estimated to sell for up to $12 million at the New York “Magnificent Jewels” sale next month.

Royal Chain gold chains
Brought to you by
Record Gold Prices Have Consumers Undeterred. Here’s Why.

Despite the rising prices, consumers continue to seek out the precious metal.

Pandora Essence jewelry
CollectionsMay 22, 2024
Pandora’s New Jewelry Collection Reimagines the Essentials

The “Pandora Essence” collection brings a contemporary and sculptural feel to staples like gold hoops and pearl necklaces.

Instore show 2024
Events & AwardsMay 22, 2024
InStore ‘Cram Day’ To Focus on Lab-Grown Diamond Education

The limited-seating learning event precedes its second annual trade show, which starts Aug. 11.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Dame Shirley Bassey’s
AuctionsMay 21, 2024
Dame Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Ready for Their Encore

Sotheby’s will auction jewelry belonging to the “Diamonds Are Forever” singer in Paris this October.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsMay 21, 2024
Successful Vendor Relationships: A Win-Win Approach

Sherry Smith shares tips for fostering successful vendor-retailer partnerships, from marketing investment to fast-seller replenishment.

Jennifer Herold, Independent Jewelers Organization vice president
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
Jennifer Herold Promoted to VP at IJO

Herold has been with the organization for 22 years and will continue in her current role of conference director.

Studs pop-up
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Studs Opens Luxury Piercing Pop-Up in NYC

“Fancy Studs” will feature revamped branding and a new lab-grown diamond fine jewelry collection.

Nivoda executive team at table
SourcingMay 20, 2024
2 Business-to-Business Platforms Secure Millions in Funding

Nivoda and Liquid Diamonds both have big plans for the new capital.

Stuller Packaging & Displays 2024-2025 catalog
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Stuller Issues New Packaging & Display Catalog

The 2024-2025 edition features new colors and styles, as well as storytelling elements.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingMay 20, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingMay 20, 2024
Anglo American Confirms It Is Looking to Sell De Beers

The mining giant also wants to offload its platinum business as part of an overhaul designed to “unlock significant value.”

Buccellati jewelry
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Richemont Appoints Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicolas Bos as New CEO

The announcement coincided with its full-year results, with growth driven by its jewelry brands.

Watches of Switzerland Mall of America store
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Watches of Switzerland’s Fiscal-Year Sales Flat

Looking ahead, the retailer said it sees “enormous potential” in Roberto Coin’s ability to boost its branded jewelry business.

My Next Question webinar series graphic
Recorded WebinarsMay 17, 2024
Watch: Preparing for Trade Show Success

Jewelry trade show veterans share strategies for engaging buyers, managing your time effectively, and packing the right shoes.

Cartier ring-tailed lemur brooch circa 1991
AuctionsMay 17, 2024
Piece of the Week: Cartier’s Ring-Tailed Lemur

This little guy’s name is Ricky and he just sold for more than $200,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction.

202.18 carat fancy intense yellow diamond The Yellow Rose
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Christie’s Holds 2 Sales Despite Cyberattack

Though its website has been down for a week, Christie’s proceeded with its jewelry and watch auctions on May 13-14, bringing in nearly $80 million.

The Allnatt yellow diamond
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Sotheby’s Withdraws 101-Carat Yellow Diamond from Auction

Despite the absence of “The Allnatt,” Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction totaled $34 million, with 90 percent of lots sold.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsMay 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: What the Designer Should’ve Done

Lilian Raji gives advice to designers on how to make the most of great publicity opportunities.

Mothae Diamond Mine Lesotho
SourcingMay 16, 2024
Lucapa to Shed Stake in Lesotho Diamond Mine

The mining company wants to divest its 70 percent holding in the Mothae Diamond Mine in an effort to streamline its portfolio.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy