What Links India to Ocean’s 8? a Gujarati King, a Priceless Necklace & the Ranji Trophy!

The design of the Toussaint is inspired by a necklace created for Jam Saheb Shri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja.

Ocean’s 8 that released worldwide in June 2018 was a much-anticipated film. Featuring an ensemble cast dominated by women, the film is a heist comedy, and its plot revolves around a highly sophisticated robbery that the women execute by infiltrating the annual Met Gala in New York City. Their plan is to steal “the Toussaint,” a necklace worth $150 million designed by French luxury brand, Cartier.

But did you know what is so unique about the necklace that features in Ocean’s 8?

The necklace is called Jeanne Touissant and is named after a former creative director of Cartier. The designer, who died in 1976, was heavily inspired by Indian jewellery and many of her creations reflect that.

The design of the Toussaint is inspired by a necklace created for Jam Saheb Shri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja—the ruler of the princely state of Nawanagar from 1907 to 1933.

(L) The necklace in the movie (source) and (R) the original (Source)

The original necklace was a magnificent piece of creation that also featured a blue-white 136.25-carat diamond called the Queen of Holland. Such was the beauty of the original necklace made for the Raja, that its designer, Jacques Cartier, describes it as “a superb realisation of a connoisseur’s dream.”

When the Raja was reportedly exiled, the precious necklace too was lost.

However, the sketches and photographs of it still remain, and that helped Toussaint design the necklace that features in Ocean’s 8.

(L) The sketch of the original and (R) the recreated piece. Source: Cartier.

The recreation of The Toussaint took more than 4200 hours and the hard work of about 10-15 artisans! Cartier, the official jewellery partner of Ocean’s 8, featured the beautiful necklace in an exhibition as part of their promotions.

Ranjitsinhji himself has a fascinating history, one that will not only interest Hollywood movie buffs, now that his jewellery features in a major film, but also cricket fans in the country.

Raja Ranjitsinhji was a brilliant batsman. Source.

Ranjitsinhji was a brilliant test cricketer during his time. When studying in the Cambridge University, he played for the university and played county cricket for Sussex. He even played for the English Cricket team when the British were ruling India.

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He reportedly had an unorthodox technique and brought in a new style to batting. If you are a hardcore cricket fan, you’d know that the Ranji Trophy, a first-class cricket tournament in India, is named in his honour.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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