After taking her first steps into the world of theatre at sixteen, Vèlez soon went on to conquer Hollywood with her innate charm and incomparable mix of sweetness and wildness. These qualities, alongside her firm and steely characters portrayed on screen, led to her nickname the "Mexican Spitfire".
In 1929 she met American actor Gary Cooper. Cooper was her one and only true love despite other long-term relationships with some of Hollywood’s finest, and a later marriage with "Tarzan" actor Johnny Weissmuller. The romance between Vèlez and Cooper was one of the most talked about and speculated relationships in Hollywood, publicised regularly in magazines across the world.
It was no secret that Vèlez compiled one of the largest and most valuable jewellery collections in Hollywood, as she was in love with jewels and often commented "I just can't live without them!”
Her collection consisted of various pieces that reflected her fashionable nature and trends of the time, such as amazing bracelets that were stacked along each arm. Vèlez would famously spread out every piece of her collection on a large white rug in her bedroom when guests visited. She would discuss her jewels with friends and they would try items on together as Vèlez wanted “to see how you look in all this".
Vèlez believed that jewellery was the best investment she could make, partly because she could wear and enjoy her pieces at the same time. Her theory proved correct and saved her from the economic crash in 1929, when many of Vèlez’s friends lost all their fortunes.
Today we have the chance to admire not only one of the most beautiful pieces from her collection but also to have a taste of Hollywood’s golden era.
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