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A Closer Look at the $3 Million Harry Winston Ruby Slippers

Harry Winston Ruby Slippers

Who could forget Dorothy and her magical ruby slippers from the classic film "The Wizard of Oz." The original pair that was worn by Judy Garland is a part of a private collection and still in pristine condition, but even the originals are not valued as highly as the remake of the famous shoes titled the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers. The recreation of the fantasy shoes from eras long past recently sold at auction for a whopping $3 million. It might be hard to wrap your head around how a remake could be worth more than the originals which were worn by Garland and appeared in the film, but a closer look and discussion about these magnificent designer slippers will help you to understand how their value has been determined and why they're worth a small fortune.

The history of the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers

Harry Winston is one of the most famous jewelry designers in the world. He was reminded by his son Ronald Winston, that 1989 was the 50th anniversary of the classic film "The Wizard of Oz. The idea for the creation of the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers was really Ronald's. In celebration of the event, Winston designed a new iteration of the original slippers that were worn during the filming of the movie, however; there were some glaring differences between the two, although the aesthetics are remarkably similar at a glance. These differences would set the Hary Winston edition part in some very grand and glorious ways.

A comparison of the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers and the originals

The original ruby slippers were breathtaking to behold, but upon closer inspection, the only embellishments upon them were lovely red sequins. Winston's version of the famous and even iconic ruby slippers boasted the encrustment of 4,600 gemstones, which made his slippers much more opulent and glittery in the light. When you get closer you can see that the combination of rubies and diamonds present a much more remarkable artistic creation which adheres to the principles of both form and function. There are a total of 1,350 carats of premium rubies along with the addition of 50 carats of diamonds in the pair. This is what helped to boost the remake of Dorothy's ruby slippers to the value of $3 million, according to this article.

The original ruby slippers

The original slippers worn in the making of the "Wizard of Oz" were put on the auction block. It was the belief of the owners that they would fetch a high price because of their historical value as a prop from the film which went on to become an American classic. They were worn by the lead actress, but they didn't come close to generating the bidding results that we saw in Winston's rendition. The ruby shoes were sold for a high bid of just $612,000, according to this.

How these two variations were valuated

One might believe that the original ruby slippers would have greater value, simply because of their rarity and significance in the history of the motion picture. They are symbolic of great advances which were taking place at the time that the movie was made. They were listed as being in mint condition by the seller, but there were a few scuff marks on the heels, which fairly places them in used condition. We have, however, seen other shoe brands sell for a million dollars or more, even in used or worn condition. One of the biggest factors in assessing the overall value of a collectible simply amounts to the price that somebody is willing to pay for them and not a penny more nor less. There were no particularly precious or extravagant materials used to make Dorothy's slippers, but the opposite is true for Harry Winston's creation.

What makes the Harry Winston Ruby Slippers so special

First, we must begin with the fact that Harry Winston is one of the biggest names in the jewelry design industry. On top of that, he selected premium gemstones to use in the making of the shoes and there are a lot of them. The value of the shoes that he created is found in the expense of the materials which they are made from as well as the fact that it took a total of two days just to arrange and affix the thousands of gemstones, encrusting them into the shoes so they would not come loose. So we see that it is not only the history of an item or its scarcity that creates value, but also the cost or value of the materials as well as the brand name of the designer, which infers quality and prestige, according to this article.

A clever duplication

From a distance, you can't really tell which shoes are made of sequins and which feature genuine gemstones, but as you close the distance, it becomes quite apparent. Harry Winston made these shoes to very much duplicate the originals in their appearance and he succeeded in doing so. This was a very brave move which was made by the bold designer who doesn't mind taking chances on his designs. This was one that worked out very nicely as the Winston slippers fetched a price that was nearly six times higher than the selling price of the original slippers.

Final thoughts

The Harry Winston Ruby Slippers are one of the finest works of art produced by the famed jeweler. They have a whimsical theme and there is a nice creation story which hinges around a son asking his father to create something special to honor one of the most beloved films. Being a jewelry designer, he would naturally gravitate to something that would deal with rubies, and instead of crafting a special necklace with matching earrings, he moved into the are of footwear and created a shoe that will go down in the history books as one of the most expensive shoes ever sold at auction.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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