“A strong spirit transcends rules. People who have no creativity, talent or courage are the ones who follow the rules. Be bold, be brave, step up and make your own! The passion that lies inside of you means you do not need to follow the pack, because you transcend it.” -Prince
Prince Rogers Nelson, later known as Prince, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, The Artist and his “Love Symbol,” touched the lives of many. As a musician and an icon, his career embraced oddity and acceptance. The “Love Symbol” that Prince began to identify with combined both the male and female gender signs as a statement of compassion and acceptance; his song titles and lyrics explored these themes in depth. Even after his death in 2016, his legacy of unity lives on. Here at M.S. Rau, we have been lucky enough to acquire multiple memorabilia items once owned by the artist. Read on to discover more about these jewelry collection items, and the man who made them significant.
Born in Minneapolis, Prince taught himself to play piano at age seven and wrote his first song, “Funk Machine,” shortly after in 1965. By fourteen years old, he had mastered the guitar and drums, and he joined his first band. In his primarily white community of Minneapolis, it was practically unheard of for a black artist to rise to fame so rapidly during the time. Despite prejudice, Prince demanded his voice be heard. This influenced many other major artists such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. By the age of nineteen, Prince had signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records and began recording his first album For You in 1978.
His career took off and influenced millions of people and artists with his message of unity and love. Tragically, his influence was cut short when he passed away at the age of 57. However, his music and legacy live on, as well as the beautiful fine jewelry pieces he wore both on and off stage.
Prince was a widely influential individual who changed the way people thought of both identity and music. Delivering meaningful messages through lyrics and melody, his work was incredibly prolific. His style reached across genres including rock, R&B and pop. When he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, Prince stated, “When I first started out in the music industry, I was concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to.” He shaped his career his way despite accepted musical practices.
Prince was a seven time Grammy winner. His Top 10 hits includes, “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss” and, of course, “Purple Rain.” In a statement, President Obama said, “Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”
Many things made Prince’s discography and performances well known and cherished. Not only did he perform for hours on end, pouring out music for his adoring fans, but he also recorded the majority of his music entirely on his own--he would play every instrument and sing each line. Known as a unifier of dualities, he delved deep into controversies surrounding sexuality, race, music and culture. In his song “Controversy,” Prince sings, “I just can’t believe all the things people say... Am I black or white, am I straight or am I gay?” These lyrics further highlight Prince’s quest for unity and acceptance through his persuasive and important music.
Prince was also an icon in the fashion industry. His style was always sure to surprise and delight throughout his career. He would grace the stage with outfits pushing gender norms and breaking countless boundaries. Whether his attire included a bedazzled cane or high heels, Prince’s style was incomparable. Here at M.S. Rau we have acquired some of his most iconic pieces.
This white gold pendant is truly one-of-a-kind due to it being owned and worn by the great pop culture icon, Prince. It features his well-known and identifying “Love Symbol,” in 14K white gold. It was worn by the artist on stage during his performances in the mid-to late 1990s. He adopted this unpronounceable glyph as his stage name in 1993 following a stint with his record label. With the merging of male and female gender signs, it symbolizes Prince’s fluid sexuality as well as harmony and love over conflict.
Prince had a fascination with the crescent moon throughout his lifetime, as highlighted in this diamond necklace pendant. Specifically made for him, the custom-cut onyx takes the shape of a crescent moon and star set in 14K white gold. A total of 2.88 carats white diamonds surround this piece of jewelry and add sparkle and brilliance. Prince wore many ear-cuffs and pieces of jewelry taking the shape of the crescent moon, and the shape was highlighted all over his home decor in Paisley Park.
As you can see through these beautiful pieces of jewelry, Prince was not afraid to show his love for gender equality, passion, and acceptance. These fine jewelry pieces became a symbol of this artist and have now become prized positions that any collector would be proud to own.