Jewelry – An expression of recognition, a symbol of love and a token of gratitude to someone you cherish.
I read this quote somewhere and thought it described Jewelry in one of the best possible ways. Why I mention this is because Jewelry is a topic that I’m passionately fond of. Also, I’m one of the blessed few, who have been able to chalk a career path relating to my field of interest. This journey has enabled me to know many rare and extremely beautiful pieces of Royal Jewelry – some stately, some majestic and some, if I may say ‘magical’.
Royal Jewelry are spell binding, belonging to the royal families of the world, pieces that have been worn by queens, gifted by kings, jewels that been commissioned and executed by the greatest jewelry designers/ houses of all times.
1) Marie Antoinette Necklace
The very first piece of jewelry in this list is a gorgeous necklace that belongs to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. The necklace is the most expensive piece of jewelry listed. It is adorned with numerous white diamonds, set in platinum. Other than these, the necklace has two oval shaped yellow diamonds weighing 7.06 and 5.24 carats respectively and 1.84 carat pink diamond vertically lined in the center. The main white pear shaped diamond, which weighs 8.05 karats, is set like a droplet at the bottom and pulls the chokers down straight, fully emphasizing the overall shape and style of the necklace. In totality, the necklace has 181 carats of diamonds set in platinum, making it remarkable and very expensive jewelry piece. It gives the impression of ancient necklaces worn by the princesses during nights when they wanted to walk under the moonlight.
Through time immemorial, we read of imperial ladies adorning themselves with glittering gems, luxurious diamonds and pearls. In olden days, adorning a jewel was merely not for the display of wealth one possessed, but it also and more importantly symbolized one’s status in the society. Of course then the quality of gemstones needed to be exceptional and workmanship outstanding! Therefore today these pieces have become priceless. One such gorgeous piece of Jewellery was “The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara”.
2) Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara
The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara was commissioned to Garrard in 1913 by Queen Mary. Extremely French in its neo-classical design, the tiara originated in the mid-Georgian period and showed the features of Gothic Revival style. Its circlet and the 19 inverted arches rising upwards to form 19 spikes are all set with round brilliant cut diamonds. At the upper end of the inverted arch lies a combination of lover’s knot and scroll motifs with centre occupied by a large brilliant cut diamond. Lover’s Knot bows are repeated along the entire length, and from these, originated two drop-shaped pearls, one hanging down and the other rising up like a spike. The upper spiked pearls were eventually replaced by Mary with diamonds.
The tiara was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II upon her grandmother, Queen Mary’s death in 1953. Worn almost frequently at formal engagements and receptions in 1950’s by the queen, it wasn’t seen anymore until it was presented as a wedding gift to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981. Diana wore it on many occasions at home and abroad, and so the tiara came to be associated with her image. However, after her divorce from the Prince of Wales, it was returned to Queen Elizabeth.
Compiled with the help of my students studying at AIGJ (Auric Institute of Jewellery Design & Gemological Lab): Aastha Agarwal, Shweta Nahata & Sweni Agarwal – Students of Advance Jewellery Design Course, November 2014 Batch