The fantastic collection of the British Crown started Daimond necklace
The fantastic collection of the British Crown started when the Royal family slowly imbibed the importance of exhibiting a regal look. Apart from the royal regalia the need for further accessorizing was learnt. Thus began the trend for jewelry wearing and making by the British Royals. Elegant, innovative and fantastic are few of the adjectives appropriate for the huge collection of precious jewelry worn and possessed by the Royals.
Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert started a long affair with jewelry, designing and setting a dress code for the court. Day time jewelry, evening gowns and the do’s and don’t of fashion and jewelry. Diamonds were supposed to be worn only by married women since diamonds were considered a wedding gift. Any unmarried lady wearing diamonds meant it was either inherited or gifted by a lover. With the death of her husband Albert she went into deep mourning and insisted on wearing mourning jewelry all made with black gems and started the trend for mourning jewelry.
Queen Victoria – when King William died Princess Victoria ascended the throne. Young and virginal she was greatly influenced by the inherited wealth and became the longest reigning monarch in British History, from 1837 to 1901. Her influence on the growing monarchy was intense. Dignified and sober she was gifted at painting and drawing. Marriage brought along Prince Albert her husband, who was a huge influence on her. Prince Albert was fond of designing jewelry and often designed jewelry for her. She acknowledges it in her diary, ‘My beloved one gave me such an unexpected present, a wreath- made to match the brooch and the earrings. It is entirely his own design and beautifully carried out. The leaves are frosted gold, the orange blossom of which porcelain and four little green enamel oranges, meant to represent our four children’. The orange blossom brooch and matching box was given to her in 1839 before they were married. First of the two brooches was sent from Wiesbaden, Albert’s hometown. The second brooch and matching earrings were given at Christmas in 1845 while a matching wreath on her tenth wedding anniversary.
kohinoor diamondQueen Victoria is known for getting the Kohinoor Diamond weighing 186 carats from India. When she was declared the Empress of India, Ranjit Singh of Punjab who had it in his possession was made to sign over this diamond to the new empress. Believed to have been mined from the Golconda mines it was probably mined 5000 years ago and belonged to Hindu Kings and then the Mughals, It is a rare find with brilliant clear white color and clarity. In 1852 Prince Albert got it cut to its present size reducing the weight by 42%, it now weighs 105.602 carats. This was done in order to enhance it brilliance further. He spent 800 pounds. The stone was first mounted in a tiara for Queen Victoria later worn by Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra as it was gifted by Victoria to the country. 1936 saw it being set in a crown for the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth.
The Prince Albert eagle Brooch is also well known. Designed by Albert it shows an open winged Eagle all in silver and gold studded with turquoise with ruby eyes and two magnificent pearls held within its claws. It was made in 1840.
Her diamond brooch with two rows of 14 cushion cut brilliant diamonds made by Rundell/Bridge & Rundell was often worn by her. She gifted it to the country. She had an emerald belt presented to her by Maharaja Sher Singh.
Queen Victoria diamond necklaceQueen Victoria’s famous diamond necklace and tear dropped earrings have an interesting history. Victoria had to hand over to the Duke of Cumberland, king of Hanover in 1857 a chunk of her inherited jewelry. This angered and upset her immensely. She ordered the royal jewelers to make carbon copies of the lost jewelry. This exercise was carried out by using precious stones from “swords and useless things”, as put by her. This necklace needed 28 stones which were got from 2 Garter badges and a sword hilt. This necklace has 25 cushion shaped brilliant cut diamonds set in silver and gold. The central drop shaped pendant is set in platinum. The largest stone weighs 11.25 carats. The earrings are made of 2 large cushion cut stones and smaller diamonds. The hanging tear drop shaped pendants are of different sizes. One is 7 carats while the larger one is 12 carats.