Gemstones have long been considered valuable by every culture on earth. The rarity of these precious stones is what gives them their inherent value; however, their unique and vibrant aesthetic have also made them a vital part of jewelry throughout history. It’s no wonder then that practically every royal family in history has had their very own gemstone jewelry collections. The exquisiteness of gemstones goes hand in hand with royal family wealth.
- Queen Maxima’s Dutch Sapphire Parure
Argentine-born Queen Máxima Zorreguieta wore these one of a kind sapphire earrings and matching sapphire brooch to greet the president of Argentina on his first official visit to the Netherlands. The exquisite gemstones are part of a larger collection of the Dutch royal parure, which includes the diamond and sapphire tiara she wore during her husband, William Alexander’s, inauguration.
- The Draperie Necklace
Another famous gemstone jewel belonging to the royal family was the exquisite Draperie Necklace adorned by Wallis Simpson, the American wife of the Duke of Windsor. The necklace was designed by Cartier at the request of the Duke of Windsor, who chose all the stones himself except the turquoise. Wallis Simpson’s insatiable appetite for all that sparkled did not end with this. She had gemstone jewelry made for her by Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, and her famous collection includes an aquamarine necklace, a citrine tiara, and the tiara worn by Catherine Middleton at her wedding to Prince William. Her signature Cartier Paris Draperie necklace was made with twisted gold and platinum, brilliant and rectangle cut diamonds, a heart-shaped amethyst, 27 emerald cut amethysts and one oval cut, with turquoise cabochons.
- Duchess Catherine’s Sapphire Engagement Ring
One of Catherine’s most prized possessions is her engagement ring, a sentimental piece gifted to her by Prince William. The stunning ring once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, and features 14 solitaire diamonds and a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat gold. The ring was created by jeweler Garrard and was one of the only royal family gemstone pieces that wasn’t custom made!
- The Imperial State Crown
The original Imperial State Crown was made in the 15th century, however today’s version is actually a remake because the first was so packed with gemstones it was too heavy to wear! Queen Elizabeth first wore this unbelievable creation in 1937 and has since worn it at every State Opening of Parliament. The crown is hypnotizing from every angle you look at it and is described as a timeless piece. Set with over 3,000 gems, the stones were all transferred from the old Imperial Crown, which had been re-made on a number of occasions since the 17th century, most recently for Queen Victoria in 1838. It includes many famous gemstones, among them the diamond known as the Second Star of Africa (the second largest stone cut from the celebrated Cullinan Diamond), the Black Prince's Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, St Edward’s Sapphire and Queen Elizabeth's Pearls.
- Princess Diana’s Pearl and Sapphire Choker
This necklace is arguably the most iconic of all of Princess Diana’s jewelry. For this reason it will unlikely be seen on Kate or any other royal for a very long time. The sapphire surrounded by diamonds was a gift from the Queen Mother on the occasion of Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. At some point, Diana had the brooch made into a seven strand pearl choker and wore it on numerous high profile occasions.
- Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara
Queen Elizabeth's most prized item is her Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara. The necklace and earrings were gifted to her by the President and people of Brazil over 62 years ago. She finally received the matching tiara in 1957 and has throughout her reign added even more gemstones to the breathtaking piece.