01 April 2015

Fabulous Fakes for April Fool's Day

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone! No tricks to be found here at The Court Jeweller today -- except of the jewel variety. Here's a selection of some of the clever fakes that the Windsor women have worn through the years. Which of these pieces of fashion jewelry would you happily wear, even though they're not set with genuine stones?

Diana, Princess of Wales selected paste earrings from Butler and Wilson for the America's Cup Ball in 1986

31 March 2015

Jewel History: Bottled Note Tells of Eugenie's Jewels (1913)

"Bottled Note Tells of Eugenie's Jewels"
(originally appeared in the New York Times, 30 Mar 1913)

PARIS, March 29 -- Historians are greatly puzzled over a remarkable document, found this week by a soldier at Mont Louis in the Eastern Pyrenees.

The paper, which was found in a bottle, was dated to the 4th of September, 1870, the memorable day on which the Third Republic was established, and Empress Eugenie fled from Paris. It purports to give a list of jewels brought to the Empress by Senor Manuel Perez of Madrid, to be handed over to her in Paris.

The Empress is referred to throughout by her maiden name of the Countess de Montijo [1].

The total value of the jewels and other articles enumerated is given as $1,350,000, and among the separate items mentioned are two pearl bracelets, given to the Empress by Queen Victoria and worth $130,000; a pearl and diamond necklace, presented by the Czar of Russia, and worth $100,000; and Bank of France bills for $400,000.

30 March 2015

Queen Olga's Emeralds

On this day in 1863, the Greek parliament elected a seventeen-year-old Danish prince, Wilhelm Georg, to serve as their nation's king. King George I of the Hellenes was the first king of a tumultuous and sometimes tragic dynasty in Greece. Today, we're looking at some of the grandest jewels worn by his wife, Queen Olga: her emeralds.

The queen was born Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia. She was the daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich, which means that she was the granddaughter of Czar Nicholas I. Olga was only twelve when she met her future husband for the first time, and she had just turned sixteen when they married. As you'd expect, a Romanov grand duchess marrying a foreign king brought a significant trousseau with her. Among the items that Olga took with her to Greece were a cache of cabochon emeralds, some round, some shaped like drops. The stones were nestled among her other possessions -- including, heartbreakingly, her dolls -- when she arrived in her new homeland.

29 March 2015

The Rose Ball 2015

It's that time of year again, readers: the princely family of Monaco gathered in Monte Carlo last night for the annual Rose Ball, an event that benefits the Princess Grace Foundation. Let's have a look at the sparkle on show, shall we?

Princess Charlene did not attend this year's ball -- busy taking care of the twins, I assume -- so the first lady for the evening was Princess Caroline. And she definitely dressed the part, wearing diamond bracelets and a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings with one of the sparkliest pieces from her jewelry box: her diamond fringe necklace. The night's theme was Art Deco, and you can definitely see that playing out in Caroline's jewelry and attire.