29 March 2016

The Top Ten: Royal Aquamarine Tiaras

As March draws to a close, so does our month-long discussion of various royal jewels set with aquamarines. To wrap things up, here's a look at my ten favorite royal aquamarine tiaras. Add your own top ten list in the comments below!

10. The Aquamarine Pineflower Tiara: Made in the 1940s by Cartier, this diamond and aquamarine tiara was originally owned by the Queen Mother. She passed the piece along to her granddaughter, Princess Anne, who had it remodeled; she now wears the new version occasionally at state events.

9. The Swedish Aquamarine Bandeau: Princess Madeleine received this petite diamond and aquamarine bandeau for her eighteenth birthday; the piece was an heirloom that had been in the family for at least one generation. Madeleine occasionally wears the bandeau à la Josephine -- that is, low across the brow in a style influenced by Empress Josephine and the Empire period (and later revived in the 1920s).

8. The Luxembourg Aquamarine Bandeau: The vast Luxembourgish grand ducal jewelry vaults includes a lovely diamond and aquamarine bandeau, which features large aquamarines set between elements that look like diamond knots. Like most of the family's bandeaux, this piece seems to have originated with Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte.

7. The Countess of Wessex's Aquamarine Necklace Tiara: Sophie debuted this modern, convertible jewel in 2005; some have attributed the piece to Collins and Sons. Last year, she chose the diamond and aquamarine tiara for the royal wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden.

6. The Spanish Wedding Gift Tiara: Queen Fabiola of Belgium's endlessly-convertible tiara can be worn with small aquamarines set in the center of each of its diamond "leaves." The piece was a gift from the Francos, who governed Fabiola's native Spain at the time of her wedding to Belgium's king.

5. The Small Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara: This diamond and aquamarine tiara, said to be made using stones gifted to Queen Elizabeth II by Brazil, was worn briefly by the Queen earlier in her reign. In recent years, she has often loaned the piece to her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex.

4. The Dutch Aquamarine Tiara: Part of a married parure of aquamarine jewels amassed by Queen Juliana, the Dutch royal family's diamond and aquamarine tiara features seven large aquamarine briolettes. The tiara, which was made by Kempen, Begeer, and Vos, has been worn by a number of Dutch royal ladies, including Queen Maxima, Princess Laurentien, Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet, and Princess Irene.

3. The Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara: Queen Elizabeth II commissioned this tiara of diamonds and aquamarines to accompany various aquamarine pieces she'd received over time from the people and the government of Brazil. That original tiara was remodeled, turning it into the enormous diamond and aquamarine sparkler worn by the Queen today.

2. Queen Ena's Aquamarine Tiara: This tiara of diamonds and aquamarines originally belonged to Queen Ena of Spain. Its original incarnation looked very different; it was eventually remodeled by Bulgari at the request of Ena's daughter, Beatriz. The new tiara, which resembles the Vladimir Tiara in shape, was most recently worn in public by Ena's great-granddaughter, Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg.

1. The Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik: My favorite royal aquamarine tiara is the lovely diamond and aquamarine kokoshnik that belongs to the Swedish royal family. A favorite of the late Princess Sibylla, the tiara now belongs to Princess Margaretha, who has loaned it out recently to her sister, Princess Christina, and her niece, Princess Madeleine.

Read more about royal aquamarine jewels...