Our celebration of Queen Maxima’s 50th birthday continues all week long with closer looks at some of her most-worn royal jewels. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on the diamond and kunzite jewels from the Dutch royal vaults, which have become a particular favorite of the queen consort over the past decade.
These royal jewels are set with white diamonds and pink gemstones, which most jewelry watchers believe are probably kunzites. (Morganites are sometimes also mentioned as a possibility, but there seems to be more consensus on the kunzite identification.) The suite consists of several pieces, including a brooch that can be taken apart and worn as separate ornaments, earrings with small pink drops, a larger pair of statement earrings, a cocktail ring that matches the brooch, and a pair of diamond bangles with floral elements that have tiny pink gem centers. The demi-parure is the second of two suites of Dutch royal jewels set with pink gemstones, after Queen Juliana’s Rose Quartz Suite.
The kunzite jewels first appeared in public around a decade ago. In June 2009, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands wore parts of the set, including the earrings and the ring (partially obscured here, on her left hand), for the opening of the Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam. She also used the top portion of the brooch as an enhancer on a pearl necklace. (On her right wrist, she’s wearing one of the Dutch East Indies Bracelets, and you’ll also be able to spot a pearl bracelet on her left wrist. Her wedding and engagement rings are on her right hand.)
The following year, in September 2010, Princess Maxima wore pieces from the suite for the annual Prinsjesdag celebrations in The Hague. She wore the small drop earrings, placed the ring on her right hand, and secured her order sash with the top portion of the brooch.
Maxima is a famously innovative jewelry-wearer, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she played around with different configurations of the kunzite pieces from the start. Here, for the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam in September 2011, Princess Maxima wears the ring and the small drop earrings, plus the lower portion of the brooch as a pendant on a necklace.
Princess Maxima wore the small drop earrings with the complete brooch, the ring, and the bangle bracelets for a state visit to Singapore in January 2013, just days before her mother-in-law, Queen Beatrix, announced her forthcoming abdication.
Significantly, when Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of King Willem-Alexander in April 2013, the new Queen Maxima chose the diamond and kunzite jewels for the official abdication ceremony. She made her first public appearance as Queen of the Netherlands on the palace balcony shortly afterward.
Maxima wore the small drop earrings, the ring, the brooch, and the bracelets for the abdication ceremony. She pinned the brooch, worn complete with its pendant, to the waist of her dress for the important moment.
Since becoming queen, Maxima has continued to favor the kunzite suite, wearing the jewels often and for important occasions. She has also worn them for daily working engagements, like this trip to Essen in May 2014. On this occasion, she wore the small drop earrings, the bangles, and the ring. You’ll note that she wore the pendant portion of the brooch suspended from one of the diamond ribbon brooches from the family collection as well.
For the wedding of her brother, Juan Zorreguieta, at the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna in June 2014, Maxima wore the small kunzite drops on a long pair of diamond earrings. She also added the top portion of the brooch as an enhancer on a diamond riviere. She’s wearing another of the Dutch East Indies Bracelets on her right wrist as well.
Around seven years ago, Maxima began wearing a large pair of statement earrings with the rest of the kunzite suite. These earrings feature large pear-shaped gems surrounded by diamonds. The top of the pendant portion of the earring features a little decorative diamond twist, adding a modern touch to the classic style. Here, Maxima wears the larger earrings in May 2015 for the opening of a care and education center for those with hearing loss and other language difficulties in Zoetermeer.
Since then, Maxima has mixed and matched various pieces from the suite together on various occasions. Above, in March 2016, she wore the larger earrings with the ring and one of the bangle bracelets for a visit to a youth hostel in Paris.
In April 2018, she wore the larger earrings with a pink dress for the opening of the musical The Color Purple at the NDSM Warehouse in Amsterdam.
A few months later, in August 2018, she wore the larger earrings, the brooch, and the ring (not seen here) in The Hague for an important military ceremony: the presentation of the Willemsorde, the nation’s highest military decoration, to Major Roy de Ruiter.
Another important moment for the kunzites came in October 2018, when Maxima wore the larger earrings, the brooch with its pendant, the bangle bracelets, and the ring for the official welcome ceremonies in London during the Dutch state visit to the United Kingdom.
Though the set has become largely identified with Queen Maxima, you’ll still see it sometimes on other members of the family. One of these moments came in September 2019, when Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands wore the larger earrings, the ring, and the brooch for the Prinsjesdag celebrations in The Hague.
Our most recent kunzite spotting on Maxima came very recently. She wore the statement earrings in Roermond on May 11, 2021, for a meeting organized by More Music in the Classroom, an organization for which she serves as an honorary chairperson.