Will the scarlet rubies or the verdant emeralds win this prize?
The Crown Ruby Necklace vs. The Delhi Durbar Necklace
This necklace, which was acquired from Garrard in the 1850s by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, is part of a demi-parure of jewels that was originally set with diamonds and opals. The pieces were purchased to coordinate with Queen Victoria’s Indian Circlet, which was also originally set with opals instead of rubies. At the dawn of the twentieth century, Queen Alexandra had the opals in the necklace replaced with large rubies. The necklace was a great favorite of the Queen Mother, who wore it regularly until her death. Today, it’s worn by the Queen.
This classic royal necklace was made by Garrard in 1911, combining the Cambridge Emeralds with one of the Cullinan Diamonds. The piece is designed as a modern necklace with alternating diamonds and emeralds, as well as a pair of negligee pendants. The necklace and the rest of the coordinating parure were worn by Queen Mary at the Delhi Durbar that December. Queen Elizabeth II inherited the necklace from her grandmother in 1953, and she loves to pair it with the emerald setting of the Vladimir Tiara.