The late Diana, Princess of Wales was famous for her sapphires and her pearls, but she also had numerous other pieces set with other gemstones in her collection. Today, we’re taking a closer look at her demi-parure of jewels set with diamonds and amethysts.
The suite featured cabochon amethysts set in diamond clusters, plus amethyst bead accents. The demi-parure consisted of at least three matching pieces: a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings. We don’t appear to have any provenance information about the jewels, but if I’m correct, Diana began wearing pieces from the set in public in the autumn of 1985. Initially, she wore just the earrings that November and December, pairing them with a maroon crushed velvet gown for three different gala occasions: an official dinner during a tour of Australia (above, paired with the Spencer Tiara), a concert at the Barbican, and a performance of the Sadler’s Wells ballet.
In February 1987, she wore the earrings again with the Spencer Tiara in Portugal for an official dinner at the Ajuda Palace in Lisbon.
This time, she wore them with another crushed velvet gown, this time in dark blue, by Bruce Oldfield.
Dark blue would be one of Diana’s favorite colors to wear with the amethysts. She wore the earrings and the necklace with a midnight blue strapless gown by Catherine Walker, with long matching gloves, to see a performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro during a visit to Munich in November 1987.
You can see the gown and jewels from the night at the opera in color in this image.
In November 1988, Diana wore the amethysts with the dark blue Bruce Oldfield gown once again, this time for a charity gala event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Here, she’s seated beside the designer himself at the event.
In later years, she began wearing pieces from the amethyst suite with lighter colors and fabrics. In March 1990, during a visit to Nigeria, she wore the earrings and bracelet with a springy halter-neck floral gown in shades of white, purple, and green for an official dinner in Lagos.
One of her last appearances in public in the amethysts came in June 1996, when she wore them for a gala at the Field Museum during a visit to Chicago.
On that occasion, she paired the earrings and the bracelet (plus an eleven-row seed pearl choker necklace with diamond and ruby spacers) with a purple Versace gown.