We’ve been talking a lot about platinum this month, but we can’t forget to properly celebrate the mighty emerald, May’s luscious birthstone. Today, we’re admiring one of the most impressive emerald ornaments in Europe’s royal collections: the emerald cabochon pendant from the Netherlands.
The gorgeous pendant is composed of a smooth, polished cabochon emerald with a slight pear shape, with a single diamond brilliant set above it. The jewel can be attached to various other items from the collection, including the brooch from the emerald parure (also used here as a pendant).
This angle allows you to see the way that the cabochon pendant is attached to the brooch. The emerald is the size of a small egg, and it’s been in the Dutch royal collection for generations. There’s speculation that it may have come the Netherlands via Russia. We know for sure that it was in the family vaults in the early years of the twentieth century. In 1909, when Queen Wilhelmina gave birth to the future Queen Juliana, she received the emerald as a gift from her mother, Queen Emma.
The emerald was later passed down to Queen Juliana, who liked to pair it with jewel pieces from the Dutch Emerald Parure for gala events. Here, in October 1970, she wears the pendant with the necklace and brooch from the parure (as well as the tiara, earrings, and bracelet) for a banquet during the Yugoslavian state visit.
And here, she wears the same configuration of jewels (the cabochon pendant and pieces from the emerald parure) for a state banquet in honor of President Leone of Italy in October 1973.
To my knowledge, there are no photographs of Princess Beatrix wearing the emerald pendant, but two of her daughters-in-law have embraced the jewel. Here, Princess Laurentien wears the pendant with a pearl choker necklace on Prinsjesdag in September 2004.
Queen Máxima has also worn the emerald pendant on several occasions, both before and after her husband became king. Here, in February 2007, she wears the pendant attached to the brooch from the Dutch Emerald Parure in Oslo during birthday celebrations for King Harald V of Norway. She also added the convertible emerald earrings from her own personal collection.
Máxima wore the earrings with the brooch and pendant (attached this time to a diamond necklace) for a concert at the Sydney Opera House during a visit to Australia in November 2016.
Here’s another look at Máxima wearing the jewels in Sydney.
And in June 2019, Máxima made a dazzling appearance in the cabochon pendant during a visit to the Emerald Isle. For a banquet at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin during the Dutch state visit to Ireland, Máxima again wore the pendant attached to the brooch from the Dutch Emerald Parure (which was again used as a pendant on a diamond necklace). She also wore the tiara from the parure for the occasion, as well as her own diamond and emerald earrings.