Royal Aquamarine Ensemble
Holy tiaras! The King and Queen of Spain made an official visit to Great Britain on July 12th 2017 to full pomp and circumstance. Royalty on both sides went all-out to wear their finest regalia for the occasion. In particular, the priceless tiaras of both Queen Letizia and HRH Queen Elizabeth were a study in out-doing one another. Sort of the jewelry equivalent of of a dance-off---but much more dazzling.
Head to Head Splendor
The public was wowed once again by Queen Elizabeth's choice of headdress. With a huge hoard of breathtaking tiaras to choose from, she opted for one of her all time faves--a spectacular aquamarine and diamond tiara accompanied by other aquamarine pieces composing a large parure. Parure is an unpronounceable word for a complete matching jewelry suite.
The Whole Enchilada
Her heavenly blue set includes ear pendants, a convertible necklace (the sizeable central pendant is removable to become a brooch). Then there is a head-turning aqua and diamond bracelet. It was originally constructed of 7 large matching aquas, but the Queen's petite wrist required the removal of 2 segments.
A Sentimental Fave
Of all her nearly countless jewels, this parure is known to be a sentimental preference with Her Majesty. It all started with the foundation pieces--the magnificent aqua, diamond and platinum necklace plus ear pendants. They were given to her in 1953 as a Coronation gift by the President and People of Brazil. It took well over a year for the Brazilians to assemble perfectly matching stones to construct the pieces. The mammoth sized aquas were intended to create quite an impression. Check. She loved the pieces so much that in 1957 she commissioned her own jeweler Garrard & Co (the same jeweler who made Diana's iconic sapphire engagement ring) to custom create a matching tiara.
Not To Be Outdone
One good turn deserves another, the Brazilians thought. So in 1958, the Government of Brazil gifted her with that splendid bracelet and then a brooch to boot to complete the magnificent parure.
All About Aqua
The dreamy gemstone is a member of the beryl mineral family. Its name is derived from Latin meaning sea water. Aquamarines can indeed be found in several places around the globe including the United States. But Brazilian aquamarines are coveted for their ravishing hues, dramatic clarity and in some instances, large-sized crystals. Notice many of the prominent aquamarines in the Queen's historical ensemble. They are polished into rectangular cuts which is likely because the rough crystals were long columnar shapes which is often their crystal habit.That way, the cutter maximizes the rough for the largest finished stone possible.
Aquamarine has long been a favorite gemstone of jewelry collectors. Blue is the most preferred color in the world; and its popularity extends to the royal household of Great Britain. God Save the Queen---and aquamarine.