The 10 Most Expensive Royal Jewellery Pieces

Date

Summer 2024

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Royal Families are known for their splendor, and more specifically their collections of jewels. But have you ever wondered whose jewellery is the most expensive? Well, below we’ve compiled a list for you to peruse. 

Keep in mind, royal jewels are often kept private, so while there are estimates of worth, it is unknown the true value of these pieces.

  1. The Patiala Necklace 

Photo credit: The daily Beast

While the necklace disappeared in 1948, it will always be known as the largest single order of jewellery made to Cartier in history. The order was made in 1928 by the Maharaja of Patiala, a member of Indian Royalty. The necklace consisted of 5 chains, 2,930 diamonds, 7 large diamonds, Burmese rubies, and the “De Beers” diamond, which is the 7th largest diamond in the world, as the centrepiece. The necklace cost the Maharaja a whopping $2.7 billion USD in today’s dollars. 

  1. Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace 

Photo Credit: The Court Jeweller

Made by Cartier in 1930, and named after the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah VII, the necklace was a wedding gift to then-Princess Elizabeth. The Nizam allowed the princess to select whatever she wanted, and she selected this necklace along with its matching tiara. The design is based on English roses and is estimated to be worth around $80 million USD.

  1. The Cullinan III and IV Brooch 

Photo Credit: The Court Jeweller

Considered to be the most valuable brooch in the world, its tongue-and-cheek nickname “Granny’s Chips” is a reference to the two diamonds cut from the Cullinan diamond that make up the brooch. The two diamonds are smaller than Cullinan diamonds I and II, thus looking like mere “chips” in comparison. Regardless, this 158-carat diamond brooch is estimated to be valued at $61 million USD.

  1. Marie-Antoinette’s Pearl and Diamond Pendant and Necklace 

Photo Credit: The Value

Consisting of 3 rows of large pearls and totaling 161 pearls, Marie Antoinette smuggled this set out of France to her family in Austria. The pendant, which hung on the third row of the necklace consisted of a bow encrusted with diamonds with a very large drop pearl underneath. The whole set is estimated to be valued around $41 million USD.

  1. Queen Elizabeth’s Cartier Williamson Diamond Brooch 

Photo Credit: The Royal Watcher

The centre pink diamond was given to the queen as a wedding gift in 1947 by Canadian geologist Dr. John Thorburn Williamson. Considered to be one of the finest pink diamonds ever discovered, the queen was able to do whatever she liked with the diamond, and thus commissioned a setting in the shape of a jonquil flower with an additional 203 white diamonds used. This brooch is estimated to be worth $30.5 million USD.

  1. Danish Ruby Parure 

Regardless of its secretive price tag, the set consists of a tiara, necklace, earrings, hairpins, and a ring. The set was bought in France by Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte for his wife Desiree, both members of Napoleon’s inner circle. In 1810, Bernadotte was made crown prince of Sweden and in 1869, the set was given to Princess Lovisa, who married the crown prince of Denmark, as they match the country’s flag. 

  1. Princess Masako’s Wedding Tiara and Necklace 

Photo Credit: Tiara Mania

Another one with a secretive value, this tiara has been worn in several Imperial Japanese weddings. First worn in 1959, this was the first time that the Japanese Imperial family included western clothing into their weddings, and this included a tiara. With its beautiful floral design reminiscent of chrysanthemums, a symbol of the Japanese Imperial family, this tiara is only worn by future Empresses of Japan.

  1. Delhi Durbar Emerald Choker

Photo Credit: Artemisia’s Royal Jewels

Another piece from Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection, the choker contains 9 Cambridge emeralds and the Cullinan VII diamond. Queen Mary had the necklace originally made for the Delhi Durbar, which was a royal celebration in India. The necklace is estimated to be valued at $20 million USD.

  1. Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Tiara 

Photo Credit: Forbes

This beautiful tiara is the most expensive tiara ever sold at auction. The tiara weighs more than 500 carats and is certainly more than befitting of royalty, especially with its supposed $12.7 million USD price tag.

  1. Empress Marie-Louise’s Emerald and Diamond Wedding Parure 

Photo Credit: Internet Stones

While parts of the set have unfortunately been lost, this parure originally consisted of a diadem, necklace, earrings, comb, and belt clasp. While it is unknown how much a set like this would go for, considering it consisted of a total of 138 emeralds, 382 rose-cut diamonds and 2,162 brilliant-cut diamonds, it’s safe to say that it could be worth quite a lot.

Lily Frances | Staff Writer

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