Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Emeralds for May: the Netherlands

A queen does green - Maxima in emeralds in 2014

May is all about emeralds and this is all about the green stones that belong to the Royal Family of the Netherlands. They own a pretty impressive emerald parure that turns heads every time it comes out of the jewellery box. Here's the latest look at emeralds for May.

This set of emeralds shows that with such a strong colour, delicate and discreet can win the day. This is a very pretty and rather petite piece of jewellery but packing all those green stones, it can't be missed.

The emeralds are thought to have arrived in the Netherlands in the 18th century when Wilhelmina of Prussia arrived to marry William V of Nassau. A century later, they were turned into a parure for another Wilhelmina, the young princess who had become Queen of the Netherlands in 1890 when she was ten and who had just turned eighteen when her mother, Queen Emma, got busy with the jewel collection for her.

The parure, with the tiara as its centre piece, has many parts including bracelets, a necklace, a pendant and a ring.  But its the diadem that focuses the attention - it is unusual and imposing all at the same time.  It's in a V shape rising to a point topped by emeralds and in its original form there were emerald points at either end of the tiara too. Those stunning stones are held up by swirls of diamonds and they're surrounded by sparklers as well. It's a truly impressive haul of gems.

It can also be worn upside down. Yep, you read that right. This tiara can be inverted for a real wow moment. Queen Juliana was most fond of this but she also had the two end emeralds removed at one point and turned into earrings. When you're a queen, that's the kind of thing that happens.

Those emeralds can also make way for pearls to give the tiara a softer feel but it loses something without the green. This diadem was made for May's standout stones.

Queen Maxima is rather fond of the piece and has worn it on several occasions, perhaps most famously with a gravity defying green one shoulder dress that almost, but not quite, overshadowed the sparkle. But then that's the beauty of this particular tiara - it's so stunning that it will never be outshone.
You can read about other royal collections in Emeralds for May here.
Photo credit: koninklijkhuis.nl

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