Monday, 20 March 2017

Aquamarines for March: the Netherlands

Aquamarines might not be the most valuable precious stone in the royal jewel collections of Europe but they are among the most prolific. The birth stone for March is found in several of the continent's coffers in a whole range of tiara styles. Maybe it's the paleness of its blue, maybe it's the fact that these stones come in hefty portions, but the aquamarine diadems of Europe's ruling houses include plenty of unusual designs. Before you get too excited, this isn't one of them. The latest look at this sparkling stone takes us to the Netherlands where the gem has been shaped into a bit of a favourite style. Here are more Aquamarines for March, Netherlands style.

You can't beat a diamond bandeau with a few gems sticking out of the top for height. Well, that seems to be the thinking behind several of the pieces in the tiara collection belonging to the Dutch Royal Family. On the plus side, it lets the star gems - in this case, aquamarines - take centre stage. On the down side, if there can ever be a negative that involves lots of sparkling jewels on top of a head, it does end up just a little bit, well, samey. 


The look of this aquamarine tiara might remind you of one of the family's pearl tiaras and even of its button tiara converted into a stellar sparkler, quite literally, for Queen Maxima on her wedding day. This diadem is made of a slim band of diamonds with a few smaller aquamarines set amongst them which form the support for seven huge aquas which nestle into the band and point to the skies. It's a very simple arrangement, with no other gems to detract from the aquamarines on the top row.

The tiara was created in 1927 as an 18th birthday present for Juliana, later Queen of the Netherlands, then heiress to the throne. While the bandeau supporting the stones is very 1920s, the stick 'em on top and let everyone marvel design of the aquamarines is reminiscent of the pearl tiara that Juliana's mother, Queen Wilhelmina, had fashioned from pieces in her collection about twenty years earlier. Like mother, like daughter, like pearls, like aquamarines.

If we're being honest, the aquamarines don't suit the design as well as the pearls had done but this is still a pretty piece and very much a starter for ten tiara, perfect for a princess just getting used to balancing precious stones on her head. The diadem is now worn by just about every royal lady in the family and can be given extra oomph by adding in several of the other aquamarine pieces owned by the Dutch ruling house. The tiara also has a fresh, almost springlike feel to it - a perfect piece to enjoy as that season gets under way. More Aquamarines for March coming soon.

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