Sunday, February 17, 2013

British Royal Jewels: King Faisal Diamond Necklace

There are five necklaces in the British jewellery vaults that are sometimes hard to distinguish and often get confused with each other. Four of them belong to the Queen, and one – to the Countess of Wessex.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Necklace
The first of those necklaces is King Faisal Diamond Necklace. It was made in 1952 by Harry Winston and initially kept to showcase the firm’s diamond jewellery collection. Fifteen years later, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia purchased the necklace and presented it to Queen Elizabeth during his state visit to Britain in May of 1967.

The necklace consists of a base of baguettes. From the front half of the base hangs a combination of pear-shaped drops, smaller baguettes and brilliants. In total, the necklace includes 11 pear-shaped drops, 91 brilliants and 254 baguettes, with a total weigh of almost 84 carats.
The Queen wearing King Faisal Necklace with Girls of Great Britain Tiara (left), Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara (middle) and no tiara (right)
One of the reasons this necklace is fairly well-known is because its provenance is established (confirmed in Hugh Roberts’ “The Queen’s Diamonds”) and Her Majesty has worn it quite often since receiving it in 1967.

Another reason for its recognisability is due to the fact that this is one of the few “heavy gun” pieces that the Queen has loaned to her daughters-in-law, namely to the Princess of Wales in 1983 and the Countess of Wessex in 2012.
The Princess of Wales (left) and the Countess of Wessex (right) wearing the King Faisal Necklace
Sophie wore it for pre-wedding gala dinner of Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy. Incidentally, on the same occasion Sophie debuted another jewel from the Queen’s collection which was believed to had been dismantled altogether – the Smaller Aquamarine Tiara

This is a lovely necklace and a beautiful example of Harry Winston’s craftsmanship. I rather like the way diamonds of different shapes and sizes are combined in a very harmonious setting.

Have a look at the other four necklaces in this series:
King Fahd Diamond Necklace
Information and Photo Credit: Hugh Roberts' "The Queen's Diamonds", Leslie Fields' "The Queen's Jewels", The Royal Collection.

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