Thursday, March 21, 2013

Focus on... Camilla's Jewels: Pearl and Aquamarine Choker

One of the Duchess of Cornwall favourite pieces is undoubtedly her aquamarine choker.
The Duchess of Cornwall's Aquamarine Choker
The three-string pearl choker features a spectacular detachable step-cut aquamarine pendant with brooch fitting. The aquamarine nests in an elaborate yellow gold scrollwork frame which also features ten brilliants.

The provenance of the choker was long disputed; some said it was a gift from the Prince Charles, while others claimed she got it from her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles. However, it was eventually revealed that the choker is actually a family heirloom which the Duchess had inherited from her mother, the Honourable Rosalind Cubitt.

The Duchess of Cornwall wearing her Aquamarine Choker on various occasions
Camilla has worn this choker regularly for many years, long before her marriage to the Prince of Wales. This was the jewel Camilla chose to wear when she and Prince Charles attended the 50th birthday party for Camilla’s sister at the Ritz Hotel in 1999 – one of the first occasions they were “officially” seen together after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Other notable appearances of the choker include the Royal Charity Gala Performance for the musical “Mamma Mia” in 2004, a service to mark the 200th Anniversary of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in 2005, a dinner to celebrate Scottish Arts 2005, the Sir John Betjeman Gala 2006, a charity fundraising carol concert “The Story of Christmas: in 2006, visit to Hindu Temple in 2007, Commemorative Service For Northern Ireland Operations in 2008, visit to Japan in 2008, and tour of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008.
The Duchess of Cornwall wearing her Aquamarine Choker on various occasions
Although it was once Camilla’s most-worn choker and necklace in general, in recent years the Duchess has mainly opted to don her diamond chokers, leaving this beauty for more special events. Still, it does make regular appearances now and then, always delighting jewellery watchers whenever that happens.

Given the great sentimental value the choker holds for the Duchess, it is hardly surprising she has worn it on so many events. Mind you, even if it were a newly purchased jewel, it would still be understandable since this piece is just breathtakingly gorgeous.
Details of the choker
I love the huge stone which, like all good-quality aquamarines, appears to slightly change or adapt its huge depending on the colour of the outfit worn with it. The gold frame is very beautiful and a nice departure from the silver and platinum that aquamarines are usually paired with. And of course, I am a huge fan of chokers so this piece just ticks all the boxes for me.

Remember, the latest instalment of the "Jewels of the Week" series is dedicated to the Duchess of Cornwall’s jewellery collection. You can always check out jewels already covered here.

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