Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mastery of Design: Queen Elizabeth II's "South Africa" Necklace and Bracelet, 1947

The South Africa Parure
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Throughout her long reign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been presented with many important pieces of jewelry. One of the more modern pieces in her private collection is this parure of a necklace and bracelet of exquisite diamonds.

The necklace was given to the Queen while still a princess in 1947 as a gift for her twenty-first birthday. At this time in jewelry history, the art of European diamond cutting had reached a pinnacle of precision with the invention of the round brilliant cut which allowed the ideal balance of reflected and refracted light. This type of cut increased the “fire” displayed by the stone.

Known as the “South Africa” necklace and bracelet—taking its name from the source of the opulent gift, the pieces remain favorites of her Majesty who can be seen wearing them with regularity.

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