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A Princess’ Guide To Building An Amazing Jewelry Collection

A Magnificent Emerald And Diamond Necklace by Cartier Photo credit: Christies

You love jewelry. Gorgeous, exquisite, expensive jewelry. But what’s a gal of somewhat modest means to do? How can you possibly create a drool-worthy, off the charts, amazing jewelry collection? Well, it doesn’t hurt to start off a with a pretty pedigree.

A Princess’ Guide: Building An Amazing Jewelry Collection

Princess Gabriela Zu Leiningen wearing her ‘Persepolis’ necklace by Cartier
Photo Credit: Christies

Her Serene Highness Princess Gabriela zu Leiningen (born Gabriele Renate Homey) might be a great resource for those of us trying amass a jewelry collection to rival that of Elizabeth Taylor’s. Born into an affluent German family, Gabriele attended boarding school, as all good upper-crust young women do. Later she moved ahead to pursue a doctorate in International Law, graduating magna cum laude, after which she began working for a period of time in her mother’s company (at the time Austria’s largest hotel and restaurant chain).

The Pohl Diamond. An exceptional diamond ring, by Cartier. A rectangular-cut D, VVS1, potentially Internally Flawless diamond of approximately 36.09 carats, mounted by Cartier. Estimate: $3,800,000-5,500,000. This lot is offered in the Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on 18 May at Christie’s Geneva
Photo Credit: Christies

But working for one’s mother will only get you so far when it comes to amassing a jewelry fortune. What’s the next step? Marrying a prince should do it. Gabriela married Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen in 1991 this is when her jewelry box started its upgrade.

Princess Gabriela zu Leiningen, wearing a magnificent emerald and diamond necklace by Cartier
Photo Credit: Christies

But it wasn’t until she divorced the Prince and married His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, 49th Imam of the Ismaili community that the jewels procured were otherworldly. A cultured pearl and diamond fringe necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, which used to belong to the Begum Mohamed Shah Aga Khan. The famous Pohl Diamond: found as a 287-carat rough stone, this D colour gem was sold to Bernice Chrysler Garbisch of the Chrysler family in 1943, and acquired for the Princess at Cartier in 1998. And a sensational emerald and diamond necklace by Cartier, suspending a Colombian emerald of almost 40 carats with matching ear pendants en suite. Eighteen years of anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations can bring a lot of lovely palm sized (or slightly larger for that stunning emerald and diamond necklace) boxes. And it can certainly help build quite the jewelry collection.

the legendary Oppenheimer Blue Diamond-jewelry-collection
The Legendary Oppenheimer Blue Diamond
Photo Credit: Christies

Alas, the marriage didn’t last and now HSH (she retains the title granted her by her marriage to her first husband) is selling many of her pieces via an auction in Geneva at Christies entitled Magnificent Jewels. As if Her Supreme Highness’ jewels weren’t enough to qualify the sale as “magnificent”, you’ll also find The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond – a historic Vivid Blue and 19th Century Ruby and Diamond Brooch Pendant, having belonged once to HM Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain ((1887-1969) Queen Victoria-Eugenie of Spain was the daughter of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She was thought to be the closest to the Queen, staying by her side until her death in 1901. It is interesting to note that Queen Victoria recalls in her journal receiving a ruby and diamond parure from Prince Albert in 1849.)

19th Century Ruby and Diamond Brooch Pendant, formerly in the collection of HM Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (1887-1969)
19th Century Ruby and Diamond Brooch Pendant, formerly in the collection of HM Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (1887-1969) Photo credit: Jewels And Gems on Instagram

Thinking of putting your bid in at the auction? We’ll be watching and would love to see your winnings once they arrive. 🙂 And if you want more juicy stories about marrying (and divorcing) royalty, you may want to read Kitty Kelly’s book The Royals. Juicy doesn’t even begin to describe it.


2 Responses

    1. I did! There was a ruby and diamond brooch that had belonged to Queen Victorian Eugenia that I was beyond smitten with. Along with the obvious cast of characters (the Oppenheimer and the Pohl). I’d actually blogged about the sale a week or so ago (A Princess’ Guide . . .. )

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