Diamonds fit for a Queen to celebrate the monarch's 60th year
This year, the Diamond Jubilee, marking the 60th year since Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne of England, has given fine jewellers the perfect excuse to bring out their finest rocks. As the celebrations reach their preliminary high point on this coming Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, London is quite literally dripping with diamonds, both the real royal deal and sincere tributes to the British monarch.
Here's our pick of the best Diamonds in celebration of the Jubilee
Asprey and Chris Levine: The Diamond Queen
Fine jewellers Asprey and artist Chris Levine are quite literally shining a light on the Queen with an installation at the company's New Bond Street flagship store. The light artist's 2004 portrait of the Queen titled Equanimity is being overlaid with a replica of the platinum diadem worn by Her Majesty for the procession to her Coronation in 1953, set with 1,000 white brilliant cut diamonds. In addition to the 15 carat sizes of diamonds and 25 differently sized freshwater pearls, a natural fancy intense yellow round brilliant diamond of 3.74 carats will also form a part of the updated artwork.
The Diamond Queen at the Asprey flagship store until June 26th, then at the Masterpiece Fair until July 5th
Ballgowns & Crowns at Harrods
Harrods is currently displaying a variety of coronation-style crowns. The luxury department store invited 32 international designers and jewellers to create fashionable interpretations of the St Edward's Crown, which Elizabeth II and some of her predecessors were crowned with. Originally created for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661, the current St Edward's Crown was fashioned (and named) after a piece worn by St Edward the Confessor and can be viewed at the Tower of London, along with the rest of the Crown Jewels. Based on the instantly recognisable shape of that historic headpiece, designers like Roberto Cavalli, Prada and have a had varying degrees of fun with the design of the celebratory headgear currently on display as part of the Ballgowns & Crowns exhibition. The Lanvin crown, for example, is a Cool Britannia love-fest in muted colours topped with a pink heart and a Union Jack, and Salvatore Ferragamo created an explosion of blooms fit for the Queen's inner flower child, while Paul Smith's design looks more like a British memorabilia shrine, decorated with trinkets, buttons and corgi figurines.
For the jewellers, the focus is naturally on the diamonds, with the De Beers crown featuring 974 of them, including 797 polished and 177 rough diamonds, with a 73-carat diamond topping off the valuable creation. Tiffany & Co took a less literal approach and created a trompe-l'œil effect by painting the crown with diamonds in a tribute to the brand's founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, who was allegedly known as "The King of Diamonds“ in his day. Meanwhile, the piece contributed by French jewellers House of Boucheron is quite modestly decorated, but guarded by a preciously glittering snake.
The crowns at Harrods until June 15th
See the St Edward's Crown and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London
Jaeger-LeCoultre 101 timepiece gifted to Queen Elizabeth II
It is quite hard to imagine the Queen of England being late for anything, never mind her own coronation. Nevertheless, just to be on the safe side, Elizabeth Windsor wore a watch the day she was proclaimed as Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1953. To be precise, she wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101. It is only fitting that the brand will be part of the celebrations marking the 60th year of her rule, both as Official Timekeeper of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, and by presenting a new 101 jewellery timepiece to Her Majesty, which she can wear on the day. In May, Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert presented the watch, which is described as an homage to the piece she wore for her coronation and which will hopefully ensure the Queen is right on time for all her Jubilee celebrations.
More Jubilee news on the Jaeger-LeCoultre webpages
Backes & Strauss Diamond Jubilee Collection Regent watch
Although the Diamond Jubilee Collection of Regent watches by London watchmakers Backes & Strauss may not grace the wrist of Queen Elizabeth II during the Jubilee celebrations, the brand has been granted permission by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office in Buckingham Palace to use her Majesty’s Royal Cypher in their design. A limited edition of only 60 pieces in the fittingly aristocratic shade of royal purple have been produced. The dial base features the Royal Cypher, EIIR, which stands for Elizabeth II Regina, as well as the Roman numerals LX, representing 60, set in diamonds at 12 o'clock. Each watch comes in a collector's case engraved with the years of the Queen's rule to date, 1952-2012. The back of every watch is engraved with a year from this 60-year period as the serial number.
View the Diamond Jubilee Collection Regent watch on the Backes & Strauss homepage
Lucie Campbell Jubilee Diamond ring
Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign (second only to that of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria) is often compared to a marriage. The fact that Jubilee anniversaries are counted the same way as wedding anniversaries emphasises the perceived similarities (although the fact that the 60th anniversary is not celebrated as a Diamond anniversary in all countries sometimes causes confusion). Hence, whether intended or not, this diamond ring created by fine jeweller Lucie Campbell to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, immediately calls to mind a particularly dazzling engagement ring. The central 12.93-carat radiant cut diamond is surrounded by a cluster of 53 diamonds, and it is safe to assume that any man wishing to propose to a lady who enjoys a bit of royal-watching could do worse than to do so with a ring marking this momentous occasion.
Visit the Lucie Campbell jewellery website
Shaun Leane pink and blue sapphire ring set with diamonds
The London-based jeweller who has been named 'UK Jeweller of the Year' several times and has collaborated with the likes of Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, has taken a more playful approach with this contemporary set of interlocking rings. One of the 18-carat white gold rings features royal blue sapphires, the second pink sapphires, and the third white diamonds. Each piece can be worn alone, or the three different-coloured rings can be stacked to a create stylised Union Jack of sorts. To complete the look, the design is also available as a set of interlocking bracelets. If you prefer this season's chunky arm candy, Shaun Leane has also created a series of "British Bangles" made from white, blue and red resin.
Buy the interlocking rings, bracelets and British Bangles online
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