Jewellry has always been a fascinating subject for Indians who love to load up on various ornaments. In fact our moms, grand moms and aunts are often spoilt for choice when jewellery is concerned. This is also partly because of our tradition of decking up for social events and festive occasions that has been a custom from pre-independence India. Jewellery has always graced Indian royals who wore different ornaments for different purposes. And surprisingly, men had more decking up to do than women.
Old pictures and archives of rulers are proof of the extravagant lifestyle of Indian royals and their fascination with jewellery since rulers of every big or small state would have their own exquisite collection of heirloom jewellery making India a pioneer of precious gems and stones.
Everyone is aware of the famous Koh-i-noor that is now with queen of England. But that’s not the only precious Indian stone. Others like Orlov and Blue Hope too have been the reason why India was called the jewel in the crown of the British empire before it was looted and plundered.
Our heritage with jewels and royal jewellery is deep-rooted and here are some iconic pieces of royal jewellery that are remembered even today.
The Naulakha Haar
There’s a reason why naulakha haar was called so. This heavily embellished neckpiece was purchased in just nine lakh rupees some hundred years ago. The landlord of Bihar, Maharaja Rameshwar Singh of Darbhanga had the naulakha haar which was one of his most exquisite ornaments made of pearls, emeralds and diamonds.
The Patiala Necklace
The once maharaja of Patiala, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh owned what was famously called the Patiala necklace which weigh almost 1000 carats. Made in 1928 by Cartier, this necklace was robbed from the royal palace but was later recovered and bought by Cartier. This one is a flamboyant piece with five rows of shiny diamonds along with a chunky centerpiece.
Necklace Of Nawanagar
In 1931, Jaques Cartier presented his finest creation to the Maharajah of Nawanagar. It was a necklace of coloured diamonds which was put together with expertise to give birth to a piece of art.
Sarpech of the Nizam of Hyderabad
One of the many ornaments in the treasury of the Nizam of Hyderabad was his illustrious sarpech. An ornament worn on the turban (similar to a broach). Nizam Osman Ali Khan’s sarpech-khurd-zamarrud-wa-kanval-almas (1967) had 30 emeralds and diamonds on it. This was later bought by the Indian government in half the actual price.
Baroda Pearls of the Gaikwads
The royal family of Baroda owned the Baroda pearl necklace which was a double strand necklace made of natural pearls dating back to the 1850s. This necklace was sold in an auction in New York in 2007.
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