Ah, shiny baubles. Whether you’re ogling Jennifer Aniston’s eight-carat diamond (or, yannow, her fiancé’s abs) or just the sparkler on your own hand, there’s something about jewelry, isn’t there? Which is why Sabrina Jeffries’s latest heroine, diamond jeweler Isabella Cale, so caught our attention in the RT Top Pick! When the Rogue Returns. Sabrina’s here today to tell about the prettiest royal gems she covets.
Even though I gave the profession of diamond jeweler to my heroine in my second book in my Duke’s Men series, I’m not actually that fond of diamonds (I prefer colored gemstones). But it’s hard not to love this sweet little crown of Queen Victoria’s, which I first saw at the Tower of London’s crown jewels exhibit.
Victoria had it made because the larger crown was so heavy that it plagued her with headaches. She also wanted to wear it over her mourning veil, and, unlike colored stones, diamonds could be worn for mourning back then. Of course, “small” doesn’t mean quite the same thing to a Royal—this darling crown contains 1187 diamonds!
If I got to choose my own royal gems, though, I’d prefer the aquamarine jewels of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain. The tiara is gorgeous, and who doesn’t like a tiara? But the chunky necklace (called a sautoir), lovely earrings, bracelet and ring make it a parure (a matching set of jewelry). I love parures! Matching sets aren’t really in fashion anymore, but they were very popular in the Regency, and I would just love to have this set.
Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain has a set of aquamarines, too, which I also covet.
But if I can’t have either of their sets, I’ll settle for this ruby parure that was made in 1811 for Empress Marie Louise (Napoleon’s second wife).
The jeweler who made it also created a replica, which is just as pretty, although it does have real stones (garnets and white sapphires rather than rubies and diamonds), so it’s not exactly “fake.”
The diamond parure my heroine makes in When the Rogue Returns, however, is definitely fake, although she creates it as an exact copy of a real diamond parure that’s supposed to be a gift from a fictional Dutch prince to his bride. And it’s so convincing that when the villains of the book use it to steal the real royal jewels, they almost get away with it.
Incidentally, my fictional diamond parure might have looked something like this gorgeous one that has been in the Dutch royal family for centuries in various forms:
Can you imagine what it would feel like to wear these? I can almost understand why someone would be tempted to steal them. Almost!
So, if you had to choose, which of these would you covet? Or is there another sort of royal jewelry that catches your fancy? Sound off below! And for more romantic tales of yore, visit our Everything Romance page.