‘Truly exquisite’ diamond necklace Queen got as wedding gift worth staggering £3.2million

Edward VIII praises Queen Elizabeth II's reign in 1969

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Queen Elizabeth II has one of the most impressive jewellery collections in the world, with her staple pieces being her three-strand pearl necklace and earrings. However, although rarely worn, she has an extensive necklace collection including one piece which experts have valued at £3.2milllion.

One necklace that the Queen has in her collection is the Nizam of Hyderabad necklace.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, diamond expert at Austen & Blake, Anthony French, explained: “This truly exquisite necklace was made in 1935 by Cartier and was gifted to then Princess Elizabeth upon her marriage to the late Prince Phillip in 1947 by Nizam Osmar Ali Pasha, the seventh and last ruler of Hyderabad. 

“Nizam instructed Cartier to allow Elizabeth to select her own wedding gift from their stock and the necklace, along with a diamond tiara of floral design, was chosen by Queen Elizabeth herself.”

“Queen Elizabeth was not the first owner of the necklace, a year after it was made it was purchased by someone else before being reacquired by Cartier a year later.”

According to the expert, the necklace consists of a long chain with 38 brilliant cut diamonds with an elongated oval brilliant-set snap.

He added: “The centre of the necklace is pave-set with a detachable double-drop pendant incorporating 13 emerald-cut diamonds and a pear-shaped drop. 

“A remarkable creation to say the least and an incredibly extravagant wedding gift – certainly fit for a princess.”

The necklace also comes with a huge price tag.

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The jewellery expert went on: “When you look at the materials used to create this piece as well as the fact it would now be considered a vintage item, I think it is fair to say the necklace could now be worth a staggering £3.2 million. 

“It is worth noting that the necklace once consisted of a further nine pendants that were removed prior to being acquired by Elizabeth, so had it not been altered before it was purchased for the Princess, it would have been worth far more.”

“Our evaluation of this piece will have no comparison to the price in which the Queen would put on it. 

“Having been a gift given upon her marriage to the late Prince Phillip, it is safe to say that following his recent passing, this necklace holds far more value to The Queen now than it ever has before.”

The necklace was also loaned to Kate Middleton in 2014.

The Duchess was seen wearing the heirloom on a visit during a gala evening in London.

It also isn’t the only piece in the Nizam of Hyderabad set.

The set first consisted of a tiara which was deconstructed to be made into three different brooches, which the Queen regularly wears.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nick Withington, Managing Director of jeweller William May commented: “The trio of rose diamond brooches were originally from a tiara, which was a wedding gift from the Nizam of Hyderabad (Indian Prince), along with a matching necklace. The Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, last ruler of the Indian princely state of Nizam and Berar.

“Time magazine crowned him the richest man in the world in 1937. Princess Elizabeth was instructed to select something as a wedding gift from Cartier, so she must have really liked these pieces.

“Made by Cartier in 1939, records show the diamond Tiara was set with 1033 brilliants, 84 baton and 17 beads (Cartier archive, F.3600) and held as a stock piece for nine years, before selection by the then Princess Elizabeth, a perfect gift for the royal bride!”

The tiara wasn’t worn many times before it was turned into the stunning brooch seen today.

Nick added: “The beautiful piece shows one English rose brooch (larger) sat centrally on the tiara with an ivy leaf/floral design surrounded and flanked by two smaller rose brooches, all three brooches are detachable, making a very versatile piece of jewellery.

“This fine piece looks like simple floral brooches, but the clever construction of the brooch is revealed when the Queen moves – the central stamens move and tremble, showing flashes of diamond sparkle and fire.

“Each rose is made from precious platinum and diamond set, which are fine materials. The large rose is approx. 4.2cm wide and the smaller roses are 3.3cm wide. 

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