A rummage through the jewellery boxes of Britain’s Royal Family…
[tweet_box]If Britain’s monarchy were to be put up for sale, it would command a price of around £44.5 billion[/tweet_box] ^This figure is more than Tesco and Marks & Spencer combined...
It’s believed that the jewels alone are worth around £5 billion. The Cullinan Diamond, which was presented to Edward VII in 1907, is the largest ever mined.
The King entrusted the splitting of the 10cm-long stone to Joseph Asscher in Amsterdam. Over eight months, he and his team cut, ground and polished to produce nine numbered stones, 96 small brilliants and nine carats of unpolished fragments. Seven out of the nine are set in brooches, a ring and a necklace, while the remaining two form part of the Crown Jewels.
Cullinan I in the Sceptre
What kind of money are we talking, you may well be wanting to ask. Cullinan I in the Sovereign’s Sceptre is worth £400 million, but you’re unlikely to see it on eBay any time soon.
Joseph Asscher working on the Cullinan Diamond in 1908
Quite separate from the Crown Jewels, the Queen has a private collection of seriously blinging jewellery , pieces of which are occasionally given a public airing. No one has yet been given access to assess the worth of this and it’s thought no one ever will.
Just a little something one found in the attic
The King George IV State Diadem tiara, worn at the Coronation of Victoria and Elizabeth II, has a base of 169 pearls, topped with 1333 diamonds.
The people of Burma presented our Queen with rubies as a wedding present (beats a toaster) and she had them made into a tiara in 1973.
Rubies are red, sapphires are blue…and I’m considerably richer than you
Following her wedding to Prince Phillip, the Queen’s jewellery boxes – or rather, vaults – were given a serious boost. Her father handed over the Queen Anne and Queen Caroline pearls, estimated value £4 million, still a favourite on a big day out. Nothing like a set of rubies.
Smile, Phillip, these babies round my neck are worth a bomb
Queen Victoria passed down some impressive earrings, with huge diamonds in studs and pear-shaped drops.
We have a pair of diamond drops that are fit for a queen.
You wouldn’t smile either, with this weight hanging from your ears
No one rocks a sparkly brooch like the Queen. Here’s a whip through her top 13.
1 The Australian Wattle Brooch.
2 This sapphire, diamond and ruby number was a gift from Mummy and Daddy in 1945.
3 A diamond and pearl brooch handed down by the Queen Mother.
4 Her Majesty has a soft spot for a diamond bow.
5 Flowers in precious and semi-precious stones, a gift from a Sri Lankan state visit in 1981.
6 Diamond and gold rose brooch.
7 A diamond paisley brooch from the Queen Mother’s collection.
8 One of HRH’s very favourites, the Jardine Star was a present from a friend, Lady Jardine.
9 Another pressie, this time from the City of London in 1947.
10 Rubies and diamonds with a contemporary twist.
11 Borrowing Mum’s stuff again.
12 A sapphire flower.
13 The flame lily was given by the children of Rhodesia on her 21st birthday. They each donated three pence to raise the funds.
Camilla Duchess of Cornwall has her own family tiaras (come come, don’t we all?), but since her marriage to Prince Charles, her jewellery-insurance premiums must have gone through the Royal roof.
The choker in the pack
Her Art Deco engagement ring, which once belonged to the Queen Mother, is by no means her most valuable item, but almost certainly her most treasured.
If you like it, put a priceless ring on it
Another gem from the Queen Mum’s collection is the Ladies of North Wales brooch, which was given to Queen Victoria by her grandchildren on her Diamond Jubilee.
Pinned down - The Ladies of North Wales brooch
You don't have to be a Royal to wear a dazzling diamond brooch, take a look at our vintage brooches to model your own piece of bling.
Kate Middleton married Prince William with a 1936 Cartier Halo tiara atop her bouncy blow-dry. It was originally a gift from King George VI to the Queen Mother, who rewrapped it to give to the Queen on her 18th birthday.
Kate’s head start on married life
When Prince William popped the question in 2010, during a trip to Kenya, he famously gave his fiancée one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery ever.
The 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring was chosen by the-then Diana Spencer from jewellers Garrard after her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981.
Then it cost £28,000. Now? Depends on the going rate of priceless.
Ring any bells?
If all this talk of Royal Riches has tempted you to build your own lavish legacy why not start by taking a look at our vintage jewellery collection...