Since the Tudor and Stuart period successive monarchs have used diamonds to add to the aura of sovereignty.
Elizabeth I (1533–1603) was almost always portrayed bejewelled from head to toe, with precious stones embroidered onto her clothes and adorning her hair. In the decades before and after the Civil War, diamonds also became increasingly popular at court as accessories for a new and lighter fashion of dress.
In the reign of Queen Victoria (1819–1901) diamonds played a highly personal role, often incorporated into gifts from Prince Albert to mark significant events in their life together. In 1850, the queen was also presented with one of the most famous diamonds in the world, the Koh-i-nûr, brought from the Treasury of Lahore. Her son King Edward VII (1841–1910) later received the Cullinan Diamond – the largest diamond ever found – as a symbolic gift from the Government of the Transvaal after the Boer War.
The word ‘diamond’ appears as early as 300 BC and derives from the Greek adamas, meaning ‘unconquerable, either by fire or by blows’. Today, diamond jewels and diamond-set works of art used by Her Majesty The Queen (b.1926) span three centuries of history, embodying a diversity of cutting and mounting techniques. Some form part of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, or pieces of The Queen’s personal jewellery
Five centuries ago, India was under the rule and influence of the Mughal dynasty. The Mughal royalty were connoisseurs of architecture, arts, food, clothing and of course, jewelry. During the Mughal rule, jewelry-making was given utmost importance. This art gave birth to unique jewelry pieces studded with chunky gemstones and enamelled with motif designs. Royal family members and people of high rank proudly displayed such jewelry all over their bodies, from jeweled turbans and head-jewelry to thick-set toe rings.