Our Top 5 Queen Elizabeth II’s Coloured Gemstone Jewellery

Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Collection defines heirloom jewellery best. Although some of the Queen’s oldest jewellery dates back to the 16th century, most of it is believed to be from the 19th and 20th centuries. She inherited vintage pieces from her mother, grandmother, and previous generations. She also received gifts from key birthdays, her wedding, and other nations visited as part of the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II famously wore a three-strand pearl necklace and a variety of brooches.

Her collection of around 300 pieces of jewellery included 98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 20 tiaras, 15 rings, 14 watches, and 5 pendants, allowing her to find something suitable for every occasion. Although the Queen often wore her favourites from the collection, she also loaned her jewellery to family members over the years. Today, her children and other members of the royal family have inherited most of her jewellery through her will. In the wake of her passing, the family honours Her Majesty by wearing her jewels. Especially the pearls in the collection are worn, as white is a colour of grieving.

Nonetheless, Queen Elizabeth II lived a very colourful life. People would often spot her wearing vibrant outfits with matching hats and jewellery. Her collection of jewels included a wide range of colours, such as blue sapphires, green emeralds, purple amethysts, red rubies, and yellow diamonds. Let’s take a look at our top 5 favourite pieces from Queen Elizabeth II’s Coloured Gemstone Jewellery Collection.

The Centenary Rose Brooch

The Centenary Rose Brooch was a gift from Queen Elizabeth II to her mother, Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her 100th birthday. The brooch features a hand-painted rose on the back of cabochon cut rock-crystal (also called clear quartz). This unique creation was mounted in a gold oval rim and studded with 100 diamonds around its periphery, topped with a dainty bow. Additionally, the rose wasn’t just any ordinary rose, it was a Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose which was bred specially on the occasion of the her coronation in 1953. After the death of Queen Mother, the brooch amongst other jewellery was bequeathed to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Why we love this piece?

It’s a work of art! This brooch is full of innovation and sentiment. We love a personalised gift with meaning and the unordinary use of a gemstone as a canvas.

The Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch

Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, received a Sapphire brooch as a gift from her future husband, Prince Albert, on the night before their wedding in 1840. The brooch was worn by Queen Victoria on her wedding day, with an enormous blue sapphire surrounded by 12 large diamonds as her “something blue.” Although the brooch was handed down the generations after Queen Victoria’s death, it was not often worn. However, since inheriting the brooch, Queen Elizabeth II has been spotted wearing it on several important occasions since 1952. Fast forward to 2023, and Camilla adorned the brooch during her state visit to Germany.

Fun Fact

At first sight, this brooch marks striking resemblance to the ever-so-famous Sapphire engagement ring of Princess Diana, and now of Catherine Middleton, Princess of Wales. The design of the engagement ring was in-fact inspired from the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch.

Why we love this piece?

It’s heirloom! Four generations (and more to come!) flaunt this magnificent sapphire. Additionally, it is an iconic design that’s lived on for decades and one that has been adapted as an inspiration for jewellery even today.

The Sri Lankan Trumpet Brooch

During Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Sri Lanka in 1981, the Mayor of Colombo gifted her the Sri Lankan Trumpet Brooch. The brooch features a floral spray set with pink, blue, and yellow sapphires, garnets, rubies, and aquamarine on yellow gold stems, as described by the Royal Collection. The brooch was one of the late Queen’s colourful pieces. She wore it proudly on several occasions, including in 2015 when the President of Sri Lanka visited Buckingham Palace.

Why we love this piece?

This brooch is a beautiful representation of the vast world of gemstones and the heritage of The Gem Monarchy. Also, its familiarity to the stones we bring to life, here at The Gem Monarchy, from mine to jewellery make the Sri Lankan Trumpet Brooch a nostalgic accessory.

The Delhi Durbar Necklace

The Delhi Durbar was a very big celebration in India to commemorate the coronation of King Georg V and Queen Mary as the Emperor and Empress of India in the year. Queen Mary owned two of the greatest known stones. The first is the Cullinan Diamonds. The second, the Cambridge Emeralds. Both of which she used to make a spectacular necklace for the event. Later, this came to be called the Delhi Durbar Necklace. The necklace boasts eight cabochon emeralds surrounded in a halo of round diamonds. They are gloriously connected by a double strand of round diamonds. It has a detachable “negligee”, asymmetrical pendant comprising of a pear drop shaped emerald and an 8.8carat marquise Cullinan diamond. Subsequently, Queen Mary bequeathed the Delhi Durbar Necklace to her grand-daughter Queen Elizabeth II when she died in 1953.

Note:  A “negligee” has two asymmetrical pendants of different lengths, a popular design during the Edwardian era.

Why we love this piece?

We love the grandeur of this piece, of each stone that it comprises and its design. Its Edwardian inspired “negligee” design breaks away from traditional symmetrical necklaces.

The Brazil Parure

“The Brazil Parure” is a set of jewelry comprising a matching necklace, earrings, brooch, and bracelet. Queen Elizabeth received the necklace and earrings, which featured nine large oblong aquamarines, from the president and people of Brazil in 1953 to commemorate her coronation. In 1957, she commissioned Garrard & Co to make a matching tiara, which included three aquamarine elements set on a bandeau studded with diamonds and aquamarines. The government of Brazil then gifted a matching brooch and bracelet to the Queen in 1958, completing “The Brazil Parure.”

Why we love this piece?

The alluring aquamarines! The parure has close to 21 large aquamarine stones and numerous smaller emerald cut, baguette and round aquamarines studded alongside diamonds set in a scroll design. The estimated value of this glorious parure is excess of £5 million. Want to learn more about aquamarine? Read our article on aquamarine: here.


Queen Elizabeth’s collection of jewels is truly a treasure trove. Her historic collection of private pieces and gifts embody gemstones from around the world. Needless to say, it is certainly a perplex to pick from nearly 300 specially crafted exquisite high jewellery pieces. Out top 5 favourites embody the essence of the Royal Collection – art, history, diversity, grandeur & sentiment!

Samantha C. Pais, GIA GG

Samantha is a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. Founder of Curious Carat on Instagram, Samantha has over a decade of experience in the international jewellery industry, which shines through her work for The Gem Monarchy.

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