Royal jewelry has been around for thousands of years. From ancient Egypt to ancient Greece, these brilliant works of art regularly capture people’s imaginations today.
Today, we see royal jewelry adorning the British royal family's necks, rings, and wrists. What makes royal jewelry so stunning, anyway? Some say it’s the impeccable craftsmanship. Others say it’s the staggeringly high price point.
If you’re interested in brushing up on your royal jewelry know-how, keep reading. We’ll take a look at different kinds of royal jewelry types, as well as specific pieces and the people who wore them.
The Different Types of Royal Jewelry
Royal jewelry bears a few resemblances to general jewelry. Rings, necklaces, and brooches are trendy accessories no matter the class. That said, there are also a few sharp differences.
We’ll break down the most well-known types of royal jewelry, while adding in a few lesser-known details you may not be familiar with.
The Iconic Crown
What’s the first type of jewelry you think of when you hear the term ‘royal’? You likely think of the crown. This glittering headpiece is an iconic staple of monarchies, even across different cultures and continents.
The majority of crowns throughout history are crafted with either gold or silver, dotted with various jewels of different sizes and colors. The crown differs from the tiara or headband by its incredible attention to detail and many layers of gems. While most crowns often have a set of spikes popping up from the base, some crowns are more rounded and smooth.
It’s common to pair crowns with brooches and rings. Speaking of which…
THE PRINCESS TIARA
Along with the iconic crown, many people will conjure an image of a tiara in their mind when thinking about royal jewelry. These jeweled head ornaments date back to ancient Greek and Roman times.
They became more popularized during the late 18th century when the Romanticism movement was in full swing. It became a headpiece that any woman of a higher class could wear at formal events and soirees.
This piece of royal jewelry was most often fashioned out of silver or another precious metal and was often adorned with precious gems and rhinestones.
THE TIMELESS ROYAL NECKLACE
Necklaces have been worn by royalty in many cultures for centuries. Most people are familiar with the extravagant necklaces worn by ancient Egyptians, also known as the Usekh or Wesekh.
These necklaces fanned out with rows of carefully chosen colored stone beads or were sometimes made entirely out of metal. This was a symbol of power and connectivity in ancient Egyptian times and was mostly worn by Pharaohs.
While the Usekh was unique to the Egyptians, royal necklaces have been a consistent theme throughout the world. The ancient Greeks has necklaces specifically made for royalty, and this style has continued through to today.
You can still see inklings of these royal necklaces around the necks of the British royal family and others today.
THE ELEGANT ROYAL BRACELET
You may not think of bracelets as priceless pieces of royal jewelry, but they are truly an important accessory for royals. Royal bracelets are often made of the most precious jewels and adorn the wrist of Queens and Princesses.
Queen Marie Antoinette set the pace for extravagant royal bracelets in 1776 when she bought a pair of Riviere bracelets from a French Jeweler, Boehmer. These bracelets consisted of 110 diamonds each and were truly a site to behold.
While royalty today may not wear bracelets quite as frequently as rings or other adornments, they still have their place in history and the present. You can often see the Queen of Great Britain wearing a thick bracelet made with sparkling diamonds to this day.
The Royal Ring
What’s a form of royal jewelry no crown should be seen without? A royal ring. Rings among royalty take on a few forms depending on the purpose.
Royal members show favoritism to bejeweled rings due to their rarity and symbolism. For example, Queen Elizabeth wears a three-carat Old European cut diamond ring.
Some consider these diamonds to be more classical and soft than their Round Brilliant Cut counterparts. That’s the great thing about diamonds: it all depends on your tastes!
This visual style is intriguing because it blends form and function. Pharoahs originally wore these bold, thick rings. So did religious authorities and nobles.
The signet was useful because it would be used to create wax seals.
The crest ring is a type of royal jewelry bearing the family crest, symbol, or title. You could easily tell where a royal was from just by looking at this beautiful ring.
More often than not, royals will wear a blend of different rings to show off the complexity of their station and family history.
The Powerful Scepter
Another immediate staple seen in royal settings is the scepter. While you may not think the scepter is very jewelry-like, these creations are often embedded and decorated with jewels.
More often than not, a scepter will still complement rings or bracelets worn by the wielder.
Jewelry is packed full of symbolism that shows off who you are at a glance. We offer a wide range of customizable accessories designed to bring out your best side.
What are Popular Kinds of Royal Jewelry Worn Today?
Just how different is royal jewelry today compared to the monarchies of the past? Let’s take a look at some of today’s royals and the jewelry they wear.
Meghan Markle’s Commitment to Delicacy and Femininity
Meghan Markle has consistently dazzled with her commitment to delicate, feminine jewelry styles. While she bears some stylistic similarities with the Royal Family, she’s in a class all her own.
Meghan Markle is particularly fond of gold diamond pinky rings, snowflake diamond earrings, and zodiac charms.
The Soft, Classic Look of Empress Masako
Empress Masako of the Japanese Royal Family is an icon of classic jewelry. She regularly wows onlookers with her love of old-fashioned minimalism.
Empress Masako favors white pearl necklaces and brooches. She is sometimes seen with diamond brooches and pearl drop earrings.
The Twinkling Elegance of Princess Theodora
Diamonds are the name of the game! Princess Theodora of Greece is a lesson in twinkling elegance with her royal jewelry looks.
Princess Theodora regularly favors shining tiaras to complement her lace and rings.
QUEEN MATHILDE OF BELGIUM’S TRANSFORMATIVE TIARA
Queen Mathilde of Belgium knows how to perfectly pair style with elegance. She takes center stage with her gorgeous Brabant Laurel Wreath Tiara. It’s a gorgeous, glittering tiara covered in diamonds.
This tiara was carefully crafted to take the shape of a wreath of leaves and can also be worn as a necklace.
THE STUNNING CROWN JEWELS OF QUEEN MARGRETHE
Queen Margrethe of Denmark knows the importance of being able to individualize your jewelry! Her stunning crown jewels come in four sets, including a brilliant diamond-cut set, an emerald set, a pearl-ruby set, and a rose-cut diamond set.
The most amazing thing about these crown jewels is their ability to be divided up. These jewels can then be put back together with pieces from each set, so they’re instantly customizable for any event.
Royal jewelry is a fascinating subject that combines artistic sensibilities, history, and culture in one beautiful spot. If you’ve ever wanted to unleash your inner princess, brooches and fancy rings are a great place to start!
Crowns, scepters, and rings are the most well-known royal jewelry. These sections are further split down into functional variations like signet rings or crest rings. Today’s royals all have their own styles, such as Meghan Markle’s preference for gold and diamonds.
Give your wardrobe a regal touch-up. Contact us today to start wearing customizable brooches, necklaces, and rings.