Queen Elizabeth’s royal jewels that inspired Bulgari’s Jubilee Garden Tiara

Lucia Silvestri, the creative director at Bulgari, reveals the inspiration behind the house's Jubilee Emerald Garden Tiara, created for the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The Jubilee Emerald Garden Tiara has been created from platinum and features a magnificent 64.44 carat emerald.

By Kim Parker

Her Majesty The Queen, and her renowned collection of royal jewels, is the latest muse for the house of Bulgari, which has created an extraordinary emerald tiara as a tribute to her platinum jubilee year.

The monarch joins a long list of extraordinary women to have inspired the Roman jeweller, which has created remarkable gems for the likes of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Anita Ekberg and, of course, Elizabeth Taylor, throughout its 138-year history.

Conceived by the house’s creative director, Lucia Silvestri, the new Jubilee Emerald Garden Tiara has been created from shimmering platinum, and features a magnificent 63.44-carat central emerald from Zambia, carved with a lotus blossom. It was designed to be worn either as a headpiece or as a necklace.

Here, Silvestri reveals the royal jewels which helped to inspire the new high jewellery creation, and why she feels emeralds were the perfect choice to celebrate The Queen’s elegance, strength and power…

Portrait of gemologist Lucia Silvestri
Bulgari’s creative director, Lucia Silvestri

I started researching ideas for this tiara about three years ago, when I was on a gem buying trip to Jaipur.

Emeralds are very special to the house of Bulgari, we have been associated with them for a long time. And The Queen, too, has some amazing emeralds. She has the Cambridge and Delhi Durbar Parure, a beautiful jewellery suite with emerald drops [plus diamonds from the famed Cullinan mine, which are also set into the Crown Jewels] from Queen Mary. And so when I was in Jaipur, I thought about creating a tiara for [The Queen], and I found an incredible emerald that was the perfect shape to fit into a tiara. So I decided the design would flow from around this beautiful emerald.

I believe that different gemstones species possess different energies.

Emeralds, for me, are all about strength. I like to touch emeralds whenever I need to feel strong. They are also very sensual. I saw so many different types of emeralds whilst I was in Jaipur. But nothing matched the beauty, the vivid colour, or the elegance of this 63-carat emerald. It has an incredible energy all of its own.

63.4 carat Bulgari emerald lotus blossom
Silvestri supervised the carving of the lotus blossom into this 63.4-carat emerald via Zoom during lockdown

The lotus flower carving was a deliberate choice.

I asked the master gem carvers – over Zoom, as we were in lockdown by then – for a flower that was very feminine, very elegant, something that would go well with the shape of the emerald. The tiara had to be rich in terms of beauty and creativity, but at the same time, it had to be timeless, elegant and majestic, like The Queen. I added a touch of modernity by underlining the elegance of the tiara with marquise-cut diamonds set with onyx. So it’s a mixture of modern-day and Art Deco styling, with a garden theme that fits with The Queen’s love of nature. It also points to the theme of our next high jewellery collection, coming soon.

The tiara had to be comfortable to wear, so of course, I tried it on.

I wanted to wear it to important meetings all the time! A tiara makes you feel very powerful. It is a jewel that makes every woman feel like a queen. You can also wear this one as a necklace.

Bulgari's platinum, emerald, diamond and onyx tiara
Bulgari’s platinum, emerald, diamond and onyx tiara can also be transformed and worn as a necklace

My hope for this tiara’s future owner is that they simply enjoy its beauty.

We made this tiara with a lot of passion and a lot of love. It took 1,500 hours of work to create this piece, and that was after all the research to find the perfect gemstones. At Bulgari, we all feel very close to the Jubilee Emerald Garden Tiara, and I hope the lucky new owner will be able to feel all of that sentiment and all of that emotion whenever they wear it.

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