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April Sparkle: Monaco’s Best Diamonds

By brunifia - Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The birthstone of April, the diamond, is perhaps the most celebrated of all sparkling stones. Throughout the month, Royal Central is looking at some of the best known pieces dominated by diamonds in European jewellery collections. Today, let’s take a look at some of Monaco’s most majestic diamonds!

Diamond Foam Tiara

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One thing you’ll notice with Princess Charlene’s jewels is the recurring ocean theme. As a wedding present from her husband, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Charlene received a trio of jewels that all represent the ocean in some form,linking his interest in marine biology and her past as an Olympic swimmer.

The Diamond Foam Tiara is worn as an aigrette on the side of her head and features 60 carats of diamonds—with the largest being 8 carats—set in a white gold band meant to resemble the spray from an ocean’s wave. The piece is convertible, and can be worn as a hairpiece or disassembled further into a brooch.

Designed by jeweller Lorenz Bäumer, Princess Charlene wore this tiara at her wedding ball on the night of 2 July 2011.

Ocean Tiara

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The Ocean Tiara was commissioned by Van Cleef and Arpels and can be converted into a necklace as well. The tiara was accompanied by a pair of earrings in the same style. Inspired by the ocean outside Monaco, this tiara features 850 diamonds and 359 sapphires. The blue of the ocean is represented by the sapphires, and three separate shades of sapphires are present. The spray and foam of the ocean is represented by the diamonds.

Princess Charlene lent this tiara to the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco days after her wedding, and therefore didn’t wear it on her wedding day. She has subsequently lent the tiara to traveling exhibitions with other Van Cleef and Arpel jewels. And although she has worn this in its necklace setting at the Monaco Rose Ball and in its tiara setting for an official portrait in Hello! magazine, she has never worn it as a tiara at an official engagement.

Infinite Cascade Necklace

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Princess Charlene debuted the Infinite Cascade necklace at the evening concert following her civil wedding on 1 July 2011. Designed by Nagib Tabbah of Tabbah Jewellers with input from Charlene herself, this necklace contains 1,237 diamonds and six large pearls in a rose-gold setting.

Bains de Mer Tiara

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One of Princess Grace’s only tiaras, the Bains de Mer Tiara was a wedding gift to her in 1956 from the Société des Bains de Mer in Monaco. The tiara is made of three detachable ruby and diamond brooches that come together on a diamond-studded base. In the photo above, Princess Grace is wearing it as a brooch.

So far, Princess Grace is the only Monegasque royal to wear the Bains de Mer tiara in this form, though her daughters—Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie—have been photographed wearing the brooches.

Cartier Pearl Drop Tiara

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Princess Charlotte owned this pearl and diamond tiara, which featured scrolls of gems on a white gold base. The tiara was designed by Cartier, though its origins are disputed—some say the tiara was a wedding present; others say it was purchased after Princess Charlotte’s son, Prince Rainier III, ascended to the throne in 1949.

Princess Grace was never pictured wearing the tiara; Princess Caroline has worn it at several events in the years since her grandmother’s passing.

Princess Grace’s Diamond Festoon Tiara

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Princess Grace’s most-worn tiara was this, the Diamond Festoon Tiara, which featured 214 modern-cut diamonds and 42 diamond baguettes on a platinum setting. Princess Grace has been the only Monegasque royal to wear this tiara.

Van Cleef and Arpels Diamond Tiara

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Princess Grace wore this diamond tiara, loaned by Van Cleef and Arpels, to the engagement ball of Princess Caroline in 1978. The piece was worn only once by Princess Grace, but has since gone on to appear in traveling exhibitions for Van Cleef and Arpels, and has also been used in television and film—most notably in Mirror Mirror, a Snow White movie starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.