5.0 out of 5 stars
Incredible!, Aug 3 2010
If you have a 'thing' for fantastic gems and an interest in the history of the British monarchy, then this book is sure to please. The only one of its kind, the book is superbly researched from Royal archives and traces the origins of the jewellry in the present Queen's collection. These jewells include, for example, gifts from countries in the Commonwealth, foreign Heads of State and visiting dignitaries. Gifts from family members on memorable occasions (eg -weddings, birthdays, bethrothals or through wills) are well documented. Others royals, like Princess Anne and Princess Diana, are also featured because of the jewellry the Queen gave to them.
Visually the book is stunnning. The photography showcases individual jewellry pieces, like tiaras and necklaces and specimen diamonds from Africa. It traces how pieces were redesigned to reflect personal taste or to update the look. As well as identifying the jewellry the Queen has worn in formal studio portraits, the book is rich in photographs of generations of royal family members wearing their jewellry in public and private. Particularly enjoyable are photos of the Queen from childhood on to the mid 1980's.
The jewellry is organized according to gems, thus examples of rubies are found in one chapter and emeralds and saphires in two other sections. Diamonds comprise the largest group and are simply dazzling. This book is better than a visit to Tiffany's!