Burmese Ruby Tiara: Exquisite £5million tiara has 96 rubies for Queens protection

Burmese Ruby tiara: Expert on Queen's 'vibrant' jewels

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The Queen has several tiaras in her extensive jewellery collection, but one she often turns to is the Burmese Ruby Tiara. This particular tiara stands out as it is one of the only diadems in the Queen’s collection to include rubies as its main theme.

When the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, she opted to let the Queen Mother keep the ruby Oriental Circlet Tiara from the royal collection.

In need of a ruby diadem, the Queen had the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara that she had received as a wedding gift dismantled and turned into a new design.

The diamonds from this piece were used in addition to several rubies to create the Burmese Ruby Tiara.

The rubies in this particular tiara were gifted to the Queen upon her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

As the rubies hail from Myanmar (formerly Burma), the tiara could be considered controversial.

Adele Narcisi, Gemmologist & Design Consultation at Queensmith, said: “Many jewellers now, including Queensmith, refuse to work with Burmese (or Myanmar) rubies, as they are considered conflict gems.

“This means they may be mined and sold to fund acts that violate human rights.”

The rubies were crafted into elegant rose designs across the diadem, and a specific number of rubies were used for a symbolic purpose.

Ms Narcisi explained: “The tiara features a rather random number of rubies: 96.

“This is because the Burmese people that created the piece believed there were 96 illnesses that could affect humans, and thought of these 96 rubies as symbols of the Queen’s protection.

“Set into the shape of roses, the tiara also features exquisite diamonds that appear to fan out from either side of the ruby clusters.

“These diamonds were reused from a tiara originating from the Nizam of Hyderabad, once believed to be the richest person in the world.”

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With countless precious gemstones, it is no wonder the Burmese Ruby Tiara is valued at a staggering seven-figure sum.

Ms Narcisi added: “The value of this striking ruby and diamond tiara is likely between £4million to £5million, and is one of the most valuable tiaras in the royal collection.”

The Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace the Queen also received as a wedding present is thought to be one of the most expensive jewels in the Queen’s collection.

Adorned with diamonds of different cuts and dangling pendants, the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace is thought to be worth in excess of £66million.

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