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A pocket of society still 'reveres' Princess Diana says Ian Lloyd
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Princess Diana stepped out on June 29, 1994, during a difficult time for her marriage with Prince Charles. That same night, Prince Charles had addressed the breakdown of the Wales’ marriage in a high-profile documentary. So Diana’s choice of outfit that night was widely dubbed the ‘Revenge Dress’, and the ensemble was tied together with a staggeringly expensive necklace.
Diana wore an off-the-shoulder black gown for the fundraising dinner for the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens that evening.
She accessorised her outfit with a clutch bag, sheer black tights and a pair of black heels.
But it was perhaps the Princess’ diamond and sapphire pearl choker that drew the most attention that evening.
Many members of the Royal Family in recent decades have altered existing jewellery items to create new pieces.
And according to jewellery experts at Steven Stone, the sapphire on Diana’s necklace was originally part of a brooch.
The brooch was gifted to Diana by the Queen Mother on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
Diana had the sapphire turned into a seven-strand pearl necklace, with the huge sapphire acting as the centrepiece.
Leading diamond expert, Maxwell Stone, said: “Princess Diana was a clear fan of sapphires, however, this stone is in a league of its own.
“Looking at images of the huge stone, it looks as though it’s around 70 carats, maybe even more.”
Based on the jewellery expert’s estimates, Diana’s legacy and the size of the stone could mean the necklace is worth a nine-figure sum.
Mr Stone added: “With that in mind it could be worth up to £100,000,000 if sold today.
“This is probably one of the most expensive jewels from the entire royal collection.”
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Princess Diana was known to adore sapphires, and she had many iconic sapphire jewellery items in her extensive collection.
Diana’s engagement ring from Prince Charles featured huge oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
She also had a sapphire jewellery collection comprising of a necklace, earrings, a bracelet, ring and watch.
Prestige Pawnbrokers Gemologist Alexandra Michell of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn told HELLO!: “The suite was given to Diana as a wedding gift by the Saudi Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
“It was offered in a malachite box emblazoned with the Saudi national symbols: crossed swords and a palm tree.”
Diana later had some of the jewellery pieces redesigned to include a choker.
Ms Michell added: “These are described as Burmese Sapphires and diamonds in a waved sunburst design, which were designed and made by Asprey.
“Additionally, the bracelet, necklace and watch are also set with modern round brilliant diamonds.
“The largest sapphire is set in the necklace, potentially weighing up to 50 carats!
“Over time, certain pieces were adapted, such as the ring and watch which were made into a choker and worn as a headband by Diana, who often re-invented her jewellery.”
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