March 8, 2012

Duchess of Windsor's Emerald Bead Tiara

Duchess of Windsor Emerald Bead Tiara Cartier Wallis Simpson
Creation: The tiara was made by Cartier in 1949 modeled after a necklace in Cartier's stock using emeralds already owned by the Duchess of Windsor.

Materials: diamonds and emeralds

  1. Duchess of Windsor née Wallis Warfield Simpson
Duchess of Windsor Emerald Bead Tiara Cartier Wallis Simpson
Duchess of Windsor
Duchess of Windsor Emerald Bead Tiara Cartier Wallis Simpson
Duchess of Windsor
  • Does this tiara still exist intact?
  • Was this tiara part of the 1987 Sotheby's auction of the Duchess of Windsor's jewels or did she sell it prior to her death?



  1. "In a Sotheby's auction in Geneva in April 1987 the Duchess's remarkable jewellery collection raised $45 million for the Institute, approximately seven times its pre-sale estimate."
    According to Wikipedia. I'll bet it would be easy to fact check that.

  2. “1949 she got a tiara made of emerald beads and parallel diamond loops made by Cartier.” From online article “THE JEWELS OF THE BRITISH MONARCHS PART III AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER” by Ms Nandita Ray. http://www.jewelinfo4u.com/The_Jewels_Of_The_British_Monarchs_Part_III_An_Affair_To_Remember.aspx

    • Book: -Famous Jewelry Collectors by Stephano Papi and Alexandra Rhodes
    • www.theroyalforums.com
    • www.englishmonarchs.co
    • www.divasite.com
    • www.jewelhistory.com
    From book "Famous Jewelry Collectors" section on the Duchess of Windsor:
    "She is wearing her emerald bead and diamond necklace/tiara by Cartier, Paris, as a head ornament."

    describing a closeup of the tiara (the same closeup photo i posted a few days ago): "An emerald bead and diamond necklace that was made for stock by Cartier, Paris, in 1949. The Duchess's was made the same year with her own emeralds, the diamonds supplied by Cartier. Hers was mounted with a special fitting which enabled her to wear it also as a diadem."

    the original Cartier design was a necklace but the Duchess asked to specifically have hers convertible into a tiara.

    Found online: http://forum.purseblog.com/the-jewelry-box/royalty-and-their-jewelry-478799-28.html
    “The necklace and a flower brooch with 5 pear shaped emeralds were reset as a necklace by Cartier from which to hang the 49 carat pear-shaped emerald once owned by Alfonso XIII of Spain & bought by the Windsors via Harry Winston...(by exchanging a Cartier emerald bead & diamond tiara/necklace AND a baguetter diamond & emerald 2 row necklace) . The pendant & necklace were both in the Windsor sale..”
    Found online: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=7635.485;wap2