The History of the Patiala Necklace: A Tale of Royalty and Mystery - Mia Ishaaq

The Mystery of the Patiala Necklace

The History of the Patiala Necklace: A Tale of Royalty and Mystery

The Patiala Necklace is one of the most extravagant and legendary pieces of jewellery ever created. Commissioned by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala in 1928, this stunning necklace was crafted by the renowned jeweller Cartier and remains a symbol of the opulence and grandeur of Indian royalty. Recently, the necklace (or a remarkably similar replica) gained renewed fame when YouTube star Emma Chamberlain wore it at a high-profile event, bringing this piece of history into the modern spotlight.

The Creation of the Patiala Necklace

In the 1920s, the Maharaja of Patiala approached Cartier with a request to create a necklace that would benefit his royal status. Cartier rose to the occasion, crafting a piece that was both awe-inspiring and unprecedented in its luxury.


The Patiala Necklace originally contained 2,930 diamonds, with the centrepiece being the breathtaking 234.65-carat De Beers diamond. At the time of its creation, the necklace was one of the most expensive and magnificent pieces of jewellery in the world.

The De Beers diamond, often referred to as the “Yellow Star of South Africa,” was the seventh-largest diamond in the world when it was discovered in 1888. This extraordinary gem became the highlight of the Patiala Necklace, adding immense value and prestige to the piece.

The Disappearance

For many years, the Patiala Necklace was a symbol of the Maharaja’s wealth and power, worn on grand occasions and royal events. However, after the death of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh in 1938, the necklace mysteriously disappeared from the Patiala royal treasury. Its whereabouts remained unknown for decades, leading to much speculation and intrigue in the world of fine jewellery.

The Rediscovery and Restoration

In a remarkable turn of events, parts of the Patiala Necklace were discovered in a second-hand jewellery shop in London in 1982. However, the necklace was in a dilapidated state, missing many of its original gemstones, including the iconic De Beers diamond.


Cartier took on the formidable task of restoring the necklace to its former glory. The restoration involved replacing the missing diamonds with replicas and other precious stones to recreate the original design as closely as possible.

Despite the successful restoration, the De Beers diamond and several other original stones were never recovered, leaving the Patiala Necklace a shadow of its former self, but still a stunning piece of jewellery history.

The Modern Glamour: Emma Chamberlain

Fast forward to 2022, the Patiala Necklace (or a similar replica) made headlines again when social media influencer and YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain wore it to the Met Gala.


This event, known for its extravagant fashion and celebrity appearances, was the perfect stage for the necklace to shine once more. Chamberlain’s choice to wear this historical piece brought a modern twist to its storied past, bridging the gap between royal heritage and contemporary fashion.

Interesting Fact: Emma Chamberlain’s appearance with the necklace sparked significant media attention and discussions about the history and significance of the Patiala Necklace, introducing it to a younger audience and rekindling interest in vintage jewellery.

The Current Status

Today, the restored Patiala Necklace is housed in Cartier’s private collection. Although it no longer contains all the original gemstones, it remains a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and opulence of early 20th-century jewellery design. The necklace is occasionally displayed in exhibitions around the world, allowing the public to marvel at its grandeur and historical significance.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Splendour

The Patiala Necklace’s journey from a royal treasure to a missing masterpiece and its eventual partial restoration is a fascinating story of luxury, mystery, and heritage. Its recent appearance on the modern fashion scene, courtesy of Emma Chamberlain, adds another chapter to its storied history. The necklace stands as a symbol of the extravagant lifestyle of the Indian Maharajas and the exceptional artistry of Cartier. Its history continues to captivate jewellery enthusiasts and historians alike, reminding us of the enduring allure of royal jewellery.

For those interested in the world of fine jewellery, the Patiala Necklace remains an iconic piece that represents both the zenith of luxury and the mysteries that often surround historical treasures.

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