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(The Lotus Necklace a.k.a. Hindu Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels; image courtesy of Verve Online)
The Lotus Necklace, also known as the Hindu Necklace, is a rather renowned piece of jewellery that was especially crafted for Maharani Sita Devi, second wife of Maharaja Pratapsinh Rao, the 11th Gaekwad; ruler of Baroda. This gorgeous emerald necklace was created by Jacques Arpels of the Van Cleef & Arpels French jewellery company in 1950. The jewels that constitute the necklace include Columbian cabochon emerald drops; 13 in number and they weighed around 150 carats. These emeralds are suspended from a platinum panel studded with pavé diamonds (small diamonds set closely together with barely visible tiny metal prongs holding the stones in place; the resultant effect being that of uninterrupted sparkle) and emeralds in a lotus leaf design with a lotus flower at the centre.
(Diamond and emerald earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels; image courtesy of Pinterest)
A pair of earrings with five pendants each that are polished octagonal shaped dangling emeralds are also a part of the set. At the centre of the earring hoop which is made of diamonds and emeralds again is a single 20 carat diamond briolette (an elongated pear-shaped faceted gemstone which is often drilled to hang as a bead).
(Maharani Sita Devi, wife of Maharaja Pratapsinh Rao; Gaekwad of Baroda; image courtesy of News East West)
The gemstones in the necklace had previously belonged to the Baroda Crown Jewels. They were in the possession of the Maharani. The Lotus Necklace and the accompanying pair of emerald and diamond earrings were later auctioned off in 2002 by Christie’s to a private collector for a sum of $1.6 million.