Iconic jewels: Empress Farah Pahlavi

When one thinks of Crown Jewels, their mind is instantly transported to splendour and opulence. Whilst it's hard to imagine these weighty and striking pieces adorning people on the streets of Melbourne, there is still a certain appreciation for their beauty and craftsmanship to reflect on. Iconic jewels are captivating not only in appearance, but also for their history, meaning and legacy.

For our first trip down memory lane, we look at the jewels of the Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. For Mohammad Reza Shah’s coronation in 1967, he chose to crown his consort, Empress Farah Pahlavi. This broke with centuries of tradition, and as there was no existing crown to adorn the Empress for this occasion, a new one was needed.

Her coronation jewels were commissioned to French jewellery house Van Cleef & Arpels and included a crown, two earrings and a necklace. The crown itself consisted of 36 emeralds, 36 spinels and rubies, 105 pearls and 1,469 diamonds. Emeralds are one of the world’s most valued gemstones, with their recognisable green hue. It comes as no surprise that this crown weighed two kilograms. These jewels were created over the course of six months, and today are on display at the Central Bank of Iran in Tehran.