Devi (1917 - 1989) was known the world over for her
extravagant lifestyle as the wife of Maharaja Pratap Singh
Gaekwar of Baroda, the 8th richest man in the world in his
She was a great
beauty with a love for fine jewelry. She was high society,
very popular and extremely outgoing in her ways. Sita Devi
showed off her jewelry in a non-tradition Indian way. Even
though she wore fabulous saris, she would make sure that the
beautiful fabrics didn't cover up any of the jewels being
worn, and, her head was usually uncovered. She even smoked
The Maharani was
a regular customer of Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef
and Arpels. Sita Devi was also the proud owner of the famous
seven-strand Basra Pearl necklace, the 34.65-carat Princie
Diamond (one of the largest pink diamonds ever found valued
at 40 million dollars), the Dresden (78.5 carats) and the
Star of the South diamonds (128.48 carats).
Indian royals are
known to own some of the worlds most expensive gemstones and
jewelry. The wearing of these jewels brings to light India's
fine craftsmanship, exquisite designs and it's riches.
Jewels of a
Maharani was inspired by the style of jewelry known as
Kundan. The word, Kundan, means "pure gold". The process is
to make a thin gold foil that either sits between the
gemstone and the mount to reflect light or the foil is
pressed and molded around the edge of the gemstone or pearl.
It is one of the oldest forms of jewelry made and worn in
In the case of this design, an
oval CZ is bezeled and mounted on top of a shaped tubular
structure. Two netted pearl ropes, evoking the style of
Kundan, pass through the main terminal focal piece and end
in a sliding clasp.