Blog Cartier Legendary Pieces

The Maharajah of Patiala Necklace

Maharajah of Patiala Necklace
Maharajah of Patiala Necklace, Cartier, 1928

Platinum, old-cut and rose-cut diamonds (chains and links), one cushion-shaped yellow zirconia, four white zirconias, thirteen white topazes, two synthetic rubies, one smoky quartz, one citrine. Created for Sir Bhupindra Singh, Maharajah of Patiala.

Bhupendra Singh, Maharajah of Patiala, wearing the necklace.
Bhupendra Singh, Maharajah of Patiala, wearing the necklace.

The Patiala Necklace was a necklace created by the Maison Cartier in 1928. It was made for and named after Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, the then ruling Maharaja of the state of Patiala.

The necklace contained 2,930 diamonds, including as its centrepiece, the world’s seventh largest diamond, the “De Beers”, that had a 428-carat pre-cut weigh, and weighed 234.65 carats in its final setting.

The piece also contained seven other diamonds ranging from 18 to 73 carats, and a number of Burmese rubies.

The necklace disappeared around 1948.

In 1982, at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, the necklace reappeared. There, it was sold for $3.16 million.

In 1998, the missing part of the necklace was found at a second-hand jewellery shop in London by an unnamed buyer. The remaining large jewels were missing, in particular, the Burmese rubies as well as the 18 to 73-carat stones that were mounted on a pendant.

Cartier purchased the incomplete necklace and, after four years, restored it to resemble the original. They replaced the lost diamonds with cubic zirconia and synthetic diamonds and mounted a replica of the original De Beers diamond.