"Maharani Sita 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 day.
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 in
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 India.
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