Queen's brooch collection 'worth £90m' - including one rarely worn piece worth £50m

·Royal Correspondent
EGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II (wearing her Vanguard Rose Brooch which she received in 1944 from Messrs John Brown and Co. when she launched HMS Vanguard) attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Windsor Cup polo match and a carriage driving display by the British Driving Society at Guards Polo Club, Smith's Lawn on July 11, 2021 in Egham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen, here wearing her Vanguard Rose Brooch in July 2021. Her collection is worth several million pounds. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen's brooch collection is worth at least £90m according to diamond experts.

The Queen, 95, has access to an extensive collection of jewellery, with many of the items passed down to her through generations of the Royal Family.

Other pieces have been gifts over the years, and she often chooses her brooches carefully, as they are interpreted to be sharing a particular message.

Now jewellers have estimated that her collection could be worth some £90m if it were to be sold.

Unsurprisingly the highest valuation is for the Cullinan III and IV brooch, at £50m.

The brooch is made from the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan diamond, which was presented to Edward VII in 1907.

LONDON - MAY 15:  The Cullinan III and IV Brooch is displayed ahead of the 'Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration' exhibition at Buckingham Palace on May 15, 2012 in London, England. The jewellery is made from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever found. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Cullinan III and IV Brooch is made from the Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever found. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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Two of the largest diamonds cut from the Cullinan are in the Scepter and the Imperial State Crown, which are part of the crown jewels and the Royal Collection Trust and not the personal property of the Queen.

The brooch however was inherited by the Queen in 1953.

Diamond expert Max Stone of Seven Stone said: “Queen Elizabeth has some of the most incredible jewels I've ever seen. Whilst it’s no doubt difficult to put a price on them, as they come with so much history and legacy, after analysing the gemstones from 25 of her most iconic brooches, I’d roughly estimate them to be collectively worth over £90,000,000.”

"The biggest and most expensive of all Queen Elizabeth's brooches is the Cullinan III and IV brooch. This is because it features two large stones cut from the Cullinan diamond - the world's largest diamond ever found. This one brooch alone is worth around £50,000,000."

Her second most valuable brooch according to the jewellers is a wedding favourite, which she wore both to Prince Charles and Prince Edward's weddings, in 1981 and 1999 respectively.

The Williamson diamond brooch was estimated to be worth £25m, because it includes a rare pink diamond.

The Queen was given the diamond as a wedding gift, when she was still Princess Elizabeth. It was cut and sits in a platinum brooch alongside another 203 white diamonds.

The Queen looks laughs as she leaves St. George's Chapel in Windsor after the wedding of her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie Rhys-Jones. The Royal couple will hereafter be known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen wearing the £25m brooch at the wedding of her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie in 1999. (PA Images via Getty Images)

After those two hugely valuable pieces, the experts think the next most expensive piece would be the Prince Albert brooch, which is worth £8m.

It's named after Prince Albert, who commissioned it in secret for Queen Victoria in 1840, before their wedding. She loved it and wore it often.

Stone, said: "The ring contains a large oval or cushion shaped sapphire, which is at least 40cts. The breath-taking gem is also surrounded by 12 large diamonds, which look to be around 12cts.”

"Due to the clarity and intense colour of the sapphire it was possibly sourced from Burma. If it was to be sold today, it would be worth around £8,000,000, thanks to its historic legacy."

It's got lasting influence too, as it's claimed the Ceylon sapphire surrounded by diamonds is what inspired Diana's engagement ring, which now belongs to the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen meets Czechs during her visit to Prague, their capital. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh later left the Czech Republic after a  three day visit. The Queen is wearing the Prince Albert Brooch, crafted from Diamonds and a large Sapphire, a gift from Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Queen Victoria on the eve of their wedding in 1840.   (Photo by John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen wearing the Prince Albert Brooch, crafted from Diamonds and a large Sapphire, a gift from Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Queen Victoria on the eve of their wedding in 1840, during a visit to Prague. (John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Many of the Queen's other brooches are much lower in estimated value, though lots of them still hold important meaning to the monarch.

For example the Aquamarine clip brooches are valued at £160,000 but were a gift to the Queen for her 18th birthday from King George V and then Queen Elizabeth, who became the Queen Mother.

The clips are still a regular feature in the Queen's wardrobe, and she has worn them on a number of occasions in the last year, including in a broadcast for the anniversary of VE day and during the state opening of parliament in 2021.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech in the House of Lord's Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen wore the clip brooches during the 2021 state opening of parliament. (Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While some of the pieces the Queen can wear are her personal possessions, not everything she is pictured in belongs directly to her.

For example the Queen Victoria bow brooches, estimated at £120,000, are held by the Royal Collection Trust so they don't belong directly to the current Queen.

Some of the brooches (both those in her own possession and the Royal Collection) are loaned out to other family members, like when the Duchess of Cambridge wore a fern brooch to New Zealand on a royal tour.

The pieces are likely to be distributed among the Queen's family members after her death, so many of them will be seen on her descendants for years to come.

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