Princess Salimah Aga Khan’s Emerald Suite 

Happy Birthday to Begum Salimah Aga Khan, who turns 82 today! The accomplished British aristocratic model who married the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of Nizari Ismailism, and became a child-welfare activist, Princess Salimah Aga Khan once possessed a magnificent jewellery collection, much of which was sold for charity, and included her spectacular Emerald Suite!

The spectacular Suite consists of a pair of Emerald and Diamond Earrings, set with cabochon emeralds weighing 11.33 and 11.94 carats and supporting a detachable emerald drop weighing 21.64 and 22.29 carats, mounted by Harry Winston in 1974 alongside a magnificent emerald and diamond necklace by Cartier from the 1970s, which is set with two detachable drop-shaped emeralds weighing over 50 carats each, and five additional cabochon emeralds.

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The Begum and the Aga Khan were a big part of the Jet Set and Begum Salimah Aga Khan was pictured in her Cartier Emerald and Diamond Necklace and Harry Winston Emerald and Diamond Earrings on numerous occasions throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, most notably at the Wedding Ball of Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1978.

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After their divorce, Princess Salimah Aga Khan auctioned much of jewellery collection at Christie’s in Geneva in 1995 (a controversial move as the Aga Khan argued the jewellery wasn’t hers to sell, and he eventually ended up purchasing some of the jewels), and the Cartier Emerald and Diamond Necklace and Harry Winston Emerald and Diamond Earrings were sold in a pair, with the sale eventually raising $27.6 million for a charitable foundation

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More recently, the Cartier Emerald and Diamond Necklace and Harry Winston Emerald and Diamond Earrings were put on Auction at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sala in Geneva in 2019, estimated at 1,500,000 — 2,500,000 CHF and 3,500,000 — 4,500,000 CHF respectively, but it appears that both items did not sell as there is no sale price on the catalogue for the earrings and the necklace appears to have been withdrawn from the auction as its page is no longer available. The current location of the Suite is not known.

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