If you're watching the new drama about Queen Victoria, you are beginning to see a different queen to the one depicted in most images of the grieving queen in widow's weeds.
Queen Victoria was a passionate, loving woman and a trendsetter when it came to jewellery.
The image above gives an insight into the young queen who loved colour, trimmings and jewellery this last often chosen to commemorate some loving aspect of her family relationships. The picture above, painted in 1847 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, was commissioned by Albert.
Here she is wearing a white silk dress adorned with black and red lace and wearing a wreath of red poppies. In her hand is a posse of patriotic red, white and blue flowers.
The jewellery she has chosen to wear comprises a large brooch, a pendant and a bracelet all set with large blue stones. These are thought to be lapis lazuli. This is approximately 5 years ahead of the fashion for wearing lapis lazuli and is just one example of the couple's pioneering taste in jewellery. Definitely trendsetters rather than fashion followers.
Queen Victoria's jewellery collection was vast and contained many semi-precious jewels as well as the traditional diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
Silver and garnet pin
Gold, silver, turquoise, pearl and ruby brooch
Prince Albert wasn't a wealthy man but his gifts to Victoria were pledges of his love and affection for the queen. Value didn't matter to Victoria. She was delighted to receive a granite pin. Some of the more surprising pieces include children's teeth and stags' teeth. Give me gemstones any day!
If you have a birthday to buy for, lapis lazuli and sapphire are the September birthstones.