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Empress Farah Pahlavi’s parure: a historic commission
Even today, this ensemble ranks among the Maison’s most prestigious special orders. In 1966, Van Cleef & Arpels was chosen to create the jewels to be worn by Farah Pahlavi, Empress of Iran, at her coronation the following year.
Pierre Arpels in front of Her Imperial Highness Farah Pahlavi's coronation tiara, 1967 Van Cleef & Arpels Archives, © Van Cleef & Arpels SA
According to Iranian tradition, it was essential that the pieces be adorned with gems from the National Treasure, held in the royal vault at the Iranian Central Bank. Over a span of six months, Pierre Arpels made 24 trips to Tehran, where he meticulously selected the stones, finally establishing a temporary workshop in the Treasure Chamber, together with a Van Cleef & Arpels supervisor and designer.
The crown worn by Empress Farah at her coronation features 36 emeralds, 36 spinels and rubies, 105 pearls and 1,469 diamonds. The full ensemble also includes a pair of earrings – two emerald pendants – and a necklace. The latter is embellished with an engraved hexagonal emerald fashioned as a pendant, four emerald-cut emeralds, four pear-shaped pearls, 11 cushion-cut yellow diamonds and diamonds cut in antique-style. Other jewels were created for the event as well, in particular parures for the Shah’s daughter and sisters.