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A necklace of the highest caliber: made in India pre-20th century, now at the Smithsonian Institution

A necklace is a jewellery item worn round the neck. It is of ancient origin: all civilisations have worn them. They usually figure precious metals and jewels, but may be made of colourful beads.

The Indore necklace

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The emeralds threaded onto the necklace were mined in Colombia. The diamonds were mined in India.[1] The necklace's gemstones are believed to have been cut in India in the 17th century,[2] but the early history of the necklace itself is unknown. The first recorded owner of the piece was Tukoji Rao III, Maharaja of Indore (a Princely State in India) in the early 20th century.[2] On his abdication, the necklace was passed to his son, Yashvantrao II, who took up his father's throne. The necklace is sometimes called, though with no reason, the Spanish Inquisition necklace.


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  1. "Inquisition Necklace". National Museum of Natural History. Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roskin, G; "Colombian Emerald", Jewelers Circular Keystone, 1 May 2003.