Established in 1735, The House of Garrard, which also functioned as silversmiths, received its first royal commission from Frederick, Prince of Wales (a black ebony teapot handle) that same year. Queen Victoria appointed Garrard as Crown Jewelers in 1843 and the house has served every monarch since then, crafting five crowns (still worn for state occasions) which can be viewed at the Tower of London Jewel House, a dazzling exhibit of royal regalia, including the Crown Jewels, where tourists are transported through displays by way of a moving walkway).
On top of countless royal commissions, Garrard is known for exquisite tiaras, including the Cambridge Lovera��s Knot, a headpiece of 19 diamond-encrusted arches framing large drop-shaped pearls that has been passed down from Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth II and lent to Princess Diana, and recently worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, in addition to the a�?Girls of Britain and Ireland tiara,a�? the spiky diadem with a band of round and lozenge-shaped diamonds frequently worn by Queen Elizabeth II and featured on British bank notes.
Todaya��s collections are understated, inspired by regal heritage but designed for contemporary life. You can visit the Queen Mary salon upstairs (by appointment) to view paintings of the royal crowns and try on a few imitation tiaras from the royal collection.
Amy Tara Koch, based in Chicago, writes about travel, style, food and parenting.