Last night the long awaited US premiere of Downton Abbey series 3 finally arrived, and along with it Downton Abbey jewelry! How we’ve managed so long without the trials and tribulations of 20th century English nobility and their house staff escapes us, but thank goodness they’re back! And last night’s double episode premier did not disappoint. Lady Mary and Matthew finally got married! Sybil is the cutest pregnant lady ever! Edith is still all alone! And, most importantly, Cora’s mother Martha Levinson has arrived to square off with the Dowager Countess. With all of their period drama, the players bring period jewelry, and we’re obsessed. The antique jewelry worn by the characters is painstakingly selected for both its beauty and historical merit by Downton Abbey costume designer Caroline McCall. Below, our favorites from last night.
Lady Mary’s Wedding Day Tiara
The stunning Georgian tiara – known as the Myrtle Tiara after its leaf motif – is a 45 carat antique piece from crown jewelers Bentley & Skinner. The tiara claims a royal provenance, having graced the head of HRH Princess Louise. The myrtle leaves represent love and fidelity, and would have special meaning for the Crawley family. It would have been an antique family heirloom, and given that it’s from 1820, it would fit the bill for Lady Mary’s 1920 wedding. It also would have suited the very fashionable Lady Mary, who wouldn’t have worn a large tiara in a time when simplicity reigned.
The Dowager Countess’ Tiara for the Grand Dinner
This dinner was essential to Mary and the DC’s scheme to make Martha fall in love with Downton’s essence (and therefore pledge her a$$istance to its preservation). Reflective of the uber-traditional dinner planned, the Dowager Countess breaks out her most traditional jewels: a tiara fit for a
princess countess. In platinum and what were almost certainly rose cut or old European cut diamonds in platinum, the tiara is the perfect touch.
Lady Mary’s hair piece
This season’s premiere episode confirmed what we were joyfully hoping for: the roaring 20’s have arrived. And along with a new era, new hairstyles. Edith and Lady Mary both create faux bobs for dinner, and Mary chose to accentuate hers with this stunning leaf clip.
Martha Levinson’s necklace
This exquisite opera length necklace is perfectly befitting of a woman like Martha’s (extremely wealthy, extremely American) status. It looks like it’s crafted in platinum and diamonds, with those large green stones likely being emeralds or tourmalines and a rose cut diamond pear shaped pendant. It’s also likely that the drop pendant can be detached and worn as a brooch.