There were a few benefits to marrying the Emperor Napoleon, if you loved jewelry, that is! The Marie-Louise diadem, now part of the Smithsonian Collection, was a wedding gift from Napoleon I to his second wife, Empress Marie-Louise in 1810. The diadem was originally part of a set that also included a necklace, comb, belt buckle, and earrings, all made of emeralds and diamonds set in silver and gold. They were all made by French Jeweler Etienne Nitot et Fils of Paris.
In the original diadem, there were 22 large and 57 small emeralds, along with 1002 brilliant-cut and 66 rose-cut diamonds. The central emerald weighed 12 carats. After the fall of the Emperor, Marie-Louise fled to
Empress Marie-Louise left the diadem to her Hapsburg aunt, Archduchess Elise. Archduke Karl Stefan Hapsburg of
Between 1956 and 1962, Van Cleef & Arpels mounted turquoise cabochons into the diadem. In 1962, the diadem was displayed in the Louvre in