Once Upon a Diamond: A Family Tradition of Royal Jewels

A remarkable history of jewelry told through the beguiling stories of the royal families of Italy, Greece, Belgium, Russia, and Yugoslavia.

Renowned jewelry designer Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia recounts the enthralling exploits of his beloved family members and describes their extraordinary jewelry collections. Among the many royals whose stories are richly illustrated in this volume are his paternal grandparents Prince Regent Paul and
Princess Olga of Yugoslavia; Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia; his great-grandparents Prince Nicolas and Princess Helen of Greece as well as his maternal grandparents King Umberto II and Queen Marie-José of Italy.

The exquisite photography and family albums of Grand Duchess Elena of Russia (later Princess of Greece and Prince Dimitri's great-grandmother) present remarkable never-before-seen images of prerevolutionary life of the Russian imperial family, their court, and their many European royal family members and friends.

This luxurious tome also includes exclusive and previously unpublished designs by Prince Dimitri, which juxtapose uncommon materials and color in imaginative yet timeless forms.

About The Author

Prince Dimitri founded his jewelry company in 2007 after a longtime position as senior vice president of jewelry at Sotheby's auction house and later head of jewelry at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg. Lavinia Branca Snyder is a writer and the author of Equestrian Life from Riding Houses to Country Estates. Carolina Herrera is a fashion designer. François Curiel is chairman of Christie's Europe and Asia and head of its global luxury division. Mark Roskams is a New York-based photographer who specializes in architecture and interior design. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest and Elle Decor.

  • Publish Date: September 08, 2020
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Design - Jewelry
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 13
  • Pages: 288
  • US Price: $85.00
  • CDN Price: $100.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6691-5


"If you love jewels with a royal lineage—breathtaking tiaras and a noble family that spans across Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Belgium and Russia, then you are sure to get lost in jewelry designer Prince Dimitri’s history..." —FORBES.COM

"... Once Upon a Diamond would be perfect for anyone interested in the jewelry collections of Prince Dimitri's family, or for anyone who loves his jewelry designs." —THE COURT JEWELLER 

"In this wide-ranging tome, with the subtitle, ‘a family tradition of royal jewels’ Prince Dimitri shares previously unseen family photo albums belonging to the Grand Duchess Elena of Russia as well as a catalogue of the legendary collection of jewels of the leading women of the European and Russian courts. Prince Dimitri’s first-hand knowledge of this fascinating world, offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the aristocracy on the cusp of the Russian Revolution....Think of it as a ‘who’s who’ and ‘who owned what’ of jewellery during one of the most exquisite periods of jewellery creation with the frisson of a peek behind the scenes." — THEJEWELLERYEDITOR.COM 

"Royal jewels seem to always be part of historical jewelry conversations. Once Upon a Diamond by jewelry designer Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia is a lavish insider look into his family's love affair with jewels. Proving that England isn't the only place where royal jewels reign, this luscious book includes Italian, Greek, Belgian, Russian, and Yugoslavian royalty and their adornments in both photographs and illustrations." —MEETTHEJEWELERS.COM 

"This perfectly named book will astonish even jewelry connoisseurs. Presented here are Prince Dimitri’s Russian ancestors’ diamonds and other bejeweled treasures, one more iconic than the next. The descriptions are straightforward, mostly touting the gemstones and who wore what when. Dull? Never! Not when you’re treated to the jewels formerly owned by, say, the Grand Duchess Vladimir (Today many of those, courtesy of marriage and strife, reside in the coffers of Queen Elizabeth II).  . Among the beauties: the Kokoshnik Tiara, the Pearl and Diamond Devant de Corsage and the ethereal Collier Résille, a net of diamonds made by Cartier for Queen Alexandra. Images of the jewelry alongside archival photos are sublime. So is the thoughtful presentation and design. The icing on this gemstone cake?—Prince Dimitri’s own jewelry, which is wonderfully fresh, original, joyous and downright gorgeous." — NATURAL DIAMOND COUNCIL

Author Bookshelf: Lavinia Branca Snyder

Author Bookshelf: Carolina Herrera

Author Bookshelf: Francois Curiel

Author Bookshelf: Mark Roskams