The Queen of Kilimanjaro is one of the most famous faceted tanzanites in the world; a 242 carat beauty set in a stunning tiara where it is surrounded by 803 rare green tsavorite garnets and 913 diamonds. The Queen, along with its brilliant-cut royal retinue, is set in 18 karat white gold in the exotic-looking tiara.
It is now part of a private collection belonging to the noted gem collector Michael Scott, who was the first president of the Apple Corporation, and who now has a gem collection which rivals that of many Royals. Although the Queen of Kilimanjaro is one of the most famous tanzanites, it isn’t the largest cut tanzanite stone; that distinction belongs to a gem weighing in at a massive 737.81 carats! They may both be dwarfed when this rough crystal, the size of a brick, is finally cut.
A tiara isn’t the only connection tanzanite has with royalty; the very site where this rare gemstone is found has a royal history. It has long been rumored that Mount Kilimanjaro was a gift from Queen Victoria to her grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm, in celebration of his birthday and so that he would have a coveted snow-clad peak amongst his African holdings. Although the story is charming, it almost certainly has no basis in reality. However, as arbitrary as the divvying up of territory was during the Colonization of Africa, it certainly wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possible truth!