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Emma Chamberlain Criticized For Wearing 'Stolen' Diamond Necklace To Met Gala

Photo: YouTube / Instagram / Wikimedia Commons
Emma Chamberlain and Maharaja Yadavindra Singh

Emma Chamberlain, social media influencer, famous YouTuber, and red carpet host for Vogue on the Met Gala steps, has recently taken some heat after people realized that she was wearing Maharaja of Patiala’s diamond choker during the 2022 Met Gala.

According to her Instagram post about her ensemble at the wealthiest event of the year, the dress was made by Louis Vuitton, and the jewelry from Cartier, but many argue that the French jeweler isn’t the actual owner of the diamonds on her neck.

Emma Chamberlain's Met Gala choker was allegedly stolen from the Maharaja of Patiala's necklace.

As the ambassador for Cartier’s jewels, Chamberlain wore a choker that originally belonged to the Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh and was made in 1928.

But don’t blame her, blame European imperialism.

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The Punjab royal decided that he wanted to make his De Beers diamond, the seventh-largest diamond in the world at the time, into an heirloom choker.

The Patiala reached out to Cartier and had the necklace made, soon to be known as the Patiala Necklace which includes five rows of platinum chains embellished with 2,930 diamonds and some Burmese rubies.

According to The Tribune of India, the necklace weighed over a thousand carats and at its center was the yellow 234.6-carat De Beers diamond.

However, the Patiala necklace didn’t turn much of a profit for Cartier as the Maharaja supplied most of the gems himself, meaning that the main goal of the project was to boost the French jewel house’s image in the West — that is, until the necklace went missing.

In 1948, the necklace was reported to have gone missing from the Patiala’s royal treasury, nowhere to be found.

Some 34 years later, the De Beers diamond reappeared without the necklace at the 1982 Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.

At the time, it was valued at $3 million.

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16 years after that, part of the necklace appeared in a small antique shop in London with all of the big diamonds and other gems being removed.

Cartier caught wind of this and decided to re-buy the necklace, replacing all of the missing diamonds and gems with replicas of the originals since the De Beers had failed to see its reserve price met at the auction.

The remade necklace took four years to finish and consisted of cubic zirconia and synthetic diamonds — those of which were found on Chamberlain’s neck last week.

Claims that the necklace was stolen are not entirely incorrect but are a little misguided as Cartier was likely not the thief behind the robbery in 1948.

Any claims otherwise are unsubstantiated as Cartier had instead re-bought and remade a necklace that they had been commissioned to create nearly a century ago.

Despite that, everyone is unhappy with the result as Chamberlain likely has no attachment to the history or the necklace, and is being told to “give that necklace back.”

The YouTuber has not responded to any of the criticisms so far.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.