Diamonds & Jewels with Prince Dimitri: 'The Emerald Tree'

Photo: Patrick McMullan
 Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia


Growing up as a Prince of Yugoslavia in the city of Versailles, it's no wonder Prince Dimitri has an affinity for luxury jewelry.

Beginning his career in high-end gems as the senior vice president of the jewelry department at Sotheby's New York, Prince Dimitri has since founded his own namesake jewelry firm, Prince Dimitri Company, which has been featured in Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Vogue Hellas.

It is our pleasure to announce Prince Dimitri as a new contributor and the official jewelry expert of FashionEtc. In his stories you will find everything from details of his own personal designs to how to appraise the most luxurious of diamonds and jewels. 

Here, he begins with The Emerald Tree, one of his pieces inspired by the trees at Versailles.

Photo c/o Prince Dimitri

The Emerald Tree 

It has long been standing that the emerald is the ecclesiastical gemstone associated with divine inspiration. Be that as it may, Prince Dimitri was truly inspired upon viewing the three pear shaped cabochon cut Colombian emeralds.

He saw an arrangement of a tree and thought of a cache pot reminiscent of the ones at the Orangerie in Versailles. From that moment forward everything fell into place to aid in the creation of The Emerald Tree, and the jeweled brooch and objet de vertu of museum quality. 

All three of the emeralds have gemstone reports from Gubelin Gem Lab in Lucerne, Switzerland. The center largest emerald weighs 36.00 carats and measures 32.22 x 23.17 x 8.03 mm. the gemological testing indicates the material is natural beryl, of a transparent clarity, with indications of moderate clarity enhancement and characteristics consistent with emeralds from Colombia.

The matched pair that sit on each side of the center emerald have almost identical weights of 21.84 carats and 21.81 carats the gemological testing indicates the material is natural beryl, of transparent clarity, with indications of moderate and minor clarity enhancement respectively as well as characteristics consistent with emeralds from Colombia. Three such well matched emeralds in hue and gemological characteristic are a rare find.

Within two weeks after beginning research into designs based on the cache pot and trees of the Orangerie, Prince Dimitri was offered an unusually long, 30 mm, double ended bullet shaped baguette of a natural brown hue weighing 7.36 carats. 

Photo c/o Prince Dimitri 

This diamond, which became the trunk of the tree, offered the perfect connection between the important canopy of emeralds and the historically scaled correct cache pot.

As the design developed, an array of greens grew. A tiny emerald leaf was carved to be holding onto a branch, other leaves in shades of green to light yellow green have "fallen" into the dirt, represented by brown diamonds set point up. 

The finials on the four corners of the cache pot are pinecone like carved emeralds and the baguette emeralds representing the hinges on each side of the cache pot are connected to the strapping bead set with demantoid garnets. Finally, the cache pot itself is bronze and has a patina in green-blue-green.

The branches wrap around the trunk and are pavé set with brown diamonds leading up the canopy of the three emeralds. The emeralds are of such a perfect tone and saturation that to retain the hue a piece of mother of pearl was placed behind each emerald so no matter what color of fabric the brooch was worn against, the emeralds would always retain and show their true color.

Behind each emerald and mother of pearl is a support gallery that was added in gold with a geometric piercing of the tree. The back panel of the cache pot is studded with three plaques, the top oval plaque is the No. 1 as all cache pots in Versailles are numbered, the center diamond shaped plaque is the Prince Dimitri hallmark, and the final oval plaque is engraved 750 and Bronze, although there are a few elements in the piece that have 20 karat yellow gold. It has not been listed for aesthetic reasons only.

More hidden surprises are in the front of the cache pot and are based on a feature of the cache pots in Versailles. Their panels open to be able to transplant the tree into a larger cache pot. Prince Dimitri's cache pot opens to reveal the dirt and roots of the tree in shades of brown diamonds amongst the lines of gold. On the inside of the panel is an engraving of a quote from the Bible, "For those who listen even the stones speak," a truth that speaks of Prince Dimitri and his beliefs. 

Photo c/o Prince Dimitri


The panel of the cache pot closes as quietly as it is opened with a seamless appearance; the secret is hidden once more.

Such attention was paid to the details of the cache pot in relationship to sale and proportion from the Orangerie that it was only fitting that The Emerald Tree has a scale model of the Orangerie at Versailles complete with the doors and columns. This was created in maple wood. The doors and arch above have actual glass sandwiched between 18 karat yellow gold with the correct numbered panes lazer cut from the gold.

To learn more about Prince Dimitri and his collection go to