The popularity of Turkish soap operas has grown significantly over the last couple of decades, they’ve managed to grip viewers across the world and transcend cultures and religions, pulling everyone together based on one true and very important human need: love.
The love story of Sultan Süleyman The Magnificent and Hürrem Sultan ranks very highly when we look at all time love stories in Ottoman history. Thanks to recent broadcasted adaptations of this Ottoman duo’s love story Muhtesem YüzYil (Magnificent Century), it has gained even more admiration globally.
However, Ertugrul and Halime in Resurrection Ertugrul and Osman and Bala Hatun in Kurulus Osman, do not come too far behind when it comes to powerful Ottoman love couples.
Love story aside, many people have also fallen in love with the spectacular Ottoman jewellery worn by these strong and powerful women throughout the series. However, it has to be Hürrem Sultan that ranks at number one when it comes to gemstone glamour.
Sultan Süleyman The Magnificent and Hürrem Sultan
Hürrem Sultan was known as one of the most powerful women during the Ottoman Empire. She arrived at the royal harem as a slave but her intelligence, personality and composure quickly captivated the heart of Sultan Süleyman The Magnificent. Hürrem, known in the west as Roxolana was an Orthodox Christian of Ruthenian origin who converted to Islam. The couple broke royal protocol, got married and had six children together. They frequently wrote love poems about one another, especially while Sultan Süleyman was away on the battlefield. Hürrem was loved dearly by Sultan Süleyman and was offered luxurious jewellery gifts, encrusted with the most flashy and flamboyant stones mostly portrayed as red and green gemstones (likely rubies and emeralds).
Jewellery during the 16th century
During the 16th century, there was a huge growth in the importance of and fascination with jewellery. As the number of conquered lands increased, so did the spread of new precious gemstones in the Ottoman palace. So much so that it is said that at one point the Sultan had over 90 jewellers working for him.
Pearl, emerald, ruby, turquoise, jade, agate, coral and diamond were all stones that were used to craft some of the most dazzling pieces of jewellery during this time. There was a huge emphasis on naturalism in jewellery and costumes during the 16th century, meaning that the original curves and edges of the gemstone was preferred to the perfect symmetry found in European jewellery.
Jewellery was also a signifier of status and power during the Ottoman Empire. The colourful assortment of gemstones worn as headpieces, earrings, rings and belts all reflected importance in the court.
In the 1530s Suleyman married Hürrem and they had a magnificent formal ceremony which astonished observers in both the palace and the city. For the first time a former slave was elevated to the status of a sultan’s formal wife, which broke old customs and also introduced a new custom for future Ottoman sultans to marry in a formal ceremony. Hürrem was given status, respect and power and was titled Haseki Sultan which reflected great power in the Ottoman court.
Sultan Süleyman gifted Hürrem Sultan the infamous Emerald Teardrop Ring which gained popularity once again in previous years. Pearls were too a great favourite amongst the assortment of gemstones worn.
Ertugrul and Halime
Halime is portrayed as a beautiful, fierce and powerful female protagonist of the show. She enters as a vulnerable princess that is saved by the courageous Ertugrul, however it can be argued that it is in fact her inspiring nature and strong support for Ertugrul that saves him during times of difficulty and despair.
Halime, alike some of the other women in the Kayi tribe, is very hands on, works hard and fights with her sword to protect herself. Although she can afford servants, she does not rely on their help and prefers to stay physically strong by weaving carpets (which was a major source of income for the tribe), cooking for her family or defending on her horse. As the First Lady of the tribe, her role is very strong in terms of leadership, and taking care of tough tasks like ration distribution and nursing the injured.
Halime is seen wearing a silver headdress throughout the series which is adorned with coral and turquoise stones. Coral gemstones are associated with strength and leadership for some and thus this definitely fits with her bold, confidant and courageous character.
If you have a favourite gemstone and would like to browse our collections by gemstone colour, you can do so here.