The period between 1799 and 1814 was the time of Napoléon Bonaparte’s sole reign over France, initially as First Consul of the Republic, and from 1804 as Emperor of the French. Son of a modest Corsican advocate, Napoléon recognised the power of gold, and turned gems and jewels into a potent tool of power during his 15-year rule. He hired the most prominent jewellers of the time, who created the empire style, characterised by an ostentatious abundance of materials, masterly artwork, and imagery associated with wealth, might and power. Empire-style gems are famous for their proportion, simplicity of lines and forms, and the introduction of such typical motifs as imperial eagles placed within laurel or oak wreaths, bees, ‘N’ monograms, garlands made of flowers, fruit and laurel leaves, Greek-themed bands aligned with geometrical precision, tureens, medallions, and cornucopias45. Napoléon’s flagship jewels, however, were engraved gems, both ancient and newly made, which were manufactured from ivory, coral, amber, and other stones. They presented ancient gods and goddesses, and such Egyptian symbols as sphinxes, the Eye of Ra, and scarab beetles. Lavish gems, produced from expensive raw materials, and most preferably diamonds, were used to stud orders, decorations, and gift jewellery used to maintain political and diplomatic ties, to endear enemies, and to reward merits and achievements. The empire style has turned out to be timeless and enduring, as numerous patterns developed during the period have become the classics of haute joaillerie today.