Queens Necklace: Rules

For 2 - 4 players, ages 8 and above
30-45 minutes

The Jewelers of Place Vendōme
In the years prior to the French revolution, the jewelers of Place Vendōme in Paris were the most accomplished in all the world. Their prodigious skills, combined with the seemingly unending wealth of their patrons, enabled them to create the most exquisite jewels for the Kings and Queens of Europe and their courts.
To keep their fickle clientele happy (and to stay profitable) the jewelers scoured all of Paris to acquire the precious gems needed for their creations – all the while keeping a close eye on the Court’s ever-changing sense of fashion. And when necessary, these crafty artisans were not above buying a few favors to insure a favored position in the King’s Court.

Object of the Game
Assuming the role of King’s Jeweler, each player, through the course of three years of apprenticeship, competes to craft and sell the most desirable jewels in the kingdom.
At the end of each year, the Merchant announces a sale, where jewelers decide which of their creations they want to sell. The jeweler who earns the most profit from their jewel sales after three years is awarded a title of nobility, and a place at the King’s Court!
To succeed, each jeweler must balance the use of their limited funds between buying expensive new gems; purchasing the favors of The King, Queen and other important members of the court; or hiring a Thief or Forger.


Setting up the game

The Fashion tiles show which stones are most in fashion, and which are out of favor at the beginning of the game.

Note: If a player is dealt an Astrologer, he discards it and draws another card to replace it. The Astrologer is then shuffled back into the remaining cards. Il a player is dealt the Queen's Necklace, he takes the necklace and wears it.

A game turn
Each player plays in turn, going clockwise. A player’s turn is divided in three consecutive phases:

Whenever a Merchant card is drawn, usually during the devaluation phase, a Jewel Sale immediately takes place.

1 – Influence Phase
The player may play from her hand as many “Influence” characters (the blue cards) as she wishes. A player can only play cards that she had in hand at the beginning of her turn.

When a card is played, its effect takes place immediately and the card is discarded. For detailed information on the effects of the various cards see The Cards section below.

2 – Card Purchase Phase
Each player has 10 ducats that she can spend to buy cards from the five cards displayed face up on the center of the table. The price for buying a card is the number on the card circled with the Golden Ring marker.

A player must buy at least one card during her turn. If a player doesn’t spend all 10 ducats, the remaining money is lost and cannot be saved for the next turn.

3 – Devaluation Phase
The Golden Ring marker on each card still displayed for sale on the table is moved one spot down. These cards will cost less to buy for the next player. If a marker is moved to the lowest position (with the card icon crossed in red), the card is discarded.

Cards that have been bought or discarded are replaced with new cards drawn from the top of the draw pile. The Golden Ring is placed on the top number of each one of these new cards.

If a Merchant card is drawn, a Jewel Sale immediately takes place (see below). After a sale, the game resumes where it where it was stopped, and a new card is drawn to replace the Merchant.

Jewel Sale
There are three Jewel Sales, one for each year of apprenticeship. The game ends after the third sale. During each sale, the players try to sell to the King’s court some of the jewels they produced during the year.

During a Jewel Sale, players will display the jewels of their choice in rows of gems cards and associated cards.  

The basic rule of a sale is: Only the jeweler displaying the most gems of a specific gem type wins that gem sale and collects any money.

The three steps to a sale are:
1 - Displaying the jewels

2 - Rarity

3 - Selling jewels
For each gem type, the player with the greatest number of gems of this type on display is the only one to complete the sale and collect any money (Pounds = victory points). If two or more players tie for the most gems of a particular gem type, all tied players sell their jewels.

The selling price for each jewel, between 0 and 60 pounds, is the sum of the values on the fashion and rarity cards above and below the gem type card.

For each Ring card played by the winner of a given gem sale in association with her gem cards of that type, the player will collect an extra sale of that jewel (For example: if the winner of the diamond sale played two rings with her diamond cards, she will sell three diamonds, for triple the normal sale price).

Scores for each player are written down. A score-sheet is available for download from www.queens-necklace.com, but you can use any piece of paper.

After the sale, all the cards displayed are discarded, the rarity tiles set aside until the next sale, and the game resumes where it had been interrupted by the merchant.

The player with the most pounds (highest score) after the third and final sale wins the game.

The cards
Influence (blue) Character cards

Blue character cards are indicated by their blue markings and title. These cards must be played on their owner’s turn during the influence phase.

Confessor (4 cards):
Look at all the cards in the hand of another player of your choice.

Courtier (3 cards):
You have three extra ducats this turn for purchasing cards. You can therefore buy cards for a total value of up to 13 ducats (16 ducats if you play two courtiers, and 19 if you play three).

Forger (3 cards): 
Choose another player and a gem type. That player must discard a gem card of this type. If she has none, she must show you her hand to prove it.

Favorite (3 cards):
Choose one of the four gem tiles and place it below the #1 fashion card. Shift the other gem type tiles to the right without changing their relative order. Any gap should be filled by shifting the tiles so that there is a gem card below each fashion card.

Thief (4 cards):
Choose an opponent and draw a card at random from her hand. You keep this card in your hand, unless it is a Musketeer (see below). If you steal the Queen’s Necklace card the owner must give you both the necklace and the card.

Purple Character cards
These cards are indicated by their purple markings and title, and can be played at different times during the game.

Alchemist (1 card):
The Alchemist must be played during a sale, immediately after the cards displayed by all the players have been revealed. The alchemist allows you to transmute one of your true gems (Ruby, Emerald or Diamond) card into another type of gem of your choice, and therefore to move a gem card displayed in one row to another row. The Alchemist cannot affect Amber, nor can he change a gem into Amber. If an Alchemist is played during a sale, gem rarity is calculated and set after the Alchemist has effected his transmutation of gems.

Astrologer (3 cards):
Discard this card immediately after purchasing it. Then draw the top card from the draw pile, don’t reveal it to the other players and place it directly in your hand.
Note: If you draw a Merchant, a sale takes place immediately. After the sale, you will draw the next card from the draw pile and place it in your hand.
If you draw another Astrologer, discard it and draw the next card from the draw pile into your hand.

Cardinal (2 cards):
The Cardinal can be played only when a merchant is drawn during another player’s turn and a sale is about to take place. The decision to use a Cardinal or not is announced in clockwise order, starting with the first player on the left of the current player. The sale is delayed and will take place at the end of your next turn. Place the Merchant on your left to remind you of it.
Note: If a Cardinal is played on the last merchant, the draw deck can be exhausted before the game is over. In this case, the game resumes as usual until the third sale, but the cards bought by the players are not replaced when the draw pile runs out.
If two players play a Cardinal, the sale is delayed until the one the furthest away from the current player in clockwise order is reached and plays.

Musketeer (4 cards):
The Musketeer can be used in one of three different ways.
- If a player plays a Thief and draws a Musketeer from your hand, the Thief has been caught in the act. The Thief and the Musketeer are both discarded, and you can now draw a card at random from the hand of the player who was attempting to steal from you (but if you draw a Musketeer the same rules apply.)
- If a player plays a Forger against you, you can counter it by playing a Musketeer. Both cards are discarded.
- During the influence phase of her turn, a player can play three Musketeers together to transfer the Necklace card and Queen’s Necklace from its current owner to herself.

Queen (1 card):
Play this card when a gem card (and only a gem card) is drawn from the draw deck during the devaluation phase. You take this card in your hand, and the next card from the draw deck is drawn to replace it

Sale (gray) cards
These cards are indicated by their gray markings and title, and are played face down during a sale. Gem cards played by a player during a sale must be sorted by gem type (Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Amber).

Gem cards:
Ruby (2 cards ***, 5 **, 7 *)
Emerald (2 cards ***, 5 **, 7 *)
Diamond (2 cards ***, 5 **, 7 *)
Amber (17 cards*)
These cards determine the different gems that you use to make your jewels. The more gems of a given type you have on the cards you display, the nicer the jewel you will craft with these gems. On the other hand, the more gems of a given type there are in the cards displayed during the sale, the less rare (and the less valuable) this gem is. It is thus desirable to have the majority of gems on display for the gem types with the lowest overall number of gems.

Ring (7 cards):
Each player is focused on crafting the single nicest piece of jewelry for each given gem type. If you play one or more Ring cards with some of your gem cards, you have found a way to craft additional jewel pieces of this kind. This is of interest only if you can sell them, that is only if you have the most gems of this type on your displayed cards. Otherwise, the extra Ring card is wasted. For each Ring card associated with a gem type of which you have a majority in display, you sell an additional jewel of that type. 1 Ring card played on a winning sale doubles the amount of money received, 2 Ring cards triples it, etc…

King (3 cards):
The King cancels the sale of the specific gem type it is played with. The player who has the most gems of this type on his cards cannot sell his jewels and collects no money. When the sale ends, the gem cards thus cancelled by a King are discarded just like any other gem card played during the sale. Each player can only play a maximum of one King in any given sale.

Queen’s Necklace (1 card):
The player who acquires or receives this card must take the Queen’s Necklace and
wear it around her neck to make it known to all players.
The Queen's Necklace card, when played along a gem card during a sale, protects
such gems from the Kings cards.
If the Queen's Necklace and one or more Kings have been played on the same
gem type, the following two benefits are granted :
1) the effect of these Kings is cancelled and the player who has displayed the most gems of this type (regardless of whether she is the necklace owner or not) wins the sale and collects the corresponding victory points.
2) Furthermore, the Kings’ owner(s) must pay a tribute of 50 pounds to the holder of the Queen’s Necklace. 50 points are subtracted from her current score and given to the owner of the Necklace. It’s possible that a player of the King might find herself with a negative score as a result.
After the sale, both the necklace card and the necklace are discarded.

Banker (2 cards): Regardless of the gem with which he is played, the Banker adds 10 pounds to the selling price of each jewel you will sell in this sale.

Merchant (3 cards):
When a Merchant is drawn a sale takes place immediately. The Merchant card is then replaced by the next card in the draw deck.

Blank Cards
Use the blue and purple-marked blank cards to create the period characters of your choice. Use the gray-marked blank card to create the character, object or gem of your choice.



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This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson