© Crown Copyright
The Platinum Jubilee
It’s 70 years since the crown jewels were used for the coronation of Her Majesty Elizabeth the II. This year, 2022 marks the Platinum anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, so let’s get ready for the Jubilee celebrations by discovering more about these magnificent gems.
What are the Crown Jewels?
The crown jewels are a set of sacred and ceremonial jewellery and precious objects which are only used for the coronation of a new monarch. Each exquisite item is adorned with a plethora of gemstones, selected for their beauty and heritage. Rejoice in admiring these world famous gems.
St Edward’s Crown
This magnificent crown is known as St Edward’s Crown. It is the used in the climax of the ceremony – the moment of crowning the new Monarch. It is only worn very briefly – perhaps because it weighs an enormous 2.23kg!!!
The monarchy used to ‘hire’ gems to adorn this crown. It wasn’t until 1911 that the gems became permanently within the crown.
© British Heriitage Travel
The Design of St Edward’s Crown
Made to replicate the medieval design of the melted down crown of 11th-century saint-king Edward the Confessor. Created in 1661, it is solid gold and set with 444 beautifully coloured semi-precious gemstones including amethysts, garnets, peridots, rubies, sapphires, topazes, tourmalines and zircons.
The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022
Cullinan I - The largest diamond in the world
The enormous uncut Cullinan diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and cut into a number of large and small faceted diamonds The largest, known as Cullinan I or Great Star of Africa is still the world’s largest top quality white cut diamond at 530.2 carats. In 1910 this magnificent diamond was set into the The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, used in the last part of the Investiture, before crowning.
The Imperial State Crown
The magnificent Imperial State Crown is the crown we recognise most it is worn as the new monarch exits Westminster Abbey after the coronation. The Queen also wears it on formal occasions including the annual State Opening of Parliament.
© CECIL BEATON/CAMERA PRESS
The Gems of the Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown contains 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls and 4 rubies!
Many of these gems are embroiled in myth and legend, so although the crown is relatively new (1937) it is historically one of the most important ceremonial objects in the world.
The large diamond at the front is the Cullinan II Diamond is also known as the Second Star of Africa. This is the second largest diamond hewn from the rough Cullinan and it is a whopping 317.4 carats.
© Wikipedia (Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941)
The Black Prince’s Ruby
The 170ct red stone is the known as ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’, although it is actually a red spinel, a semi-precious stone. Legend has it that it was given to Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince) in 1367. Its acquisition into the crown jewels for 1661 is not clearly documented, but an entry of a purchase of £400 for a ‘substantial ruby’ for the crown jewels is logged – which could be for this red spinel.
© The Court Jeweller
The Stuart Sapphire
On the back of the crown is the 104-carat Stuart Sapphire, allegedly smuggled out of the country by James II when he fled in 1688.
There is also a stunning sapphire in the top cross called St Edward's Sapphire, reputedly taken from the ring of the Confessor when his body was re-interred at the Abbey in 1163.
© The Court Jeweller
Delhi Durbar – The Imperial Crown of India (1911)
© Historic Royal Palaces 2022
Only Worn Once
The crown jewels are not permitted to leave the United Kingdom, so when George V was inaugurated as Emperor of India a new crown was created to wear for the Coronation in Durbar.
The weather in India is somewhat hotter than the UK, and poor King George V and Queen Mary sat in heavy hot robes and crowns for hours on end. King George is believed to have said “ Really tired after wearing the crown for three hours…it hurt my head as it is pretty heavy” The crown has never been worn again!
At Gold Arts we currently do not currently have any crowns for sale, but you can shop Platinum, Diamonds, Rubies and Pearls fit for a Queen.
We have jewellery shops in Brighton, Chichester and Eastbourne, with staff who will treat you like royalty!
If you really want a crown, our designers and goldsmiths will see it as an exciting project! So, please do get in touch.
Bespoke Jewellery at Gold Arts
The creation of something that is completely unique to you is an affordable reality at Gold Arts. You can discuss your ideas and be part of the design making process, selecting your choice of metal and choosing from a handpicked selection of gemstones.
Find out more about our in house design service and goldsmith's workshop where we design and create unique jewellery for you.
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