British Crown Jewels Represent One of the Largest Jewelry Collections in Existence
Subject to a turbulent history and much thievery, the British Crown Jewels represent the regalia and vestments worn by the king or queen of the United Kingdom during a coronation ceremony and other state functions. In all, the collection includes crowns, orbs, swords, scepters, and other regalia. Gold and silver plate was refashioned in 1661 after parliament had ordered the original gold and precious metals to be melted down for coinage in 1649.
Many of the objects descend directly from the pre-Reformation period and hold religious and sacral connotation. For instance, the vestures worn by sovereign following the unction, a ceremonial ritual, resembles the alb and dalmatic worn by bishops.
Edwards Crown is worn during most of the coronation ceremony. Made of gold, the crown includes 444 precious stones. Queen Elizabeth II chose to wear a stylized representation of the crown in images of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.
The oldest stone is Edward the Confessors sapphire, believed to have been worn by him in a ring and now mounted in the cross patee above the monde. An ancient spinel, known as the Black Princes Ruby is said to have been given to Edward by Pedro the Cruel of Castile. The crown is worn after the conclusion of the coronation ceremony when the monarch departs Westminster Abbey, and also at the annual State Opening of Parliament.
Tradition says that its male owners will suffer misfortune and death, but women who possess it will rule the world.
The monarch bears the Sceptre with the Cross in the right hand. Borne in the left hand, the Sceptre with the Dove was also made in 1661. The dove atop the sceptre symbolizes the Holy Ghost.
As the sovereign holds both Sceptres, he or she is crowned with St. Edwards Crown.
It is believed that most, if not all, of the jewels were recovered not long after being found in display window of a London jeweler. During World War II, the jewels were taken out of the Tower and stored somewhere in secret. Stories suggest they may have been kept in the basement vaults of the Sun Life Insurance company in Montreal, Canada or in the Round Tower of Windsor Castle. It is more probable that they were housed at Windsor Castle since by law the Crown is not allowed to leave the country.
About the Author (text)Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora bracelets, Pandora charms and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, contact Lewis Jewelers at 877-88-LEWIS or visit http://www.pandorabraceletsusa.com.
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