Some of the most famous, expensive and unique collections of sacred and ceremonial jewels in the world, the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are the nation’s most precious treasures.
Comprising more than 100 objects and over 23,000 gemstones, the Crown Jewels are almost priceless and are part of the Royal Collection, held in trust by the monarch for the nation.
Being of incalculable cultural, historical, and symbolic value, the Crown Jewels have been protected at the Tower of London since the 1600’s.
Officially the Crown Jewels are priceless, but today we take a look at the estimated net worth of these national treasures.
10 – The Sovereign’s Orb Crown Jewels
Officially a representation of the sovereign’s power that symbolises the Christian world, this piece of the crown jewels is divided up into three sections that represent continents from medieval times.
Featuring bands of jewels as dividers and the cross mounted on a golden globe, the Sovereign’s Orb reminds the monarch that their power is derived from God.
The orb included 12 large diamonds, 30 rubies, sapphires, and emeralds for the coronation of George I in 1714.
Part of the coronation regalia, the Sovereign’s Orb was created in 1661 and was first used for the coronation of Charles II in 1661.
The orb was last used during a the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, 2 June 1953 and will be used once Charles is crowned king and later when Prince William Succeeds his father.
Although it is only set with imitation jewel’s for display purposes, the Sovereign’s Orb is thought to have an estimated value of around $200,000.
9 – Prince of Wales Coronet – $220,000
The Coronet of Charles, Prince of Wales, as it is more well-known, is a small crown that was used at the investiture of the prince, now king, in 1969.
Designed by the artist Louis Osman, the coronet was a gift from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths to the Prince’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Featuring 75 diamonds and 12 emeralds all white and green, and even a gold plated ping pong ball.
King Charles III has not worn his coronet since the investiture however, the coronet was carried before him when he took his seat in the House of Lords in 1970.
Placed into storage at St James’s Palace, London in 2011, the coronet and other pieces of Charles’s investiture joined pieces at the Jewel House in the Tower of London in 2020.
It is estimated to be worth close to $220,000 dollars.
8 – Altar Dishes
Formed as part of the plate commissioned by Charles II on his restoration in 1660 to restock the depleted Jewel House, this silver-gilt altar dish is actually part of a pair.
Embossed in the centre with the Tudor rose, it features different kinds of fish swimming in a rippled sea.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the dishes were used at the Maundy Service, for the distribution of Maundy Money.
These dishes have been attributed to John Cockus, who was made ‘Silversmith in Ordinary to His Majesty for Chestwork within His Majesties Closet and Bedchamber.
While the dishes have never been used in a coronation, they often appear in the Jewel House at the Tower of London and are thought to be worth around $400,000 dollars.
7 – The Diamond Diadem – $800,000
The George IV State Diadem, officially known today as the Diamond Diadem, is a crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV.
Worn by Queen’s and Queen Consorts while in procession to state coronations and State openings of Parliament, it is featured in paintings, on stamps and currency.
Commissioned in 1820 at a cost of £8,216, the £800 worth of diamonds have never been proven to have been returned to the jewellers.
The crown features a gold and silver frame, measuring 7.5 centimetres tall and 19 centimetres in diameter while it is decorated with 1,333 diamonds weighing a total of 320 carats.
Two strings of pearls run along the base and the diadem has four bouquets of roses, thistles and shamrocks instead of the distinctive fleurs-de-lis.
The diadem has been worn by every queen and queen consort since Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, wore it in 1830.
It is thought to have a value in today’s money of $800,000 dollars.
6 – Mary Modena’s Crown Jewels of State
The State Crown of Mary of Modena is the consort crown made in 1685 for Mary of Modena, queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Originally used by future queen consorts up until the end of the 18th century, and was originally set with 523 small diamonds, 38 large diamonds, and 129 large pearls, all hired diamonds.
Today, the crown is set with artificial crystals and gemstones for display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London while being 8 centimetres tall and weighing 300 grams.
Currently thought to be worth somewhere in the region of $21 million dollars, the gold crown is decorated with a fleurs-de-lis.
5 – St. Edward’s Crown Jewels
Considered to be the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, this crown is named after Saint Edward the Confessor.
Originally a holy relic that was kept at Westminster Abbey, the crown was melted down or sold as part of the abolition of the monarchy in 1649.
The new crown, which was made for Charles II in 1661, is solid gold, 30 centimetres tall and weighs roughly 2.23 kilograms.
Decorated with 444 precious and semi-precious stones, the crown was not used in ceremony for the next 200 years until George V revived the crowning ritual using the crown in 1911.
Thought to be worth $57 million dollars, it is constantly on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
4 – Queen Mary’s Crown
Originally made for Mary of Teck in 1911, the Crown of Queen Mary is a consort crown that was purchased by Mary from Garrard & Co and contains around 2,200 rose-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds.
Originally featuring the 105.6-carat Koh-I-Noor diamond, the 94.4-carat Cullinan III and 63.6-carat Cullinan IV diamond, they were all replaced with crystal models in 1914.
The crown can be worn as a circlet or open crown after the arches were made detachable and Mary wrote the crown this way after the death of her husband, King George V, in 1936.
The crown has not been worn since Queen Mary died in 1953 and is often seen in the Jewel House at the Tower of London and is considered to be worth close to $200 Million Dollars.
3 – Imperial State Crown
One of, if not, the most famous crown of the 20th and 21st century, the Imperial State Crown has existed in various forms since the 15th century.
Made in 1937, the current version is worn by the monarch after a coronation and is used at the State Openings of Parliament.
Adorned with 2,901 precious stones, including the Cullinan II diamond, St Edward’s Sapphire, the Stuart Sapphire, and the Black Prince’s Ruby, this crown was worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation.
With a frame made from gold, silver and platinum, the crown is decorated with 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies.
The original Tudor Crown was broken up by Oliver Cromwell during the Interregnum, and its valuable components were sold for £1,100, while today the State Crown is thought to be worth close to $354 million.
2 – Sovereign’s Sceptre – $525 million
Comprising a gold rod, formed in three sections, the sceptre represents the sovereign’s temporal power and is associated with good governance.
Surmounted by an enamelled heart-shaped structure, it holds the massive weighing 530.2 carat Cullinan I diamond which is known as the Star of Africa.
Decorated with 333 diamonds, 31 rubies, 15 emeralds, 7 sapphires, 6 spinel’s, and 1 composite amethyst, the sceptre is thought to hold a values of close to $525 million dollars when holding all gems.
Made in 1661, the sceptre is part of the coronation regalia and is held by the new sovereign during his or her walk out of Westminster Abbey.
As with the other Crown Jewels and and coronation regalia, the sword of offering can be seen in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
1 – Sword of Offering – $660 million
Officially reflecting a monarch’s role as Head of the British Armed Forces and Defender of the Faith, the Sword of Offering and other swords in the crown jewels are carried before the monarch into Westminster Abbey.
Originally created for the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, it is decorated on both faces with the national emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland.
Also carried before the monarch at State Openings of Parliament, the sword has 1,251 diamonds, 16 rubies, 2 sapphires and 2 turquoises with a Damascus steel blade.
Separately, the swords handle is set with 2,141 diamonds, 12 emeralds and 4 rubies while two diamond lion heads both have ruby eyes.
Originally commissioned by George IV for his 1821 coronation, the sword cost him more than £5,000 from his own pocket, however today, the sword would be worth closer to $660 million dollars.
Of interesting note, the sword actually remained the property of the Royal Family until 1903, when it was transferred to crown ownership and deposited with the Crown Jewels.
The sword and other swords including the Sword of State and Sword of Mercy, have been used at every coronation since 1911.
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