The Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown was originally made for Queen Victoria in 1838. Many of the gems in this beautiful crown are of very ancient origin, whilst others count their age by centuries or even by decades. The weight of the crown is 39 oz. It consists of a circlet of open-work in silver, bearing in the front the second largest portion of the Star of Africa (the Cullinan diamond), and on the reverse side the great sapphire from the crown of Charles II. The remainder of the rim is filled in with rich jewel clusters, having alternately sapphires and emeralds in their centres, enclosed in ornamental borders thickly set with diamonds.
The crosses patée are set with brilliants and have each an emerald in the centre, except that which is in the front of the crown. This contains the Black Prince's ruby, the most remarkable jewel belonging to the Regalia. From each of the crosses patée, the upper corners of which have each a large pearl upon them, rises an arch of silver worked into a design of oak-leaves and acorns closely encrusted with diamonds.
From the four points of intersection of the arches at the top of the crown depend large egg-shaped pearls, which, according to the Tower traditions, were once the earrings of Queen Elizabeth I. The mound is ornamented with brilliant diamonds, and the fillet which encircles it, and the arch which crosses over it, are both ornamented with one line of large rose-cut diamonds. The cross patée at the top has in the centre a large sapphire of magnificent colour which is said to have come out of the ring of Edward the Confessor.
Not counting the Black Prince's ruby, or the Stuart and Edward the Confessor sapphires, the Imperial State Crown contains four rubies, eleven emeralds, sixteen sapphires, two hundred and seventy seven pearls, and two thousand seven hundred and eighty-three diamonds.
More Articles on the British Monarchy