The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom are undoubtedly among the most revered and valuable treasures in the world.
Symbolizing the power and heritage of the British monarchy, these exquisite jewels are safeguarded within a highly secure and heavily guarded location in London.
What Are The Crown Jewels?
The Crown Jewels refer to a remarkable collection of ceremonial regalia, including crowns, scepters, orbs, swords, and other precious artifacts, that are associated with the British monarchy.
These jewels hold great symbolic and historical significance, representing the power, authority, and heritage of the reigning monarch.
The collection includes various iconic pieces, some of which are used during coronation ceremonies and other important royal events.
The Crown Jewels are crafted with exceptional craftsmanship, featuring an array of stunning gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
Among the most renowned items in the collection are:
- Imperial State Crown:
Worn by the reigning monarch during the State Opening of Parliament, this crown is encrusted with over 2,800 diamonds, including the famous Cullinan II diamond. It also features other precious gemstones, such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.
- St. Edward’s Crown:
Used in coronation ceremonies, this crown is made of solid gold and set with gemstones, including amethysts, sapphires, and tourmalines. It is named after St. Edward the Confessor, who was the last Anglo-Saxon king to be crowned with it.
This elaborate scepter is topped with the Cullinan I diamond, also known as the Great Star of Africa, which is the largest clear-cut diamond in the world. The scepter represents the monarch’s authority and is used during the coronation ceremony.
The Orb is a symbolic representation of the monarch’s role as the ruler of the world. It is topped with a cross and adorned with precious gemstones, including diamonds and amethysts. The sovereign holds the Orb during the coronation ceremony.
- Sword of State:
This ceremonial sword symbolizes the sovereign’s role as the defender of the faith and the nation. It features elaborate engravings and is usually carried in processions by the Lord Mayor of London.
Where Are The Crown Jewels Kept In London?
The legendary Tower of London, situated on the banks of the River Thames, is where the Crown Jewels have found their home for centuries.
Originally built as a fortress in 1066 by William the Conqueror, the Tower has served various purposes throughout its storied history, including as a royal residence, treasury, and even a prison.
- The Jewel House
Within the Tower complex lies the Jewel House, a purpose-built repository that has been responsible for safeguarding the Crown Jewels since 1967.
This state-of-the-art facility replaced the older Martin Tower, which had housed the jewels for over a century.
The Jewel House serves as a sanctuary of opulence, showcasing the dazzling regalia that has adorned British monarchs throughout the ages.
Visitors to the Tower of London have the opportunity to witness the splendor of the Crown Jewels firsthand, as they are on display in all their resplendent glory.
Given the immense value and historical significance of the Crown Jewels, security measures at the Tower of London are of paramount importance.
The fortress is protected by multiple layers of security, including armed guards, state-of-the-art surveillance systems, and cutting-edge technology.
One of the most notable security measures is the famous Yeomen Warders, commonly known as Beefeaters.
These ceremonial guardians, distinguished by their distinctive red and gold uniforms, have been tasked with protecting the Tower since the early 16th century. Their role in safeguarding the Crown Jewels is of utmost importance.
Furthermore, the Jewel House is equipped with advanced security systems, including reinforced glass displays, motion detectors, and sophisticated alarms.
The security protocols are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the highest level of protection for these priceless treasures.
How Much Are The Crown Jewels Worth?
The Crown Jewels in the Tower of London hold an incalculable historical and cultural value, making it difficult to assign a monetary worth to them.
Many of the jewels within the collection are considered priceless due to their historical significance and unique nature.
Additionally, the collection includes some of the world’s most famous diamonds, such as the Cullinan I (Great Star of Africa) and the Koh-i-Noor, which are highly valued.
However, the Crown Jewels are not privately owned and are considered part of the royal regalia held in trust for the nation. As such, they are not available for sale or valuation on the open market.
Their primary value lies in their symbolism and their role in royal ceremonies and traditions.
However, some experts have estimated that the Crown Jewels could be worth billions of pounds.
Who Is Allowed To Touch The Crown Jewels?
Only three people are allowed to touch the Crown Jewels: the current monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the crown jeweler.
If you are interested in learning more about the Crown Jewels, you can visit the Tower of London. The Jewel House is open to the public seven days a week.