By Amy Brenan, director of Heirlooms Jewellers, 21 South Street, Wareham
The pomp and splendour of the Coronation of King Charles will showcase the most magnificent jewellery held in the Royal Collection.
The Coronation Regalia, as they are known, include familiar pieces such as the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross and the Sovereign’s Orb, which we will see King Charles wearing and carrying following the ceremony.
Made in 1937 for the Coronation of King George V, the Imperial State Crown that will be used for this Coronation features a magnificent 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 269 pearls, and is the one we probably recognise the most from the Coronation of the late Queen, and which is also worn for the annual State Opening of Parliament.
The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, although not technically jewellery, dates back to 1661 and is valued at £57 million. It is set with the Cullinan I diamond, also known as the Star of Africa, which weighs a whopping 530.2 carats. This was cut from the Cullinan diamond, found in 1905, and which is the largest diamond ever found. It was set in the Sceptre in 1910.
Representing the Sovereign’s power, the Orb, again made in 1661 for the Coronation of Charles II, is a globe of gold encircled by sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethysts, diamonds, pearls and enamel topped by a cross symbolising the Christian world.
Queen Camilla will be coronated at the same time as the King with Queen Mary’s crown dating from 1911 with the original, very large Koh-i-noor diamond removed, but to which the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds from the late Queen’s collection have been added. This truly historic occasion is set to be a feast for the eyes.