- May 2, 2023
Irrespective of whether you are a royalist, or not, the King’s Coronation is a chance to see some impressive jewels. So, in this article, I’ll be exploring the culture, history and symbolism of jewellery.
The Coronation Regalia last left the Tower of London 70 years ago and includes St Edward’s Crown, the Sovereign’s Spectre, Orb and Spoon. They are a traditional part of the crowning of a new king or queen.
The first Coronation crown was created in medieval times for King Edward the Confessor, but this was melted in the 1600s. A replacement was created for Charles II and it combines semi-precious stones in a gold frame with a velvet cap and ermine band. When this is placed on King Charles III’s head, it will officially mark his role as King.
This is not the only crown in the collection. Another is the Imperial Crown of India, which is gold laminated and contains 6,100 diamonds, along with other precious gems. This was worn by King George V’s inauguration ceremony in Delhi, following which he commented on how heavy it was to wear.
The Royal family may have an impressive collection, but they are not alone! Don’t we all love an occasion to adorn ourselves with shining, sparkling jewellery?
Our desire for jewellery is nothing new. Rings, bracelets, buckles and pendants are found in archaeological digs across the globe. So we know that even ancient civilisations made the effort to shape metals, stones, shells and other materials into decorative items to wear.
In addition to enhancing our beauty, jewellery has long been a symbol of status and wealth. It has been a worthy investment that could enhance your social standing.
What’s more, in times when women had few possessions to their name, a family heirloom such as a brooch or necklace had significance. It offered an accepted means of passing on a form of financial security to daughters or granddaughters.
Fortunately, jewellery isn’t just for the elite. Whilst some pieces receive eye-watering valuations, there are options for all budgets and tastes. This enables us to have our own collection from which to choose the perfect item to match an outfit or occasion.
Jewellery has great significance in Indian culture and there are a variety of different, renowned styles. Although a range of materials are used, gold is the dominant metal. This is shaped into decorative designs and often embellished with gems, pearls, lacquer and enamel.
Some popular styles of Indian jewellery include:
Jali – jewellery created from gold mesh, filigree and lattice patterns to produce intricate designs
Polki – a distinctive style featuring rough, uncut diamonds set into metal
Meenakari – enamel work and metal are combined to create brightly coloured jewellery
Pachchikam – a very traditional style with raw gemstones and coloured glass set in metal
Kundan – originating in Rajasthan, this style features pure gold and gemstones
Some items of jewellery are worn every day, however, you get to wear and see all the finest pieces on important occasions, including festivals and weddings.
In the UK, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are the most popular items of jewellery, however, in India, you will see decorative items from head to toe!
Hair accessories include a Tika chain with a pendant that sits in the centre of the wearer’s forehead and a Veni Braid, which enhances a long hair plait. Indian women often wear a nose ring, called a Nath, which can be linked to earrings with a delicate chain. Meanwhile, feet are beautified with Paizeb anklets and toe rings.
If seeing the Crown Jewels inspires you to expand the pieces in your collection, pop into the Holy Cow Home boutique in Aylesbury to view the affordable items we have in stock.
If you are looking for bespoke jewellery, I’d recommend exploring the Buckinghamshire Craft Guild makers. They include Kate Wilkinson who helps me to create eye-catching window displays at Holy Cow Home!
Finally, if you are interested in historic jewellery, why not visit Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury? Their collection includes pieces from Roman and Anglo Saxon times, as well as the Dorton Pendant. This two-sided carved pendant dates back to around 1450 and would have been commissioned and worn as a sign of religious devotion.