You could estimate the value of all the gold, silver and platinum or the value of the diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds; however, how would you value the fact that these crowns have been worn by the kings and queens of England? The preceding quote was spoken by the curator of the Crown Jewels, when answering one of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Crown Jewels, which pertains to their exact monetary value.
Traditionally, the crown jewels were private property of the sovereign of England. In the years prior to 1660, some of the jewels were kept at the Tower, especially when the sovereign took residence at the Tower. However, in 1660, the Tower became the permanent home of the jewels. The Jewel House is located in Waterloo Block. There are two floors in the Jewel House. On the ground floor, one can view the banqueting and church plate, the swords of state, maces, trumpets, orders of chivalry, coronation robes and other decorations. On the basement floor, one can view the crowns and coronation regalia.
Many crowns are located in the Jewel House. One of the crowns located there is the Imperial Crown of India. The crown was created in 1911 for King George V. There are 6,004 stones in the crown. Most of the jewels are diamonds. The jewels were sent by the Maharajahs of India.
Another crown located in the Jewel House is the crown of Queen Elizabeth. The crown of Queen Elizabeth is the only crown made of platinum. The crown was created for her 1937 coronation. The Queen Mother also wore this crown at the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1955, however, when worn to this coronation, the arches were removed.
Additionally, St. Edward s crown is of interest because the lower half was made from three crowns that were destroyed during a fire. The crown is very heavy, weighing in at an ounce less than 5 pounds. The crown is made of gold and is set with semi- precious stones.
The Imperial State Crown is the most well-known of all of the Crown Jewels. The crown was made in 1837 and is set with 3,737 stones, of which, 2,800 are diamonds. Thus, the crown is famous for its beautiful gemstones.
Has anyone ever attempted to steal the Crown Jewels? is another common question addressed frequently to the Towers curator. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Thomas Blood was an Irishman who fought in the English war. In 1663, Thomas, along with some of his friends, made an attempt to capture the Duke of Ormonde. This attempt failed. However, seven years later, Blood tried to capture the Duke again. At this time, the Duke was in London and Blood was successful in his attempt. Eventually, Blood was forced to release the Duke and had to dream up a new plot.
Thus, one day in May, at seven oclock in the morning, Blood dressed as a parson. He was accompanied by three well-dressed men, one of these men was said to be Blood s nephew. On that morning, they visited the Martin Tower to see the Crown Jewels. Blood had visited a few days earlier; however, a woman had accompanied him on that visit. Blood told the guards that she was his wife. While they were there, the woman pretended to be ill and was led upstairs to be attended to, in the living quarters of Talbert Edwards, who had just been given the position of Master of the Jewel House.
On the second visit, Blood brought a gift to Edwards wife, as a thank you for attending to his so-called wife. When the group entered the Jewel Chamber, they hit Edwards with a mallet. They also bound and gagged him. As Edwards was being held captive, Blood grabbed the king s crown. He attempted to flatten it, by striking it with a mallet, in order to make it small enough to fit in his coat pocket. Meanwhile, two of Bloods accomplices tried to cut the scepter in half, so that they could fit it in their pockets as well. In addition, Bloods so-called nephew placed the orb in the slack of his breeches.
Luckily, by chance, Edwards son happened to visit during this robbery attempt. He became suspicious the minute he entered the Jewel House and did not see his father. Thus, he rushed upstairs. There, he saw his father, lying on the floor, with blood pouring from his head. Blood and his crew attempted to flee. Three of the four men were eventually caught. The jewels were returned immediately, however, they were badly damaged.
Even damaged, some people believe that the Crown Jewels are invaluable due to their historical significance. However, others, who may not place much importance on historical and sentimental value, believe that any mar, scratch or other such damage to the Crown Jewels lessens their monetary value. It appears that the curator of the Crown Jewels will forever be struggling to answer the question of the Crown Jewels monetary value because the exact value is somewhat subjective based on individual opinion. How do you value the Crown Jewels?