Queen Elizabeth II sat on the British throne for over 70 years — a truly groundbreaking achievement. During that time, there is very little that the longest-serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom didn't learn about wearing a crown, both literally and figuratively. Yet you may be surprised to know that Her Majesty wasn't enamored with every aspect of that most important of royal accessories.
But what a magnificent crown it is. The royal headpiece is adorned with enough precious jewels to make a person gasp: approaching 3,000 diamonds to start, not to mention the larger specimen on the front. There are also 17 sapphires and 11 emeralds, along with approximately 270 pearls. This is an entire jewelry shop in one single item.
Priceless In All Respects
As you would imagine, the crown – officially known as the Imperial State Crown – is almost priceless in terms of its significance. Indeed, there is actually no official financial value attributable to the piece. Yet the Cullinan II diamond, which adorns the front of the crown, is itself said to be worth well over $500m alone.
The history behind the Queen’s crown is also, as is to be expected, impressive. It was originally modeled on the example worn by Queen Victoria – the current monarch’s great-great-grandmother – in the 19th century. The piece as it is seen today was commissioned for the coronation of Her Majesty’s father – George VI – in 1937.
One Piece Of The Puzzle
And while the Imperial State Crown is an item of immense importance, it is itself part of a larger collection: the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Currently consisting of an impressive array of objects – more than 140 to be precise – this body of finery has been added to throughout the years. More than 23,500 precious gems alone are to be found across the entirety of the collection itself, which is said to be worth somewhere in the region of $4 billion.