Monday, March 18, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Diamond Diadem, 1820

"The Diamond Diadem"
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A diadem is a type of crown, specifically one that fits around the upper forehead like a headband. The term also refers to a jeweled half-crown which is worn over the forehead. These are more commonly called a tiara.
One of the most famous diadems in the world is “The Diamond Diadem” made in 1820 for British King George IV. Since its creation for George IV’s lavish 1821 coronation, this diadem has been worn exclusively by female royals and is one of the most recognizable pieces of the Queen’s collection of jewelry.  Just take a look at a Royal Mail stamp.  You've definitely seen this piece before.

Designed by master jewelers, Rundell, Bridge and Company, the diadem features 1,333 diamonds, including a four-carat pale yellow brilliant in the center of the front cross. The diamonds, set in gold and accented by pearls for the emblems of the countries in the British Empire: England, Scotland and Ireland. The piece is so well-known, it is even featured on a postage stamp. 

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