AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 54, Number 6
from Joyce Speed, Show Chairman
June is getting close. Check out the AFMS website, Arlington website <AGMC.org> for preregistration forms or call me at 214-337-9446 or email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> for a packet. I have mailed packets to many officers and committee members of all the Federations. If I missed you, I apologize. Please send in your preregistration ASAP to help us with our paperwork. I hope many of you plan to bring either competitive or non-competitive displays.
We are currently working on several additional seminars to those listed in the packet. We have confirmation of a display from the Smithsonian. We are also working on more special displays.
2001 pins are also on sale for $5.00 each. I can mail up to 3 pins for $.55. These pins are all numbered and will be a collectors item. There were only 2001 pins made and when they are gone there will be no more!
We are also offering a 1/2 table or a full table to promote your club. We need to know if you would like a space ASAP. The same goes for each of the Federations. Izzie has requested a time for a Cracker Barrel. We are also working on a night at Billy Bob's in Ft. Worth. Sign up for that will be the week of the show. Some may want to attend the horse races at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie about 7 miles from the show. The Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex, in which Arlington is in the middle, is loaded with things to do; so there is something for everyone to do. Six Flags over Texas and Hurricane Harbor are great places for the kids to spend a day or two. The selected hotels all offer discount tickets.
Please make note when making reservations that you are with the AFMS Convention and Show to be assured of the quoted prices.
We are excited about hosting the 2001 AFMS/SCFMS Convention and Show. SEE YOU THERE!
by Isabella Bums, President
Show time! Show Time!
June 11 to 17 should be "high lighted your calendar. There will be so much in Arlington where you can learn, have fun, see great exhibits, and get information about your American Federation. There will be programs, demonstrators, and exhibits to further your knowledge of mineral, fossils, and lapidary arts. There will be seminars for Editors, Beginning Web Site Masters, Uniformed Rules Committee Meeting, and of course our AFMS Meeting where policies are set by Directors from your Federation and AFMS Officers (one from each Federation), but you can speak to any issue that you wish.
This year we are going back to a AFMS Cracker Barrel on Tuesday evening at the Arlington Gem & Mineral Club House. An extra treat- we get to see their club house. I checked Webster to be sure that we all understood the term cracker barrel - "the large barrel of soda crackers formerly found in general stores (Colloq..) designating or typical of the informal discussions on all subjects by persons gathered at a country store. Thus our philosophy is for gatherings of all AFMS Members to discuss topics related to our organization. Anyone can present their ideas or come and listen to the discussion. I bet you will want to make your comments known. A few topics, that we might "kick around" follows:
Should we have more seminars, study sessions, and/or programs? Our Editors, a valuable asset to our organization, hold annual seminars at conventions. This year we are discussing having a seminar for "Beginning Web Site Masters"; of course everyone would be welcome. This is another communication avenue that benefits us. The information on our AFMS Web Site is directed to help our members and the public learn about our organization. We continually change and up date our plans. A seminar on "making a video or slide program" might help Marge Collins.
Does our Public Relations Committee need some direction? I often hear that age old question "what does the Federation do for us?" No one should need to ask that, but it happens in all organizations. We just have to tell people over and over again what we do. CFMS formed a Committee about a year ago to work on public relations and publicity. That energetic group has many ideas and are putting them into action.
People often ask " Do you have an AFMS Museum? Why not? Members are disappointed and unhappy about areas that have been closed due to construction, government regulations, private enterprise, and extinction of the collecting materials. Perhaps a museum where minerals, fossils, rocks, petrified wood, lapidary and metal work could be exhibited, is needed. It could also have a study program, such as, Wildacres, William Holland, Zzyzx, .... Dream about it! Dreams do come true!.
Are we doing all that we can to keep collecting areas open? Some one may have something for us to chew on about this issue.
Do our AFMS Scholarships accomplish what we hope? Shirley Leeson has found some positive answers to that question. There may be others who would like to share information on this.
Come join us for this evening of sharing of ideas. Since this will be held at the Arlington Gem & Mineral Society Club House, we do not have a time limit. We could have an all night jam session, but please do plan to limit your presentation to five minute or less. We may even bring crackers, but a barrel is too big to bring from LA. Join us for a great CRACKER-BARREL!
by Steve Weinberger, President-Elect
With the advent of spring, we usher in a new year for most rockhounds. After being cooped up all winter, the warm weather enables most of us to go outside for field trips and more collecting. This also begins the club show season which tapers off again for most of the country in the fall.
When visiting other clubs' shows, be sure to wear your club badge for it shows your club's support for the other society. It also promotes reciprocity.
While many of us rockhounds consider spring to be a beginning, it also reminds us that we are all getting older. Whether or not the study indicating that people in our hobby live longer is true or not, I think that we all agree that keeping busy and learning new things go a long way toward helping us stay alert and healthy.
Why not take this opportunity of a new season to learn a new aspect of the hobby? Learn to cut a stone, identify a mineral, date a fossil (be sure you have your spouse's permission first), visit a new location, prepare a talk that you can present to your club, organize your collection, visit a show new to you, or even more important - teach someone knowledge and skills that you have.
We don't know how our life's work will be judged in time, but wouldn't it be nice to say that we did all we could?
by Mel Albright AFMS Safety Chair
Ever stub a toe while wandering through a rock field. Have you ever tried to pick up a rock and dropped it on your toes? Have you ever had a rock fall or roll onto your toes? How about a friend with heavy boots who clomps on your feet? Had a rock roll off the workbench and hit your toes? Dropped a tool that hit your toes?
No fun is it?
Did you know that there are safety shoes available? What are they? They are ordinary looking dress or work shoes or dress or work boots that have a steel guard built into their toe. This guard protects your toes from bangs large and small. It is cup shaped and covers the front of your shoes from side to side and 3-4 inches back. With them on, you can drop kick a small rock over to a friend with no injury or pain. The only ways to tell that the guard is there are to bang on the toe of the shoe with something heavy, test them with a magnet, or go through airport security.
How do you get safety shoes or boots? There are several ways. First let me say they are sized exactly like regular shoes or boots. If you wear a 9B normally, you'll wear a 9B safety shoe. They'll feel normal, but heavier. If you're around a larger city, you will find an industrial safety company there. They'll have the shoes. If you have some industry nearby, their safety people can direct you to a source. If you search on the Internet with the words "safety shoes", you will find a number of sources for ordering them.
Cost? About the same as ordinary shoes or slightly more. One Internet company has a very wide variety of styles for $85 to $100.
By the way, if your work involves heavy stuff and you do not wear safety shoes, now is the time. They're a lot cheaper than medical care.
by Kathy Miller
This year I have been fortunate in serving the AFMS in three different ways.
Top Hat number one is my term as 2nd Vice-President to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Since our hobby is the third most popular hobby in the world, the importance of accepting a national office is to be taken seriously and responsibly. As I work under the leadership of AFMS President Izzie Bums, I am comfortable in the knowledge that AFMS Committee work is being done efficiently, education in the field of earth science through scholarships are diligently pursued and the foundation of the AFMS is stronger than ever.
Field Hat number two is my position of a ALAA Director. Since my husband Bob and I enjoy collecting just for the sheer joy of being out in the field we feel the goal of American Lands Access to maintain and ensure access to existing and potential collecting sites is one of utmost importance to us. Most of our friends and relatives are collectors or in some way related to our hobby as those of you reading this newsletter. So in essence ALAA effects (and is necessary), for all of us. JOIN ALAA, encourage others to join, ALAA needs your support.
Hard Hat number three is my hat of action with the American Federation. Being Co-Chairman with Bob of the AFMS Juniors Program has taken us into quite a few areas such as promoting and communicating with the Future Rockhounds of America. These clubs and their sponsors are so important to our hobby, they are our future! We appreciate all the good P.R. we have had from AFMS Editor Carolyn Weinberger and AFMS Webmaster Marty Hart, through these medias we have had new FRA clubs join. It has also been interesting and fun submitting junior related articles for AFMS clubs.
We have a Junior booth at the national show/conventions. Working at the show is great - we love doing that, but accumulating the free supplies is where the hard hat comes in. Here is where a plea for help enters ... If anyone is planning on attending the AFMS convention in Arlington, TX, and has some rocks, fossils or minerals to share with youngsters, PLEASE bring them to our booth. Last year in Moab, UT, by Sunday, we ran out of all material (and we had brought a lot.) We had some disappointed youngsters that day, we would hate to see that happen again.
Working closely with our committee, the regional Federation Junior Chairs has been a positive experience. We communicate with them often, they have been very supportive and work hard in maintaining a good communication with the juniors in their areas. We are proud of them.
I wear my three hats with pride.
from Bonnie Glismann
We are pleased to share with you each month the individuals selected as AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year by their club. Has your club or society made a decision yet for 2001? It's not hard to do...just select and individual or couple that you wish to recognize; then tell your regional ACROY chairman what this person has done in 50 words or less. The information will appear in a forthcoming issue of the AFMS Newsletter.
The American Fossil Federation has nominated Bill Heim for the honor of AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year. Bill is one of the founding members of the AFF (established 1989) and currently acts in the position of Fossil Show Coordinator. He is responsible for organizing and coordination fossil displays at events such as the Aurora Fossil Festival in Aurora, NC.and has displayed fossils at the National Aquarium in Washington, DC. Although he is not a professional paleontologist, Bill is renowned for his knowledge of fossil sharks, and was honored to appear in the BBC's Shark Week program in 1999 and 2000. He reaches the general public by publishing articles about fossil sharks on the website, www.elasmo.com. Bill assists club members with specimen identification and has served as the speaker at various club meetings. He has sought out new fossil collecting sites which have yielded significant specimens.
South Central Federation:
The DeRidder Gem and Mineral Society of Leesville, LA nominate Abe and Donna Starkey as their 200l AFMS Club Rockhound of the year. They are most famous for their faceting skills especially the beautiful Texas Star Topaz. They are always willing to help others and have brought joy to our gem shows, meetings and round-ups. The DeRitter Club will honor the couple at their awards dinner on December 11, 2001 where they will be made lifetime members.
Submitted by Warner Abel, Sr.,
The Rock and Arrowhead Club of Klamath Falls, Oregon has selected Goldie Peterson as our 200l Rockhound of the Year. Since retirement from school teaching in 1979, Goldie lectures to students in the Kalmath County School District as a culmination of their study on, minerals and fossil. Goldie demonstrates that every mineral has its own crystal structure, displaying the three different types of rocks and petrified wood. She takes many pieces of jewelry and artwork to show the students made from semiprecious stones. Goldie likes to see the sparkle in the student's eyes as she speaks about Gems and Minerals. The club is honored to have Goldie as a member and the community is blessed with her involvement with the school children.
Submitted by Marvin Stump
Marysville Rock and Gem Club
He joined the club in June of sixty-seven
Lloyd's held many office position
He has been friend, mentor and teacher
Composed and submitted by Dick Calkins,
The Conejo Gem & Mineral Club presents Bob Stultz, a member for 28 years. Bob has served as Federation Director, President, and various club chairmanships. He is now retired after 19 years as Operational Supervisor of 250 employees in a retail business. He has actively served the CFMS organization in many capacities as well. He is currently CFMS lst V. P. for year 2000, having finished as 2nd V.P./Editor. And Bob gets a special thanks for compiling the new insurance information for the CFMS organization. He has been CFMS Show Chairman and consultant for many years and 6 years on the Museum Committee. Bob has made many contributions to the hobby in general and to the Conejo Club and CFMS in particular.
Submitted by Stuart Chalfant, President
The Islanders Gem & Mineral Society presents Ed Burch. Ed is a tireless worker within our club, and can be depended upon to assist wherever needed. Ed is right there assisting so no one goes home with a Leaverite. He helps find the best material available. Now that you have your rock material, what is the best way to process it, just ask Ed. Whatever anyone has done, Ed will find a way to easily improve its sheen. Ed has become the club expert at cutting, cabbing and polishing the Jade gifts from the seas that we find on our beaches. On a recent field trip, Ed came along with four flats of completed cabs he had processed with the material he picked up at these very beaches. We were all stunned at the treasures under our feet. Ed is our current Chairman of Education. He freely shares his knowledge with all club members. A case of Ed's cabs was displayed at the most recent Del Mar Fair. The theme of the Fair was Gold. The cabs in Ed's case were full of Gold and Platinum inclusions. The case received the Award of Merit for the best Show Case on Gold.
Submitted by Dixie Showalter, President
Fossils for Fun presents Joy Hutchins for her years of service to the club and for her years of tireless effort toward the promoting of the rockhound hobby. Joy has been a member for more years than she might want us to reveal. She has the distinction of almost perfect attendance at our educational meetings year after year. Joy has held every off ice FFF has except Bulletin Editor. And she has done that for other local rockhound clubs. She continues to serve as our donations table chairperson, and just about anything else we ask of her. For many years Joy has put in displays at the Rio Linda library about fossils and rockhounding. She has also given talks at the local schools. Recently, our club found itself, with only a three day notice, without a meeting place. Joy immediately volunteered her house. And that's not the first time over the years that she's done this. Joy is the type of club member we'd like to clone. Fossils For Fun salutes her and invites the rest of you to acknowledge her value.
Submitted by Debbie Bunn, President
The Carmichael Gem & Mineral Society presents John Schoemaker for his contributions toward the education of both new & experienced rockhounds. John is well known in the Sacramento area and has frequently demonstrated sphere making and flint knapping at the local shows. This past year he was involved in demonstrating these skills at two of our local children's museums. John has been featured in Rock and Gem magazine as one of the "Craftsman of the Month". He described how to combine an obsidian knife blade with a tumbled petrified wood handle to make a beautiful knife. John is also well known for his love of gadgetry. He makes many rockhound "machine things". He also has quite a workshop with the "latest technology". He is always inviting people to come over and try out some new piece of machinery. Besides sharing his lapidary skills, John is an intrepid field trip leader. Every year he leads a trip to the Black Rock Desert. He also leads or assists with many other field trips through out the year. He is always willing to share his knowledge of where to find the good stuff and what to do with it after you get it home. He is truly a "gem of a rockhound".
Submitted by Debbie Bunn
The Pasadena Lapidary Society presents George & Mona Snyder as their Rockhound of the Year 2000. George & Mona joined the society in the middle 50's and have been fully involved with club activities until, recently. George has been President twice, Show Chair three times, Field Trip leader numerous times and Scout Master for a local scout troop for a number of years. Mona has been his right hand and staunch supporter throughout the years. Not content to become a coach potato, George, for the fifth year will head up the sterling silver workshop group for the CFMS Earth Science Studies scheduled for the week of April 9- 16, 2000 at Zzyzx.
Submitted by Vern Cliffe
The Woodland Hills Rock Chippers presents Kelly Hickman. She has been a member since 1994 and has been a 'natural resource' from the getgo. Kelly has been Program Chair, Holiday Chair, has taken various positions in Gem Fair (our annual show in combination with other clubs), and is one of our most talented teachers of lapidary and the associated arts. This past year she spearheaded our first annual independent and very successful show. Kelly, our very own Chromite Queen, her dynamic, her energy, her enthusiasm, has been an inspiration to everyone in our club. We are honored by the opportunity to submit her name for Member Recognition for the Year 2000.
Submitted by Mary Backus, Federation Director,
The Peninsula Gem & Geology Society, presents Jerry Newcomer. Jerry joined the club in 1951, the second year of the club. He has been very active during these years as Field Trip Chair, Secretary, President, and Vice President the last five years. He always is there helping with the show, helping sort rocks for the club, entering mineral displays, created a granite display board, and assisting new officers. Jerry most important memories are finding his wife in the club and attending a field trip in the 1950's to a gold mine where they traveled into the mine via ore carts, and ore buckets and bought a sample rock using specific gravity in water to determine the quantity of gold in each piece. He has been a great asset to our club these many years.
Submitted by Erma Bandel
Kern County Mineral Society presents Ismael Sanchez for recognition. He deserves it. In a short period of time, as Mineral Mite (our Junior Club) Advisor, he has increased the membership from 6 to approximately 40 active youngsters. He gives willing of his time for field trips, instruction and displaying as well as being available for all club functions. A definite asset.
Submitted by Cal Clason, Club member
The Del Air Rockhound Club has selected Ethel and Len Hellenthal for recognition. Ethel and Len joined the club in 1983 and have been active participants ever since. Currently Len keeps the lapidary shop equipment in good order and conducts classes. Ethel serves as the treasurer. Both are dedicated members who deserve recognition. They are privileged to have this happy couple as active members of the club.
Submitted by Gerald Minear
Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society, presents Marjorie and Calvin Koch. Both have been members for years and demonstrated they are conscientious, loyal and productive members. Marjorie has been membership chair for years, organizes the country store at the show and the following yard sale, and contributes display cases at the show. Calvin (Cal) was very active as well. He was our premier facetor and created many beautiful gemstones, wining ribbons at our show, other club shows, and the county fair. He was Sergeant-at-arms for our meetings. His displays are well known. He repaired items donated to our country store. He collected and sold aluminum cans, scrap metal and plastic and donated the funds to our club. Both Cal and Marge devoted time and articles to outside club activities, such as the senior craft shop in Ventura. We mourn Cal's recent passing; he is and will be sorely missed.
Submitted by K.S. Hara, President,
Boulder Gem Club, presents Grant and Toni Ewers. They have been faithful and energetic members of the club since the 1970's. They have held many offices; President, Program Director, Field Trip Chair, newsletter Editor and Sunshine. Many offices held more than once. They continue as Federation Directors since 1989. In addition, they have served the club at the City's Parks & Recreation Dept., and been available at the many school presentations given over the years. Clubs can't be successful without members such as these.
Submitted by Sue McCullough, President
Santa Monica Gemological Society presents Carol Barnett. Carol has gone the extra mile, literally and figuratively. She has been a member for over 30 years, serving as Vice President, Membership chair, newsletter Editor, Field Trip Coordinator, and Security Chair for show. We always know if she volunteers for the job it will be done properly. She is gifted with needle and thread and donated beautiful items to the club. She is an enthusiastic rock collector, with an interest in minerals. a member and Vice President of Westside Mineralogists. Currently residing in Willits, she continues as editor, writing informatively, printing it and sending it down to Santa Monica. She joined the Willits club and as membership chair boosted membership from 7 to 47. Her daughter and grand-daughter are members of the Santa Monica club.
Submitted by Anita Wacker
The Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Society presents Cal Keator. He is known in the CFMS and AFMS for his many years of wide ranging service. Cal comes regularly to monthly meetings, about 1 00 miles round trip, to make a special presentation of a lesson or an anecdote for the junior members, followed by appropriate gifts of rocks, minerals, or tools to each one of them. He takes an active part in the annual show, exhibiting one or more displays and welcoming visitors throughout the show. At the annual picnic everyone looks forward to hot corn on the cob cooked by Cal in the huge special cooking pot he brings. He says he may have to slow down a bit soon and cut down on night driving now that he is 91. He would still be a very special member.
Submitted by Marion Fowler
Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club, presents Stan Wright. Stan has been a member for many years. He has taught wire wrapping at our clubhouse to anyone who wanted to learn. He also helps Al Whitney with the Tuesday Faceting group and has won many awards. He also demonstrates at our annual show. Thanks Stan!
Submitted by Betty Egger, President,
Orange Belt Mineralogical Society, Inc. chooses Evelyn Stallings. Evelyn became a member in 1974 and has held every chairmanship and nearly every office for our club. There have been times when we needed a place to meet and Evelyn would just donate her motorhome. Generous of heart, she's always there to lend a helping hand. For years she donated so much to our club, staying silent when the curious asked "where did it come from?" After an absence to pursue a nursing education and graduating with honors, Evelyn returned to regular attendance and the lapidary hobby she loves. Her Impact on O.B.M.S. has been deeply felt, new blood has been transfused into an old club that had grown tired and placid. Because of her, new enthusiasm has been generated for which we members are truly grateful. Thank you Evelyn Stallings, our choice for "Rockhound of the Year 2000."
Submitted by Cindy Wright, Beverly Jenkins, and Pat Carrell.
The Palos Verdes Gem & Mineral Society presents Doyl & Gena Sartain as their "Rockhounds of the Year". Members since 1978, this couple have worked steadily on club activities. Doyl was Field Trip Chair for many years, and more recently Hospitality chair. Gena has held many offices, including bulletin editor for the past ten years. Our thanks to these two!
Submitted by Robert Beachler, President
The Sacramento Mineral Society presents Barbara & Jim Foskett , long time club members. Barbara gives unstintingly of her time tracking our memberships and creating small ceremonies to warmly welcome in new members. She has created hundreds, if not thousands, of items for fair giveaways and shares her knowledge with all who ask - in wire wrapping, stone painting, critter making, and much more. She also travels long distances to make sure the Club is represented at Federation meetings, driving 8 hours to the Riverside meeting this summer. Jim, is another stalwart member, who Saturday after Saturday, shows up to teach cabochon and jewelry making to our members, proper use of the saw, and polishing techniques. He oversees the Club equipment to keep it all running and in good shape. He can always be counted on to lend a hand in every Club activity. He always creates beautiful display of his work, including his spheres and famous "rock" post-office banks. We could not function smoothly without the help these two people give to our SMS Club.
Submitted by Paul Wood, President
The Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society, presents Marlow "Hawkeye" & Ophelia Hicks. The Hicks have served our clubs in many positions for over 25 years. Marlow has been Librarian for many years. Ophelia has been Historian, Secretary and a demonstrator in carving and beading at many shows. Ophelia has written numerous articles and has had two published in Rock and Gem Magazine. Together, they have given a number of slide programs, done various duties at our annual show, and active in field trips. Marlow recently had bypass heart surgery but still expended a lot of energy setting up our last show. Ophelia is also Editor and Marlow publisher of the Chiasto Hi Lites, which is the publication of Ye Old Timers Mineral Club. We are very fortunate to have this active and informative couple involved in our club and thank them both for their great humor, teaching abilities and support to better our club.
Submitted by Sharon Neuhauser, Secretary
from Marty Hart, AFMS Webmaster
A few months back, an email discussion group was created for club webmasters and those considering starting a website for their club. Recently an email invitation was sent to the list of websites that are on the following URL that had an email contact:
Unfortunately many of the sites do not have email contact information. I am trying to contact every webmaster that has not yet joined our discussion group. We already have almost 60 members in the Discussion Group and would like for every AFMS affiliated club to be represented in the group.
We share a great communications resource, the Internet. My goal with the discussion group is to utilize this resource to our advantage and become a great resource of information and communications. Not only are current webmasters encouraged to join this discussion group, but people wishing to become a webmaster for their club have also been invited to join. It does not matter what your experience level is, we need you to join us, and I hope that you benefit from being a member. This is a free service and you are not required to join, or even maintain a membership once you join. We have used this service for quite some time, not only with this list, but other lists, and have found it to be a great service.
To join the group, send an email message to
and be sure to reply to the confirmation message that you receive to accept the membership. More information is available on the following page:
Once you become a member, we would enjoy hearing a little introduction about you and what you are doing. List members can also view the archives of messages that have been sent since the list was started.
If you have any questions or problems, feel free to contact me.
by Betty Jones
From earliest Saxon times, the Crown Jewels have been the hallmark of the high state and circumstance of the Kings and Queens of England.
Through the centuries of Plantagenet and Tudor rule, until the defeat and execution of Charles I by Cromwell, the Crown Jewels remained the symbol of the majesty and authority of the Sovereign. As prince succeeded prince to the throne, each added more to the collection, which grew both in historical and intrinsic value.
The Royal Treasury has often been used and despoiled by English Kings for their own purposes. It is said that when Prince Charles - later King Charles I - went to woo the Infanta of Spain, he took with him about £6OO,OOO worth of treasure. He also used much of the treasure to finance a fleet to wage war against Spain, and later, more of the treasure was broken up or pawned by Charles to finance his war against Cromwell. Following his defeat, the Puritans managed to dispose of the remainder. Items which would be impossible to value for their historical associations alone, were broken up, the jewels sold for what they would fetch, and the gold melted down and sold at 70 schillings an ounce (20 shillings to a pound).
Luckily, some of the jewels and other pieces survived the vandalism and were later incorporated in the Regalia made for the coronation of Charles II at the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
There have been many additions to the Regalia since this time and today it would be impossible to estimate the value placed up on it, each piece being worth a King's ransom.
The Imperial State Crown
Although originally made for Queen Victoria in 1838, many of the gems are of very ancient origin. Mounted at the centre of the cross above this crown is the sapphire worn by Edward the Confessor at his coronation in 1042 - the oldest jewel in the treasure of England. Lower is the splendid red spinel known as the "Black Prince's Ruby," presented by Peter the Great to Edward, Prince of Wales, the Black Prince. Below the spinel, the large diamond is the second largest of the stones cut from the Cullinan diamond (317 carats)
King George's Crown
Originally known as the Imperial Crown of India, it was made for King George's coronation as Emperor of India in Delhi in 1912
The State Crown of Queen Mary, consort of George V.
The largest diamond of this crown is the Koh-i-nor (mountain of light), a very beautiful Indian diamond, slightly tinged with green. It was the most coveted diamond in history and the cause of pillage, torture and assassination. In 1850, the East India Company offered it to Queen Victoria. The two other large diamonds are Cullinan III, of 94 carats and Cullinan IV, of 63 1/2 carats.
St. Edward's Crown
is the traditional Crown of England and is the one actually used for the coronation of the Sovereign. Made in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II, it closely follows the design of the original destroyed by the Commonwealth. It is made of gold and set with diamonds, pearls and colored gems.
Queen Elizabeth's Crown
This is a crown of great beauty, and was made for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on the occasion of the coronation of George VI.
The Sceptre and Orbs
Among the sceptres is the magnificent Sovereign's Sceptre. Wonderfully jewelled it has, set in its head, the largest of the Cullinan diamonds. This sceptre is carried in the left hand of the Sovereign at the coronation. The Orb is placed in the Sovereign's right hand. It is never placed in any hand but the King or Queen Regnant.
The Spurs and Bracelets
Made for Charles II, they copy closely the originals. The spurs are the traditional emblems of Knighthood, and the bracelets denote sincerity.
The maces which are carried in procession before the Sovereign by the Sergeant at Arms, derive from the large two-handed weapons used by mounted soldiers in earlier times.
St Edward's Staff
The original staff is said to have belonged to Edward the Confessor and was reputed to have embodied a piece of the true Cross.
The Ampulla and Spoon
By far the oldest pieces in the collection, they are thought to date from the 6th or 7th century, and are probably Byzantine in origin. The anointing oil used in the coronation ceremony is contained in the Ampulla and is poured into the anointing Spoon through the beak of the eagle.
There are five major swords in the Regalia. The largest is the Sword of State, the quillion of which is formed by an arrangement of the lion and the unicorn, the Supporters of the Royal Arms. The Jewelled Sword of State is considered to be the most expensive sword in the world. It is a mass of jewels in all colors and when made for George IV, cost more than £6000. The other three swords are similar in design to each other and consist of The Sword of Justice to the Spirituality, The sword of Justice to the Temporality, and a curious sword called "Curtana,' or the Sword of Mercy. The points of this last sword are cut off square to indicate the quality of mercy.
As you probably know, the Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower of London and are guarded by the Yeomen of the Guard.
Reference.- Gems and Jewels translated from the French by Henri-Jean Schubnel. Orbis Publishing Limited, London. 1971
Last Revised on
October 17, 2011