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Assorted regalia from the Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels are the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world

Sir Robert Viner, 1st Baronet (1631-88)

The Sovereign's Orb 1661

Gold, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethyst, diamonds, pearls, enamel | 27.5 cm | RCIN 31718

Jewel House, Jewel House

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The Orb is a representation of the sovereign's power.  It symbolises the Christian world with its cross mounted on a globe, and the bands of jewels dividing it up into three sections represent the three continents known in medieval times.

It is formed of a hollow gold sphere, mounted with clusters of emeralds, rubies and sapphires surrounded by rose-cut diamonds, and single rows of pearls.  A cross on the top is set with with rose-cut diamonds, with a sapphire in the centre on one side and an emerald on the other, and with pearls at the angles and at the end of each arm.

During the coronation service, the Orb is placed in the right hand of the monarch as they are invested with the symbols of sovereignty.  It is then placed on the altar before the moment of crowning.