Crowning Wisdom: Diamond Diadem

The George IV Diadem, sometimes called the Diamond Diadem, is a well-known item from the British regalia. Its lack of arches give it a medieval look, though its diamond fillings betray its later provenance. The late Queen wore it on stamps and on coins, notably the 1985-1989 and 2015 strikes. Although it was crafted for King George IV, only female royals have subsequently worn it, notably Victoria and Elizabeth. He paid £8,216 back in 1820, in addition to a fee for the hire of its diamonds (320 carats’ worth, or 1,333 individual stones) of £800, which is nearer to £60k in today’s currency. Curiously, the diamonds were never returned, and there is no evidence that he formally purchased them. Why jewellers Rundell & Bridge did not sue for return, I cannot say.

We differentiate between ownership and rental. Most Englishmen prefer to own a home rather than rent it, for obvious and usually sound reasons. Yet the end result is the same- you cannot keep it. Rundell & Bridge could not keep their diamonds, and Georgie Porgie could not keep his diadem, his pudding or his pie. Everything we have will be taken from us. Only that which Christ bestows are we able to keep; only that which Christ gives us is worth keeping.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7