Thursday, January 17, 2013

British Royal Jewels: The Queen's Eternal Dove Brooch

In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, The British Jewellers’ Association gifted a platinum, gold and diamond brooch. Although now popularly known as the BJA Brooch, its proper name is “The Eternal Dove”.
The Eternal Dove Brooch
The Eternal Dove Brooch
“The Eternal Dove” was inspired by one of the Crown Jewels – Sceptre with the Dove, which was originally created for the Coronation of Charles II in 1661 (new Crown Jewels had to be created back then because the English Revolution had not been kind to the previous ones: most of them were broken up, lost or looted). 

Like the sceptre, the brooch symbolises the spiritual authority of the Monarchy. Unlike the dove in the sceptre, however, this one is not perched, but in flight.
The original design of the brooch (left) and the finished result (right)
The dove encompasses four flowers – the rose, the daffodil, the thistle and the shamrock - chosen to represent the four countries of the United Kingdom. The flowers were made in Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English gold which has been donated by local prospectors. Natural coloured diamonds have been used to highlight these flowers. Entwined holly leaves in the brooch symbolise unity, while the dove stands for peace.

The design for the brooch was chosen by a panel of experts following an open UK based competition; the winner was Ivonna Poplanska, a student at The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

The Queen appears to have been pleased with the gift for the first official outing of the brooch took place mare weeks after it was officially presented to Her Majesty on 5th of December; she wore it on Christmas Day. Given the message of the jewel – peace and unity – it was certainly an appropriate timing.
The Queen and Ivonna Poplanska wearing the Eternal Dove Brooch 
This was one piece I was quite certain I would dislike; while the message and the overall design were nice, I thought it wouldn't really look good when actually worn. Besides, when it comes to jewellery, I'm all for heavy guns: the more (insert stone) the better. 

I was wrong though; it looked great against the bright blue of the Queen’s outfit as she wore it in Sandringham. Admittedly you couldn't really see all the stones and it looked like a very simple silver piece but I, for one, would love to see The Eternal Dove from time to time. Who knows? Maybe it will become the Queen’s Christmas brooch.  

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