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Ornaments used at the coronation of a monarch and the formal ensigns of monarchy worn or carried on state occasions, as well as collections of personal jewelry consolidated by European sovereigns as valuable assets of their royal houses and the offices they filled. Most familiar are those of Britain, which include St. Edward's Crown, the Royal Sceptre (with the Star of Africa diamond), the Sceptre of Equity and Mercy, and the Sword of Offering, as well as the coronation ring, anointing spoon, ampulla (flask), and coronation bracelets. Many collections of royal jewelry have been assembled, confiscated, and dispersed over the centuries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on crown jewels, visit Britannica.com.