While it is challenging to provide an exact ranking of the most valuable pieces of jewelry from medieval times, here are ten notable examples that hold great historical and artistic significance:
This diamond, discovered in 1905, is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. It was eventually cut into several magnificent pieces, including the Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, which is set in the British Crown Jewels.
With a history dating back to medieval times, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond has passed through the hands of various rulers. It currently resides in the Tower of London and is set in the Queen Mother’s Crown.
This crown, dating from the 14th century, is one of the most important symbols of Czech royalty. It is adorned with precious gemstones and is a part of the Czech Crown Jewels.
This crown, created in the 10th century, is associated with the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It is adorned with gemstones and precious metals and is currently housed in the Imperial Treasury in Vienna.
The Golden Rose is a papal honor that dates back to medieval times. It is a gold rose set with precious gemstones and was traditionally bestowed by the Pope upon individuals or organizations for their exceptional contributions to the Catholic Church.
This necklace, created in the late 16th century, is a magnificent piece of jewelry that commemorates the Spanish Armada. It features gold, pearls, and gemstones and is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance jewelry.
This large, deep red spinel gemstone is set in the Imperial State Crown of England. It has a long history and is associated with Edward, Prince of Wales (known as the Black Prince) during the 14th century.
This crown, crafted in the 16th century, is one of the few surviving medieval crowns in Europe. It is made of gold and adorned with pearls, gemstones, and enamel work.
The Three Brothers Ring is an ornate, gold ring from the 14th century. It features three gemstones, including a sapphire, an emerald, and a ruby, and is an outstanding example of medieval jewelry craftsmanship.
Created in the 8th century, this intricately designed gold and garnet cross is associated with Archbishop Egbert of York. It is considered one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon metalwork.
“Medieval jewelry was not merely decorative; it was a symbol of power, status, and spirituality. The intricate craftsmanship and the use of precious materials showcased the wealth and influence of the wearer.”E. A. Jones, author of “Medieval Jewelry: A Historical Perspective”
These pieces of jewelry not only possess extraordinary material value but also hold immense historical and cultural significance. They represent the exquisite craftsmanship and the opulence of medieval times.
“Medieval jewelry embodied the essence of the era, reflecting the religious fervor, courtly romance, and the craftsmanship of the period. It served as a form of personal adornment, a display of wealth, and a means of communication.”Jean Deneuville, historian and author of “Medieval Jewellery in Europe: A Historical Overview”