The Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels, particularly appropriate at this moment of time when Great Britain is celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The refurbished displays present the Crown Jewels in a totally new way, highlighting the intrigue of diamonds and the way that they symbolize the British Monarchy and its role in the country's history.
Just consider that the Cullinan I diamond, the Great Star of Africa, added to the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross in 1910, is the largest colourless cut diamond in the world, at 530.2 carats. But this is just one of a whole series of remarkable pieces. The Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is set with 2,800 diamonds including the Koh-i-Nur (Mountain of Light), which reached Britain in 1850.
From 1 June 2012, you can see more diamonds at the Tower of London, in a show in the Martin Tower. This exhibition by Steinmetz Diamonds highlights some new super-stones, such as the Steinmetz Forevermark Jubilee Pink, a cushion-cut, pink-brown diamond weighing 35.6 carats. It is marked with the inscription '19522012,' commemorating the year in which the Queen came to the throne, and the 60th anniversary of her reign.
The display documents the production of the stone, a 179 carat rough diamond from the Saxendrift Mine in South Africa, to the Steinmetz Diamonds factory in Johannesburg, where master cutters spend six months crafting the gem.
Steinmetz is not new to the area of rare and exceptional diamonds. It also crafted the 203 carat De Beers Millennium Star (above), and the 59-carat fancy vivid pink diamond Steinmetz Pink (below).
You can book visits to the Tower of London online (follow this link).
Adults £20.90, £18 online
The Tower of London is open every day, from March to October Tues-Sat 9 a.m.-5.30 p.m., Sun and Mon 10 a.m.-5.30 p.m.; and from November to February, Tues-Sat 9 a.m.-4.30 p.m., Sun and Mon 10 a.m.-4.30 p.m.