KEPT safe by armed guards, the Crown Jewels are a collection of precious ceremonial objects.
Most famous is the purple Imperial State Crown, worn by the Queen for the Opening of Parliament and worth an unimaginable sum of money.
How much are the Crown Jewels worth?
Many think the Crown Jewels refer to a few crowns in possession of the royal family.
The Crown Jewels is actually a collection of 140 ceremonial objects boasting a spectacular 23,578 precious gemstones.
It includes the Imperial State Crown, sceptres, orbs, swords, rings, and other regalia worn by the monarchy.
Only three people are allowed to touch the Imperial State Crown – the monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Crown Jeweller.
The Crown Jewels include the sovereign's coronation regalia, the largest set of regalia in the world and the only working set in Europe.
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Part of the wider Royal Collection, the jewels represent over 800 years of royal history.
The crown jewels are not insured against loss and are unlikely to ever be sold.
They are officially priceless but estimated to be worth from £1billion up to £5billion.
How much is the Imperial State Crown worth?
The most iconic piece in the Crown Jewels collection is the Imperial State Crown.
For many of the Queen's formal occasions, such as the Opening of Parliament, she wears her striking Imperial State Crown for proceedings.
Although in 2021 and 2019, Her Majesty wore the State Diadem (another Crown Jewel), while the heavy crown was carried beside her.
The purple velvet cap is set within a platinum, silver and gold frame, decorated with four fleurs-de-lis and four crosses pattée.
The sparkling headpiece is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and hundreds of pearls.
Some of these stones are so impressive they are known in their own right – these are St Edward's Sapphire, the Black Prince Ruby, the Cullinan II diamond and the Stuart Sapphire.
She previously said: “You can’t look down to read the speech, you have to take the speech up.
“Because if you did, your neck would break and it would fall off."
There is no official record of how much the Imperial State Crown is worth by itself.
Who owns the Crown Jewels?
The Crown Jewels are still in use by the royal family during ceremonies, like during their coronation.
Unlike other royal assets, the Crown Jewels are not owned by the state.
They are instead the right of the Crown, meaning the monarch owns them by right.
While the Queen owns them no, they will become the property of Prince Charles upon his accession and all future monarchs after him.
Their ownership passes from one Monarch to the next and they are maintained by the Crown Jeweller, who is appointed by the Sovereign.
The Crown Jeweller is a member of the Royal Household and cleans the precious objects at the Tower of London every January after visiting hours are over.
Some of the older more fragile items, like the Coronation Spoon, are cleaned by experts at the British Museum.
Where are the Crown Jewels kept?
Although the jewels are owned by the Queen, she does not keep them in Buckingham Palace or any other residence.
The Crown Jewels are kept safe and sound at the Tower of London and you can even visit them.
Protected by armed guards, the Jewel House stores and displays the collection between June and September each year.
Historically, the Crown Jewels have not always been so heavily guarded.
During World War II, George VI ordered the priceless gems to be hidden in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
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What was unusual is that they were hidden in a biscuit tin – this was in case the Nazis invaded.
The secret was so closely guarded, that even the Queen didn't know until recently.
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