St. Edward’s Crown, worn briefly by the new British monarch during their coronation ceremony, is the crown jewel of all the Crown Jewels—the crowns, robes, scepters, and other ceremonial items that have been housed in the Tower of London for centuries.
Weighing nearly five pounds, the opulent headgear comprises gold, velvet, ermine, and a plethora of glittering gemstones. And for the first 300 years of the crown's existence, those gemstones were just loaners, temporarily set in the crown for the coronation and returned immediately afterward. That changed in 1911, when the monarchy invested in a permanent collection of gems for the crown before the coronation of George V, Elizabeth II’s grandfather.
With sapphires, topaz, amethysts, and more, you can safely assume that this bejeweled hat would be pretty pricey to recreate for your Halloween costume. But when it comes to putting an actual price on the item, it’s not as simple as it seems. First, because the Crown Jewels are considered too historically important to ascribe a value to, there are no official figures attributed to them individually—the worth of the entire collection, St. Edward’s Crown included, is estimated to be more than $3.5 billion. Second, a professional gem valuer would need to remove and inspect each gem from the crown in order to properly evaluate their worth.
Having said that, there are other resources that we can use to form an educated guess. With the help of Dr. Roger Harding’s book The Crown Jewels, the International Gem Society’s gem size guide, the catalog of the Queen’s fabric supplier, and several other reference materials, CashNetUSA’s blog SavingSpot virtually deconstructed St. Edward’s Crown and estimated the value of every single part to come up with a ballpark price for the genuinely priceless piece.
Based on their calculations, the crown costs a respectable $4,519,709. The most expensive components are its seven sapphires, which total $2,142,000, followed by 26 tourmaline stones, which came in at $345,000. The 22-karat gold, responsible for most of the crown’s weight, only costs about $87,000. Wondering if there’s any single element of St. Edward’s Crown that you could afford? Surprisingly, yes—the vibrant, lush velvet is worth only $3, and that characteristically regal ermine ring would set you back just $34.