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By DILIP SONIGARA

POWER

Who are you?

Part of the "Stories of Self-Expression" series by Mohini

One of the strongest human emotions is the feeling of power. Those who experience it become addicted to its influence and what it can achieve. Thus, it is only reasonable that they put their different cards out to maintain that position of authority. Like male chimpanzees compete to be the alpha male of the group by forming strong alliances, showing aggression, or grooming their subordinates, we humans also employ different strategies to reach the top, depending on where we are competing.

In ancient times, kings used to fight battles and capture territory. Today, politicians campaign for votes, or dictators quiet their citizens with military power. In the corporate world, people display a mix of politics, leadership, and performance to reach the top. But these are formal affairs; even in societies, there are informal levels of superiority that command respect and various benefits. Different degree of power comes at each level, with people at the bottom of the economic chain being the most powerless.

But getting to the top is one thing; maintaining that position is another. And for that, the subject of power needs to employ different means to create a clear distinction between them and those under them. In this blog, we'll specifically talk about jewellery as that means to project superiority.

Since ancient civilizations, the fascination with jewellery has remained potent. It has caught the fancy of the fanciest. Some of the most beautiful and elusive jewels are owned by the royal families. They become distinct markers of their identity. British royals were infatuated with jewellery and have owned some precious jewels during their reign. Their diverse royal jewellery collection included crowns, tiaras, necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, swords, diamonds, spoons, ruby, and various other precious items.

Crown jewels form the central part of the British coronation ceremony, which is full of rituals and history. The crown jewels are made with expert craftsmanship and some of the world’s most precious diamonds. This practice is over 1000 years old when the first British coronation occurred in the Anglo Saxon period. King Harold’s coronation was the first at Westminster Abbey, London, in 1066. The crown jewels are kept securely in the Tower of London, where the collection has increased over time. Crown jewels include the famous crowns, banqueting plates, insignia, robes, coronation spoon, royal maces, and precious gems. Some of the famous crown jewels comprise of:

Orb: It is made of gold, 365 diamonds, pearls, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and one large amethyst. It is placed in the right hand of the monarch during the ceremony.

The Armills: These bracelets with rose clasps are placed on the sovereign's wrist to embody sincerity and wisdom. They are made with 22-carat-gold.

Sovereign ring: It is a gold band with octagonal sapphires overlaid with square-cut rubies and surrounded by diamonds. It is placed on the fourth finger of the right hand of the sovereign and represents their marriage to the nation.

St. Edward's Crown: This crown is worn during crowning and is made with 444 precious and semi-precious stones. It is named after the medieval king, Edward the confessor.

These were some crown jewels used during the coronation ceremony and have become a distinct identity of the whole process and royalty. This love for jewellery as a symbol of grandeur is not limited to the British but is seen worldwide. Indian royals have also made rare jewels an insignia of their royalty. Some of those rare jewels include:

- The Ruby Choker of Maharani of Patiala
- The Diamond Crown of Maharaja of Kapurthala Jagatjit Singh
- Kundan Diamond Necklace of Maharaja Prabhu Narayan Singh of Benaras
-The Three-Tier Diamond Necklace of Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda

These are only some mentions of the many royal pieces owned by the royal families of India. Then there are other precious gems like The Marie-Louise Diadem gifted by Napoleon to his bride Empress Marie-Louise, The Henckel Von Donnersmarck Tiara gifted by Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (of a noble German family) to his wife Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara gifted to her by her mother-in-law Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, and many others.

Today jewellery is used by people in different positions to convey a message or show power. Politicians use it. Celebrities flaunt it. Artists create their unique identities with a personal style statement. Michelle Obama wore a fine gold chain spelling out "vote" in spaced letters while addressing the Democratic National Convention to symbolize powerful women who let their voices be heard. Madeleine K. Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, wore brooches and pins to express political intent.

As we can see, jewellery is not just an ornament but a statement. It can be an expression of love, tradition, memory, history, as easily as it can be a statement of power and authority. That's why we all love jewellery.

At Mohini, we carefully craft each piece of jewellery to support whatever expression you're trying to convey. Each piece is made exclusively for you so that the uniqueness of your presence is justified.

Note: This blog is part of the “Stories of self-expression” series, where we talk about the different ways jewellery has facilitated our journey to expressing ourselves. In the next blog, we’ll discuss how jewellery is used as inspiration and for symbolic reasons to convey different messages. To read about how jewellery has helped us express our emotions, read our previous blog: Love 

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