14th April, Ipoh, Perak
There have been numerous times when the United Grand Lodge of England has commissioned a jewel for its members in order to commemorate a specific event. Two of the most commonly encountered of these are the Queen Victoria Gold and Diamond Jubilee jewels.
On 13th June 1887 and 14th June 1897 Especial Grand Lodges were held at the Royal Albert Hall, presided over by the Grand Master, HRH the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) calling for Freemasons to present a loyal address to the Queen on the occasions of her 50th and 60th anniversaries as monarch. On both occasions the Grand Master announced that there would be a special jewel commissioned that all masons would be permitted to wear if they were members of a lodge at the time of each celebration. Those masons actually present at the meetings were able to wear a jewel with a bar bearing the date of the meeting, and those who served as stewards there were permitted to wear a double ‘S’ badge on the ribbon.
The Golden Jubilee jewel was designed by Sir Albert Woods, Garter King at Arms of the College of Arms and Grand Director of Ceremonies at Grand Lodge. The Diamond Jubilee jewel was designed by George Kenning and Son, regalia manufacturers. Due to the large number of jewels required, numerous manufacturers were commissioned to make them to the same pattern, leading to a number of slight variations existing. Most were silver gilt with 18ct gold detail and due to the quantity produced large numbers still exist in circulation today.
Golden Jubilee Jewel
Diamond Jubilee Jewel
There were other times that jewels were struck to mark an occasion which were purely masonic affairs, such as the jewels struck to commemorate the Installation of the Prince of Wales as Grand Master in 1875 and the very similar jewel for the installation of the Duke of Connaught as Grand Master in 1901. The former was designed by H. T. Lamb, a jewel and regalia manufacturer of Clerkenwell in London. The standard jewel was silver gilt and gold, but there were 368 solid gold copies for the stewards who officiated at the installation ceremony. The Prince was presented with a jewel set with 62 diamonds.
Prince of Wales Consecration Jewel
Duke of Connaught Consecration Jewel
The Duke of Connaught also features on the jewel for the 200th Anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge on 1917. For the 250th Anniversary a special round jewel was made to be worn of the collars of lodge officers and for the 275th Anniversary both a collar jewel and a medal-style jewel were manufactured.