As the UK commemorates the first death anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8 last year, one British Indian entrepreneur has found a particularly glittering way to mark the sombre occasion.
‘The Crown’ coin developed by the UK-headquartered East India Company over the course of the year includes 6,426 responsibly sourced diamonds and 11 24-carat gold coins dedicated to the memory of Britain’s longest-serving monarch. The manufacturing process brought together skilled artisans and experts from India, the UK, Singapore, Germany, and Sri Lanka, as a reflection of the breadth of the lifestyle luxury brand created by Sanjiv Mehta in 2010 and the wider Commonwealth.
Mehta said: "In producing ‘The Crown’, we've worked tirelessly to create a tribute to the late Queen that captures the essence of her virtues and her unwavering commitment to leadership.
"The Crown is an extraordinary testament to an extraordinary life. It’s also a product of the Commonwealth – which is something we know the late Queen cared about deeply. By bringing together the finest materials and the finest craftsmanship, we’ve created a unique and precious product that embodies the very best of the Commonwealth and that pays homage to the Queen’s enduring legacy."
Described as an unparalleled masterpiece, combining master craftmanship and rare materials, the estimated $23 million creation was meticulously handcrafted with the diamonds painstakingly cut and individually placed to fit seamlessly within the design. Two distinct settings were used to mirror the flowing fabric of the British Union Jack.
A total of 3.6kg of gold was used in the production of ‘The Crown’ and its 6,426 diamonds have all been inspected and graded for cut, clarity, colour and carat by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
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Six of the 10 coins set within what is now one of the world’s most valuable mega coins feature images of the famous “six virtues” – victory, truth, justice, charity, courage & constancy – from Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace in London and widely acknowledged as the guiding principles set by Queen Victoria and followed by Queen Elizabeth II. The remaining four coins feature official portraits of the late Queen by renowned portrait artists Mary Gillick, Arnold Machin, Raphael Maklouf, and Ian Rank-Broadley. A portrait by Jody Clark is used on the reverse side of the centre-piece coin.
The result is a truly unique design that captures the aesthetic essence of the Commonwealth while honouring the East India Company's deep engagement with these places. The company, associated with colonialism in India, is one of the world’s oldest from its founding in 1600 to its dissolution in 1874.
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In 2005, rhe East India Company was bought by the Mumbai-born businessman and entrepreneur Sanjiv Mehta to re-positioned in 2010 as one of the world’s most desirable lifestyle brands with a portfolio of products spanning fine foods, jewellery, rare objects and coins, drinks, and homeware. The company says it is committed to fostering remarkable connections by showcasing the finest craftmanship, ingredients and innovations from across the globe.
*Info: The East India Company