|The Greater George|
Eighteenth Century, English
Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, Amethysts,
Silver and Gold
The Royal Collection
It seems, he should have asked his wife. The missing “Greater George” was found in 1819 upon the death of Queen Charlotte. George III had brought the jewels to Buckingham House for safekeeping—perhaps unbeknownst to his wife. This magnificent garter badge was found in a drawer in the Queen’s bedroom when her possessions were being inventoried for auction.
“The Greater George” is of unknown provenance, but most likely dates to the Eighteenth Century, having been made by an English jeweler. Clearly, the piece has been altered over time. It features a diamond-encrusted figure of St. George which is highlighted by rubies and sapphires. The impressive fleur-de-lis of large, brilliant-cut diamonds at the top is a later addition—added in an attempt to make the large piece a little less cumbersome to wear.
These days, The Greater George is guarded and its owners know exactly where it is.