The Crown Jewels of Britain: An Insider’s Guide

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Duration 01:01:00

University of Arkansas

Tom Paradise is a geosciences professor and the former Director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas. His diverse background includes geosciences, architectural and historic/material preservation, cartography/GIS, and Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African regional studies. Having researched the unique architecture of Petra, Jordan since 1990, he has published more than sixty articles, reports, and chapters on Petra and Wadi Rum and continues to advise the US, UNESCO, and foreign agencies on cultural heritage management and architectural deterioration. Professor Paradise was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Jordan and has taught abroad in Rome, Amman, Venice and Tunis. A documentary consultant for Nova, NatGeo, Discovery, and Smithsonian Channels, his award-winning Nova special, PETRA: Lost City of Stone (2016), is one of PBS’ highest rated specials.


With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, it’s the perfect time to talk about her extensive collection of crown jewels, personal jewelry, and the dazzling pieces handed down to her since the days of her Great-Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria. From the ancient diamond mines of Golconda, India, to the 1867 discovery of South Africa’s magnificent diamonds, we’ll look at the spectacular jewels, necklaces, rivieres, parures, crowns, and brooches loved, worn, inherited, and gifted to Queen Elizabeth. Join professor and gemologist, Thomas Paradise, for a stunning presentation of some of the finest and most dramatic jewels known today.

Professor Tom Paradise has earned degrees in the gemological sciences with the history of jewels and gemstones through the Gemological Association of Great Britain (FGA, Gem-A) and the Gemological Institute of America (GG, GIA). He has conducted appraisals for VIPs, corporations, banks, and national and international agencies since the 1980s.


Recommended Reading:

The Crown Jewels: Tower of London, by Kenneth Mears

The Crown Jewels: Souvenir Guidebook,‎ Historic Royal Palaces publishing UK

The Crown Jewels: The Official Illustrated History, by Anna Keay

The Queen’s Diamonds, by Hugh Roberts, Royal Collection Trust

The Queen’s Jewels: The Personal Collection of Elizabeth II, by Leslie Field




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Linda Sainsbury

A Gem of a presentation!

Very interesting discussion of the Crown Jewels with beautiful pictures. This Professor was very knowledgeable and a great presenter.

2 years ago

Crown Jewels of Britain

Fascinating and informative lecture.

2 years ago

Crown Jewels of Britain

Fascinating lecture and great pictures.

2 years ago
Ira Blackman

Royal Gemstones on Display

Gorgeous presentation. Great seeing these beautiful pieces of jewelry actually being worn. Beautiful photographs throughout. Amazing seeing Queen Elizabeth II at various ages.

1 year ago
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