The Ruby Jubilee of 1992 - The 'Great Event'?
The Ruby Jubilee of 1992 has been overshadowed by the other landmarks, but was always intended to be a lower-key affair, with just a handful of celebratory events planned, including a 'Great Event' at Earls Court in October featuring Dame Vera Lynn, Darcey Bussell and Sir Cliff Richard.
For many reasons, not least a fire at Windsor Castle, it was not a year to savour, and at a lunch at London's Guildhall, the Queen looked back on it as an 'Annus Horribilis', or horrible year.
In the photograph above, taken in Ottawa on a tour of Canada, Her Majesty is wearing her beloved pearls, along with a diamond star brooch.
The Victorians had a fascination with celestial themes, and stars began to appear in jewellery from the 1860s onwards. The example below, one of a matched pair, dates from around 1890, and is made in silver and gold, with old cut diamonds to the fore.
As anniversaries go, particularly in marriages, the ruby wedding is particularly significant, and is often marked by the purchasing of a piece of ruby jewellery.
Rubies, like sapphires, are members of the Corundum family, very durable and can be worn for a lifetime. The lustrous, deep red stones are meant to symbolise passion, but also are associated with wealth and prosperity!
One interesting phenomenon is that both sapphires and rubies, when cut en cabochon (a rounded convex shape), can exhibit a six pointed star. The effect, Asterism, is created when light reflects off tiny rutile fibres within the stone. This can clearly be seen on our Art Deco example here...
Next time:- The Golden Jubilee of 2002