Day School: Famous Jewels and Their Place in History

Ref: C2224727

1. A detailed outline of the jewels of the United Kingdom will be given, the separate Crown Jewels of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and how certain stones have played a part both in the unity and the division of the United Kingdom 2. To show how ownership has been often disputed, especially considering the issue of State and private property; and to cover the history of the most famous jewels in other states, especially those of Russia, the House of Savoy in Italy, Portugal, the Habsburgs, Sweden and Denmark

Course aim

1. To give an overall view of the precious stones themselves: their origin, cutting, design and provenance 2. To demonstrate how the possession of these jewels has contributed to, and sometimes changed the course of, history

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe some famous iconic jewels and discuss aspects of their history
  • Explain the importance of cutting and design in the history of jewels
  • Discuss the origin of the stones, i.e. which country or mine they came from
  • Assess the importance of royal and aristocratic jewels in determining status and the display of splendour
  • Explain that certain iconic jewels actually in some way represent states or nations, or a part of their national psyche

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Students will be encouraged possibly to bring examples of their own family jewellery, or to share stories with the class concerning their own experience of royal jewels

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • It is always helpful to have a notebook and pen/pencil ready. Some may have a sketchpad, but this is not necessary for all.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There are a number of books available from libraries, etc. on certain aspects of the jewels, e.g. Crown Jewels, and also some of the most iconic jewels, such as the Koh-i--Noor.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Comparing and evaluating own personal jewellery, and membership of the Society of Jewellery Historians are other possible options.

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: Famous Jewels and Their Place in History


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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