London Exhibit Paves British History in Gold

Between Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her diamond jubilee and the upcoming Olympics, there’s a lot going on in London this summer. Here’s one more reason to pay a visit.

A new exhibition at London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall titled,“Gold: Power and Allure, 4,500 Years of Gold Treasures from Across Britain,” will open on June 1. It looks at the role this precious metal has played throughout the ages in Britain. The project showcases more than 400 gold items ranging in date from as early as 2,500 BC to the present day. All the exhibits have been loaned from distinguished institutions and private collections, both in the UK and abroad, and many have rarely been seen in public before.

The exhibition includes:

* Golden Royalty: Pieces featured in the exhibition have been loaned from Royal Collections, including a gold ring taken from the deceased finger of Queen Elizabeth I; and The Chaplet of George, Prince of Wales, created in 1901-1902. At George's own coronation, the Chaplet was worn by his son, Edward who, when King, took the chaplet with him in exile in France.

* Olympic Gold Medals: Two 24K gold medals from the 1908 London Olympics, one of only four modern Olympic games to award sold gold medals.

* The exhibit also looks to the future of gold jewelry and artistry with two pieces commissioned by the World Gold Council, a sponsor of the exhibit.

The exhibition runs till July 28. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.

The Goldsmiths’ Hall—at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street, northeast of St. Paul’s Cathedral—is the home of the Goldsmiths’ Company, one of the “Twelve Great Livery Companies” of the City of London. It received its first royal charter in 1327 to regulate the craft or trade of the goldsmith. It is responsible for testing gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

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