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The St. Wenceslas Crown

The back side

The back side of the crown contains the most precious stones – just as on the front side, they are all red except one. Out of a total of 16 precious stones, 13 are red spinels. The only one of a different color is a large cornflower blue sapphire on the headband in the middle of the bottom row of the precious stones. Its upper half is somewhat darker, gradually changing into a steel blue color. It is a very nice smooth natural stone. It was drilled through crosswise four times from the front to the back, which shows that it was originally perhaps used to adorn some other object, perhaps a sword scabbard or a metal headband.

On both sides of this sapphire, there are two groups (right, left) of five small stones creating a cross.

In the middle of the lily, there is a spinel of a rich pink color, a perfectly clear stone with minuscule cracks inside. It was drilled through, as were ten other similar spinels on the crown. According to mineralogist prof. Jan Kašpar, these stones had originally been a part of one piece of jewelry, perhaps a string of spinels. One of them was probably also the spinel of a light raspberry color on the bottom of the lily. The spinel of a vinous red color at the top of the lily was drilled through in a very interesting way – in the shape of the letter Y. The last two spinels – on the right and left petals of the lily – are of a light purple color.

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