Diamonds for merit


A temporary exhibition is set to open in February at the Tallinn Museum of Orders of Knighthood. It will focus on orders’ insignia decorated with precious stones. 

In the 18th century, it was common for kings and rulers to order diamond-studded stars and badges of orders of knighthood intended to be worn at special occasions to match their diamond buttons, tie-pins, clasps, and shoe-buckles. Such unique insignia were also on occasion presented as a sign of special friendship or favour or to mark a significant event. In the early 19th century, many monarchs introduced the practice of presenting insignia with diamonds as a special distinction to an earlier received award. In countries like Russia and Germany, with several orders of merit, these diamond studded badges became a separate grade before receiving the next higher order in rank.

Beautiful masterpieces made by the world’s best jewellers, these stars and badges shine today as brightly as the day they were awarded.