Sunday, July 3, 2016

Crown of the Andes

Crown of the Andes - La Corona de los Andes. The Crown of the Andes is a gold crown set with 453 emeralds, estimated to weigh 1,521 cts, the principal stone weighs 45 cts.

In the 1580s, smallpox epidemics raged through Colombia. The city of Popayan, near the source of the Cauca River, was a prosperous cultural center in the path of the plague. The people of the city prayed for deliverance from the death-dealing sickness and were spared. In thanksgiving, the citizens donated gold and emeralds for a crown to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

It was completed and placed in 1599 on the statue of the Madonna (Queen of Heaven) at the Cathedral at Popayan.

The Crown of the Andes is exhibited in Bromberg's jewelry store, Alabama, 1958.
In the early 1900s, it was decided that the crown should be sold to build an urgently needed orphanage, hospital, and home for the aged.

In 1963, it was sold at an auction. Its present owner is Oscar Heyman & Bros. Inc., New York City, USA