Crown Jewels of Westarctica
The Crown Jewels of Westarctica are regalia and artifacts that represent the Crown and the nation of Westarctica. The Crown Jewels are the property of the Crown of Westarctica and therefore belong to its people. A such, pieces may not be sold or otherwise disposed of without the permission of the entire Royal Council and the majority of the Hereditary Nobility.
All 26 precious and semi-precious stones as well as all other artifacts in the Crown Jewels are real: no fakes, colored glass, or artificial pieces are included in the collection unless explicitly noted (i.e. one piece of cubic zirconia and the colored glass in the Crown of Sarnoff). Due to the value of the Crown Jewels, the entire collection is rarely displayed at the same time and the pieces have only been photographed as a complete set on one occasion. The majority of the jewels are stored in a safe deposit box at a bank in Beverly Hills, while the ceremonial pieces, such as the seals and sword, are kept in a locked trunk.
Included as part of the Crown Jewels is the Royal Collection, a collection of all stamps and coins that have ever been created by the government of Westarctica. In cases where the collection is lacking particular pieces, it is the responsibility of the Grand Duke to track down and acquire any missing pieces and pay for the expense out of his own pocket.
Crown of Sarnoff
The centerpiece of the Crown Jewels is the Crown of Sarnoff, a large brass crown with colored glass ornamentation that was created for Prince-Consort Dinny when he was made Marquis of Sarnoff in 2015.
The Consular Crown
The first crown created for a monarch of Westarctica was the Consular Crown. It was made of solid 14 karat gold and weighed exactly 58 grams. The design was meant to evoke the laurel wreath of the Roman Imperial Crown in the style worn by the Roman Emperors. It was melted down on 18 April 2005, along with two white gold rings, and sold to a gold dealer.
The Langer Ruby
The most valuable item in the Crown Jewels is the Langer Ruby, a 177ct round cut man-made ruby that was given to Grand Duke Travis by Jon-Lawrence Langer, the Duke of Moulton-Berlin, as a gift in 2005.
The Ruby was the source of a debate in 2006 after the abdication of Grand Duke Travis. After a falling out between the members of the Grand Ducal Cabinet, the Duke of Moulton-Berlin chose to leave the government, but wished to retain his title of nobility as well as the title he had bestowed upon his son. There was concern that if the Duke were stripped of his titles, he might have a valid reason to demand the return of the ruby.
Eventually, Travis McHenry emerged from his retirement and confirmed that titles issued under any regime are considered valid in perpetuity unless the holder is specifically disbarred for unbecoming conduct. The Duke of Moulton-Berlin kept his titles and Westarctica kept the ruby.
The Erebus Rock
The Erebus Rock is a piece of anorthoclase phonolite, an igneous rock, that was ejected from Mount Erebus on Ross Island in Antarctica. The rock contains tiny fissures with dull gray-green prismatic euhedral crystals inside. These crystals formed as a result of the hot lava cooling rapidly in the subfreezing Antarctic temperatures. The Erebus Rock is considered a sacred relic and is only permitted to be touched under certain conditions (and even then, under close supervision).
It is stored in a custom glass and pewter case that permits viewing without physical contact.
How the Erebus Rock was obtained by the Crown is a closely-guarded secret due to the complex international laws regarding the removal of mineral specimens from the Antarctic continent. However, the Grand Duke got the idea to seek out the Erebus Rock after meeting Carolyn Yagjian of the Ambulatory Free States of Obsidia, a micronation based on two pieces of portable volcanic rock.
Other precious and semi-precious gemstones
- 3 Sapphires (7.5ct total)
- 1 Moldavite (5.66ct)
- 2 Marquise cut Garnet (3ct total)
- 1 Tanzanite (1ct)
- 8 Rubies
- 2 Oval cut (3ct)
- 4 Heart cut (2.5ct each)
- 1 Round cut (3ct)
- 2 Canary diamonds (.18ct each)
- 1 Cubic zirconia (2.5ct)
- 8 diamonds (.2ct total)
There are four seals in the Crown Jewels.
Great Seal of Westarctica
The Great Seal of Westarctica is a sterling silver seal that was created in 2004 under the direction of the Grand Duchess Cathryn as a gift for Grand Duke Travis. The arms on the seal are the arms of the McHenry Family, but curiously, not the arms historically used by Travis McHenry's ancestors in Northern Ireland. The arms on the Great Seal of Westarctica show a falcon, while the historical arms of the McHenry-O'Cahans from Dunseverick contained three pelicans in a similar style to the arms of the Scottish Clan Henry.
The Great Seal of Westarctica is used to seal Letters Patent in wax. With very few exceptions, every single member of the Peerage of Westarctica was granted their title under this seal.
Prior to the creation of the Privy Seal on 20 May 2019, the Great Seal was known simply as "The Seal of Westarctica," and was used to seal all documents, decrees, and appointments requiring a wax seal. After the creation of the Privy Seal, the Great Seal of Westarctica was sent to the Ellsworth King of Arms, who was subsequently granted the title "Keeper of the Seal." However, this was short-lived and in August 2019, the Great Seal was transferred to the Baron of Bastanchury, who, in his capacity as Minister of Commerce, became the new Keeper of the Seal.
The Seal was stolen from the Minister sometime between December 8 and December 15 of 2020. It has never been recovered. His failure to report the theft in a timely matter led to the Minister's summary retirement from all governmental offices and duties.
On 20 May 2019, Grand Duke Travis ordered the creation of a second seal that would be used by the Grand Duke when sealing Proclamations of Titleage, Investitures in Orders of Chivalry, Courtesy Titles, and military appointments.
The Privy Seal bears the historical arms of the McHenry-O'Cahans from Dunseverick showing three pelicans.
Seal of the Grand Duke
The Seal of the Grand Duke is a self-inking stamp of blue ink that is used by the Grand Duke in the course of his daily duties. It can be used in a variety of ways, but is most frequently found beside the signature of the Grand Duke in written correspondence, or on the outside of packages that are sent to citizens of Westarctica. The presence of the seal indicates the Grand Duke's personal approval of the contents of the letter or parcel.
Different Grand Dukes have used different seals since 2004 when they were first created. However, all utilized blue ink and all contained the word "Westarctica" on the seal.
Seal of Calsahara
The Seal of Calsahara is made of green jade and was purchased in Los Angeles' Chinatown in 2014 when the government of Calshara underwent a drastic change. The new Dictator for Life chose a seal that had the Chinese character for "Excellence" to signify his new style of "His Excellency." The seal went from being an item specifically for the Dictator to something used for sealing documents on behalf of the entire nation.
When the Westarctican Royal Guards liberated Calsahara in 2017, finding the seal was a top priority. The liberators found the seal in a crack in back of the old rundown Hooverville and soon used it to legitimize the Article of Eternal Union, which made Calsahara a colony of Westarctica. The seal is primarily used by the Captain-General of Calsahara to stamp certificates of Manorial Rights for the Colonial Estates.
The ink of the stamp is red.
At one time, there were two swords in the Crown Jewels, however, neither has survived to the modern era:
- The Sword of Martial Valor - a Spanish-style rapier which was donated to an art project and never seen again.
- The Austerlitz Sword - a replica of the sword carried by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. It was used as the ceremonial sword for the Noble Order of the Sword, but it was of substandard quality and eventually fell apart.
The Plantagenet Dagger
The Plantagenet Dagger was originally made as a prop for Grand Duke Travis when he was filming the movie Richard and Anne, a re-telling of Shakespeare's play Richard III that focused exclusively on the relationship between Richard III and Lady Anne.
In the film, Travis portrayed the villainous Richard and his wife, Cathryn portrayed Lady Anne. During a scene where Richard is attempting to woo Anne, he kneels at her feet and asks her to kill him with the dagger. When she refuses, he offers to kill himself instead. As the dagger had to be held against his throat several times, Travis had it specially dulled down so it could be safely handled at close range without risk of injury.
Following the loss of Westarctica's other two swords, the dagger was christened "The Plantagenet Dagger" (Richard III was the last in the line of Plantagenet Kings of England) and began to be used in investitures in Westarctica's Orders of Chivalry. When knighting leaders of foreign nations, the sword is not used because foreign leaders do not bow before the Grand Duke. However, citizens of Westarctica and foreign diplomats are invited to kneel to receive the traditional dubbing with the dagger.
Gallery of swords
The Claimant Letter
- Main article: Claimant Letter
One of three archival copies of the Claimant Letter is kept as part of the Royal Collection and is displayed along with the rest of the Crown Jewels on special occasions. The archival copy of the letter was printed using the same printer and the same special watermarked paper as the nine original claimant letters that were sent when Travis McHenry claimed Marie Byrd Land as the Achaean Territory of Antarctica.