I Need Your Help making a Stuart Crystals Wikipedia Page!

July 2, 2012

Help Wanted!

I was doing research the other day on Stuart Crystal Jewelry and was stunned that there wasn’t a Wikipedia page for it. I attempted to create one, but according to Wikipedia, I do not have enough credible sources to back up my article. I am pasting a copy of what I wrote (along with the few sources I found) in the hopes that someone else here might be able to either expand on what I wrote, add sources, or perhaps make a fresh version of the article. I think that Stuart crystals are historically important and if Morris the Cat can have a Wikipedia page, why don’t these pieces of history have one?

Here is the entry I drafted:



Stuart crystals are a form of 17th and 18th century mourning jewelry. Stuart crystals get their names from the House of Stuart. The crystals were pieces of political jewelry that commemorate the execution of King Charles I in 1649. The first jewels were made from locks of King Charles’ hair preserved under faceted rock crystal (quartz), often decorated with his initials or miniature portrait. They were worn by Royalists who opposed the king’s execution on the grounds that as God’s chosen leader, Charles I was above the law and his death was not justice, but murder. Later, the crystals were adopted by Jacobites who opposed the deposition of James II and the Stuart monarchy in 1688. Since supporting fallen monarchs was dangerous, many Stuart crystals are small and were worn in secret. However, as the 17th century continued, Stuart crystals evolved into mementos mori and generalized commemorative jewelry. They remained popular into the 18th century until larger, more neoclassical jewelry came into fashion.


Stuart crystals come in three main forms: slides, rings, and earrings. Original Stuart crystals were rings or ribbon slides, but many were later converted into other types of jewelry. Stuart crystals almost always contain hair, often woven so finely it appears like cloth. [1]

In addition to hair, a Stuart crystal may contain gold initials, filigree designs, colored foil, portrait miniatures, and enameled symbols. Skeletons, skulls, doves, angels, cherubs or putti, and flowers are the most common type of symbolic charms found inside Stuart crystals.


Gordon, Cathy. “Stuart Crystal Jewelry.” Web. 18 June, 2012. http://imageevent.com/bluboi/stuartcrystal

The Three Graces. “Reference – Helpful Terms & Glossary.” Web. 18 June, 2012. http://www.georgianjewelry.com/reference/helpful_terms

McFerran, Noel S. “The Jacobite Heritage.” Web. 18 June, 2012. http://www.jacobite.ca/

British Broadcasting Corporation. “Charles I (1600 – 1649).” Web. 18 June, 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/charles_i_king.shtml


I know that it isn’t a full article or anywhere near complete, but I thought it would be nice to have at least a little stub for people who are trying to find out more information about these fascinating gems. There are tons of historians and jewelry experts out there who could really help fill this little gap . Any information (and especially sources) would help!

Ruby Laners and Costume History Enthusiasts, here’s looking at you!

If you are savvier with creating entries than I am or want to view the critique on the entry I submitted, here’s the link to the Wikipedia Talk page so you can edit it:


I also posted this as a note on Facebook so you can share it with anyone you know on FB who might be able to help:


I’ve never actually made my own Wikipedia page before, but I knew when I submitted it that it was a little low on sources (and pictures). Sorry if it seems like I’m getting a little frazzled by this, but I’m a strong believer in sharing information and making research easier for everyone. If you have any sources, links, or information that could help out, please leave a comment!

Thanks for collaborating on this project with me!

4 Responses to “I Need Your Help making a Stuart Crystals Wikipedia Page!”

  1. Dan Says:

    Love your project — good luck with it. I have a 17th century portrait thought to be Lady Mary Villiers shortly after the death of her husband, the Duke of Richmond. She is wearing a memorial brooch, and it resembles one of the items on your website. I’m happy to send a photo if you will provide an email address.

  2. Bronwen Says:

    Hi Liz, Great work with starting a stub for Stuart Crystal buttons. I have a set of 4 of these little beauties and on a visit to London last year, took photos of them to consult a few people in the know at various museums. I am now convinced that many of the square versions of your buttons (such as the ones like the earring you have a picture of) all started their life as cufflinks. They were joined with either a figure of eight link, or a more ornate grill-type design which you will see if you google ‘Stuart Crystal cufflinks’. I would love to see a more extensive web-page, maybe on Wikipedia about this topic.
    Regards, Bronwen.

    • Liz Says:

      Many did indeed! Breeches button is the term used in button collecting circles for these smaller singles, whether they were used on breeches or not. I tried to start a Wiki page for Stuart Crystals, but was denied depeated by a moderator who claimed I did not have adequate sources (despite listing 6+). Perhaps you would have better luck than I?

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