Masonic Jewels

From the earliest days of the organisation Freemasons have worn medals or, as they are known amongst Freemasons – Jewels. 

 Today Jewels can be loosely categorised into:

 

* Lodge 

* Provincial 

* Charity 

* Commemorative

 

When a Lodge is founded the Masons who brought it into being (The Founders) will be awarded a Founder’s Jewel. When a Mason has become the Worshipful master of his lodge it is the custom for the members to award him a jewel (a Past master’s Jewel) on completion of his year in office. When a Lodge is one hundred years old its members can were a Centenary Jewel.  

From time to time a Province will award a Jewel for a particular event or to assist in fundraising for a project. In addition when a Mason is appointed as an officer of Provincial Grand Lodge he is entitled to wear a jewel appropriate to his rank. 

Currently there are 4 Masonic charities – the Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and the Masonic Samaritan Fund. One of the major ways of raising funds for these charities is by holding Festivals in the various Provinces. Masons donating a sum of money become “Stewards” for the year of the Festival and can wear a Jewel to commemorate the Festival. The Jewels vary in design between years but can be identified by the colour of the ribbon – yellow for Grand Charity, blue and white for the RMTGB, red for the RMBI and green and yellow for the MSF. 

From time to time the United Grand Lodge of England commissions a jewel to commemorate a specific event. Examples include the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of Queen Victoria, the bi-centenary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 and the Peace Medal to mark the end of the Great War. A more recent example was the jewel issued in 1992 to mark the 275th anniversary of the founding of the Premier Grand Lodge.

 Examples of all the above can be found in the museum.