Jeffrey: The theme rests on believing that when one sees The Crown, say at 8-10 feet, you believe its the real thing.
Now when I got the idea from a very remarkable man, who works close to the Royal Househould, I told him very firmly there is no way anyone could steal The Crown Jewels.
He then told me how it could be done, and it was so simple.
I’ve know Alan for over 30 years, and hold him in the highest regard. We first met when I wanted a special gift made for my wife, and he’d been recommended by a friend, and I thought the craftmanship was superb.
Jeffrey to Alan: We gave you this immense challenge, even with your knowlesge and reputation. I want to produce The Crown, and I want for the laymen, like myself, not to be able to tell the difference.
Alan Gard: My name’s Alan Gard. I’ve been making jewellery since I was 15 years, for seventy years. And now I’ve been given the task of recreating The Crown.
We’re doing it by hand becuase the way I was been taught was hand made jewellery, and no computers or cadding has been used at all. And I’ve made it exactly the same way as the one was made a few hundred years ago.
Jeffrey: You always said the outer construction would be very demanding. I remember showing people your picture of the outer construction and they gasped. They see The Crown, and they don’t think about what you have to do.
Alan Gard: We started with the metal, nearly 2 mm thick, and slowly bent up the two halves of a ball. It’s now ready to go to the setters, and after the stones are in, it will be placed together and fitted together.
The top section of the ball is a square section. It’s beginning to put the stones in, and this will be fitted on top of The Crown, and no machinary used at all in putting every stone in. Every stone is individually set by hand.
Alan Gard: There it is
Jeffrey: So when I came to you 17 months ago, Alan, and said I need an exact copy of The real Crown, what was your first reaction?
Alan Gard: It is going to be more difficult than I imagined, and at one point, I thought I might ring you up and say I’m not sure about this.
Jeffrey: I can’t do it.
Alan Gard: But that was just in the evening and in the night, and the next day it didn’t seem that difficult.
Jeffrey: And how long did this one take?’
Alan Gard: If you consider all the setting that was spent on it, setting the stone, the making and fitting together, probably around the 500 hours, yes.
Jeffrey: Wow, we are only a yard away. Will the public be able to tell any different?
Alan Gard: From a distance no.
Jeffrey: What about an expert like you? Could you, at six foot away could you tell?
Alan Gard: No. From six foot away I couldn’t tell.
Jeffrey: Let me end by saying Alan, people criticise our great country, and they say we don’t have the craftsmen any longer. Well you proved them wrong. Many many congratulations
Alan Gard: This is made the way it was made, that possibly, it would have been made originally.
Jeffrey: Good Heavens. Good Heavens. Bravo.